So You Want to Teach Yourself Arabic?

The last language that I have taught myself was German. That was about ten years ago and the way I mastered this difficult language was just by watching TV and listening to people speak while I was still in kindergarten.

Now I am trying to teach myself some basic or as I call it “survival” Arabic, just to be polite when I communicate with local people.

Generally, Arabic is a very difficult language to learn but it may also just depend on the way you approach it.  From my personal experience, I would say that it is not as much about the grammar as it is about the ability to speak and understand. I am a native Russian speaker for instance. But even though I can communicate and read in Russian just fine, I couldn’t explain why you say a sentence the way you say it. I just never learned any grammar rules, but that has never been a problem when it came to speaking Russian.

Thus, the best way to learn Arabic, in my opinion, is by spending some time listening to native Arabic speakers talk. This way, you can get a feeling for how letters are pronounced and how your tone is supposed to be in general.

I have actually started doing exactly that with the help of these quite useful websites:

1. ArabicPod101 Youtube Channel This is the YouTube channel of arabicpod101.com The video lessons are short, which makes it easier to absorb the content and the lady’s pronunciation of the words and phrases is very clear and easy to understand.

2. www.arabicpod101.comThis is a very nice website where you can create an account for free and make use of several Arabic learning tools, such as wordbanks, dictionaries and flash card options. You can also choose between audio and video lessons.

3. Arabic in One Hour (Арабский за 1 час) : This is a Russian audiobook that covers the most basic Arabic words and phrases within one hour. It does not actually mean that you will be fluent in Arabic within 60 minutes, but it is a good basis to start with. All you need to do is to just listen to the things being said and if ou wish, read along in the e-book provided. It’s all free.

So once you have adjusted to the way spoken Arabic sounds, you may want to go further and create flashcards with the words that you want to memorize, To do that, you can either use the flashcards option at arabicpod101.com, or create a Quizlet account. I as a student prefer quizlet, since it has a nice interface and there are different ways in which you can test your knowledge of the words. It is also a very useful website if you are learning vocabulary for other subjects, as you can create a flashcards set for each.

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