A question that you will probably ask yourself once you begin learning Arabic is: “How long does it take to learn Arabic?”
Here, I’ll try to respond to your question. But I need to clear something up first with a post like this. Really, there is only one sincere response to this query: it depends.
Since Egyptian Arabic is the most widely spoken and sought-after dialect to learn, I’ll concentrate on it in this article. But don’t worry, the key ideas we cover here apply regardless of which dialect of Arabic you are learning.
Table of Contents
The Factors Affect Your Learning Arabic
Sadly, there is no simple way to respond to this, which is one of the first queries anyone interested in language learning asks. Learning a language is a complex process that is different for each individual based on several different factors. Let’s examine each of these variables and see how they affect how quickly you learn Arabic:
- Your Previous Language Learning Experiences
- The Arabic Language Itself
- Your Learning Style
- Your Learning Approach
Your Previous Language Learning Experiences
You might be able to speed up your Arabic learning if you already speak another language or were raised bilingual. Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language, as several linguistic studies have proven. This is because they are accustomed to hearing various languages more naturally. Fluency and proficiency in one language help those in the other.
If you’re not bilingual or multilingual, however, don’t worry: Even taking Spanish in high school or going to Beijing for business was beneficial.
Understanding the basic linguistic principles and distinctive linguistic features of the language you want to learn is one of the first steps in learning a language. Your mind will be prepared for a new language if you have previously studied foreign grammar, memorized vocabulary, listened to various sounds, and examined various letters. There are fewer surprises, and learning a language becomes simpler and quicker.
Language learning can be accelerated by simply being exposed to various languages, especially if one of those languages is the language you wish to learn.
The Arabic Language Itself
Despite being one of the most challenging languages for English speakers to learn, Arabic actually has a few words that come from our language. You can save time by learning some of the vocabularies for Arabic using these words.
A few of them are as follows:
- كومبيوتر – [kombiouter]: Computer
- تليفون – [telifone]: Telephone
- ميكرويف –[ maycrowayf]: Microwave
- ميكانيكي –[ mikaniky]: Mechanic
- مليون –[ milyoon]: Million
Several words have English sounds but have different meanings. However, because of their similarity, they might be simpler to remember:
- أنا – [ana] – (sounds like the name “Anna”) means I / Me
- في – [fi] – (sounds like “fee”) means in
- ألف – [alf] – (sounds like “elf”) means thousand
- ارض – [ard]- (sounds like “art”) means earth
Did you know that many common English words have Arabic roots? Consider these English words with Arabic roots that have occasionally crossed over into other languages.
These words can make learning some Arabic vocabulary much simpler and quicker, and they are unquestionably your friends.
A key element in determining how long it will take you to learn Arabic fluently is the method by which you study and learn.
Even if you attend a class every day, if you restrict your learning and studying to a formal setting, it will probably take you longer to develop your language proficiency.
You can drastically cut down the amount of time it takes to learn Arabic if you try to expose yourself to it outside of the classroom.
Try reading the news, watching Arabic movies and TV shows, or listening to podcasts in Arabic that cover subjects that interest you. Finding a language exchange partner to practice your conversational skills with will also be very beneficial and help you become fluent more quickly, of course.
Another factor that we haven’t covered yet, but which is crucial in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic, is: the time you spend studying it!
It goes without saying that you must devote as much time as you can to studying if you want to learn quickly.
The best learning environment is daily practice, and studies show that students who can commit an hour a day to learning—whether it’s learning new words, reviewing grammar rules, or binge-watching a Netflix series—learn material much more quickly than those who only attend classes.
Of course, full immersion is best if you have the option to do so. It would greatly benefit you if you could visit an Arabic-speaking nation and spend some time living there.
How you approach learning Arabic is a significant factor in how quickly you pick it up. A huge difference could result from it!
Maintaining motivation is essential for learning a new language, as is common knowledge. Numerous studies have demonstrated the significance of motivation in language learning. The main factor that determines whether someone succeeds or fails in learning a language is their ability to maintain motivation.
Reminding yourself why you want to learn Arabic, how it will improve your life, and everything good that can come from learning it can help you to stay motivated and, therefore, speed up the time necessary to learn it.
Your attitude has a significant impact on how quickly you learn Arabic. If you approach language learning with a positive attitude and see it as a fun and fascinating opportunity to broaden your horizons (and to sound like a native when you sing your favorite Arabic song), you’ll be more open to learning. Your desire to learn as much as you can will increase, making the entire process more enjoyable and efficient. See more about How Hard Is It To Learn Romanian?
How Long Will It Take Me To Reach Each Level?
So let’s get to the point.
Although it’s difficult to predict with certainty, we’ve made an attempt to provide an estimate of how long it might take you to advance to the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of Arabic.
Even though Arabic may be one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn, doing so is what makes it so exciting and rewarding!
A language learner will be able to greet people, comprehend short sentences when spoken slowly and carefully, and ask simple questions, though they will probably make some mistakes along the way.
You can get by with the fundamental speaking and reading abilities you acquired by reaching this level if all you want to be able to do is introduce yourself and order food.
FSI learning timeline findings estimate that, to achieve the beginner level in Arabic, you’ll need approximately 700 hours of study. This means that if you dedicate about 15-20 hours a week to learning Arabic, you’ll achieve this level in about 8 months.
If spoken slowly, you’ll be able to participate in most everyday conversations at the intermediate level and ask clarification questions as necessary. You will also be able to watch Arabic videos and read the news with little difficulty at this level. When you’re traveling, you’ll be able to converse with locals about common topics and ask for and follow directions.
To reach an intermediate level, it’s estimated you’ll need 1000-1200 hours of study time (including classes, homework, and practice time).
If you’re serious about learning Arabic fast and are motivated, you can do this in about a year by dedicating at least 20 hours a week to studying.
This is what you should strive for in order to achieve fluency. You’ll be able to handle any situation that may arise in your daily life and have complex conversations with native speakers if you have advanced language abilities.
You will be able to read a variety of books in Arabic and watch movies without subtitles. Even though there will always be something new to learn about this intricate and gorgeously complex language, you will essentially be fluent.
It’s estimated that for an English speaker to learn Arabic properly, at least 2200 hours of You must take Arabic classes. This implies that full-time study of Arabic is required if you want to speak it fluently in a year.
If you’re not in a rush, you can learn the language in about two years with around 20 hours a week dedicated to studying and practicing.
All of these deadlines, however, are only estimates, and a person’s success in learning a language really depends on a variety of factors. See more about How Long Does It Take To Learn Dutch?
Get Yourself The Right Tools
Being dealt a good hand makes it simple to learn Arabic quickly and successfully.
To learn Arabic as effectively as possible, you should invest in some quality tools and study materials.
You can learn Arabic with books or textbooks if you’re a more traditional language learner. For a few examples, see below:
‘Mastering Arabic 1’ by Jane Wightwick & Mahmoud Gaafar
A CD-ROM can also be purchased in addition to the paperback edition of this Arabic textbook, making it appropriate for a variety of students. Notes from the back cover state that:
“The most engaging, approachable, and carefully pace Arabic course available is called Mastering Arabic 1. Beginners who want to confidently understand, speak, and read Arabic are the target audience for this course.
Mastering Arabic 1:
is the bestselling course, suitable for study at home or in the classroom
teaches Modern Standard Arabic, the universal language of the Arab world understood by all Arabic speakers
covers a useful variety of situations you will encounter in the Arab world
offers a gradual introduction to the language, script and structures through audio, video, stories and easy-to-follow explanations
includes hundreds of lively exercises to help you practise what you’ve learnt
This new edition features:
an attractive full colour page design and a wealth of illustrations and photos
online video on our free-to-access website with associated exercises in the book
new conversational sections which encourage you to get speaking right from the start
The authors Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar have a combined wealth of experience in the Arab world in education publishing, communication, and teaching.”
‘By Mohammad T. Alhawary
This learner’s guide is accessible in hardcover, paperback, and digitally on Kindle…
“introduces readers to the basic structure and grammar of the Arabic language. Its features include:
- Comprehensive coverage of Arabic grammar and structure in current standard use (MSA), from entry level to advanced proficiency
- Balanced treatment of the phonological, syntactic, and morphological rules of the Arabic language
- An intuitive presentation of grammar rules and structures, in order of frequency and functional use
- Straightforward explanations with minimum linguistic jargon and terminology, explaining the key issues
- This book is required reading for anyone who is just beginning to learn the language because it is jam-packed with symbols, tables, diagrams, and illustrative examples.”
‘Fluent In 3 Months’ by Benny Lewis
It’s true that this book isn’t specifically written for Arabic learners, but Benny Lewis still manages to write a fantastic self-help manual for anyone who wants to learn a foreign language. Reviews left on Amazon include:
“This is an engaging and practical manual for learning a language. It effectively conveys Benny Lewis’ own love of languages and inspires readers to study languages in a less formal manner.” Professor Mike Kelly, Honorary Secretary and Director of Speak to the Future
“Regardless of where you live or travel, buy this book and get ready to experience the world.” $100 Start Up by Chris Guillebeau, a New York Times best-seller.
“Benny is a model for us. What an awesome catalyst!” language master Paul Noble.
Videos And Podcasts
When learning how to write a language, using its grammar (syntax, formulations, alphabet), practicing its conjugation (verbs and tenses), and learning its vocabulary (words, phrases, expressions), reading and learning from books is all very well and good, but how do you learn to pronounce it?
One of the biggest benefits of using such free language learning resources is hearing the Arabic language spoken in videos and podcasts, which will give the student that extra assurance that they are fully grasping the language. Because being able to communicate verbally and in writing as well as face-to-face is essential to mastering a language, as many language learners will attest to.
You will have free access to flawless Arabic spoken by teachers and native Arabs thanks to the Internet.
Practice your oral comprehension of conversational Arabic now because beginners need to establish good habits right away.
Check out these Arabic websites and podcasts that can help you quickly learn to speak Arabic:
You can find various Arabic dialogues on this educational website that cover a range of topics like entertainment, family, food, introducing yourself, traveling, friends, weather, and shopping.
Thanks to this website with a focus on communication skills and cultural understanding, you can learn modern standard Arabic (Msa), which is spoken throughout the Arab world, at a variety of levels.
A huge source of multilingual podcasts is Audio Lingua. There are a lot of Arabic podcasts available that can help you with your speaking and listening while there aren’t any Arabic videos available. They range in length from a few seconds to several minutes, and among other topics, they talk about philosophy, travel, art, and film.
Many people today are fortunate enough to own smartphones or tablets, giving them access to hundreds of high-quality apps that can introduce them to fun, interactive, and interesting ways to learn, including the Arabic language. The majority of these apps are full of multimedia content that makes learning a second language simple and can be downloaded instantly and for free from the internet. Furthermore, learning is enjoyable and not at all tedious thanks to app developers!
Knowing full well that users want a quick and efficient way to further their education on the subject, language learning apps put their primary emphasis on making learning enjoyable, accessible, and convenient.
They can be incorporated into our lives however we see fit, and we can utilize them as much or as little as our schedules will allow. Additionally, mobile apps are jam-packed with sophisticated technology that monitors your progress. assisting you in your areas of need and pushing you to learn new grammar and vocabulary when you’re ready.
Using your free time for study is known as microlearning, as it is sometimes referred to by professionals. In the midst of our hectic schedules, we all pause to check our phones, perhaps to stay up to date with the news or with friends who live in other parts of the city. Microlearning fits in during your commute to work or school, while you are waiting for a bus or train, and during the commercial breaks of your favorite television program. This means that, without your knowledge, you could be learning something new and expanding your knowledge in just a few short minutes.
The average learner studies for only 5 to 15 minutes per session, but because it takes place during idle time, you’ll find that you’ve spent at least 30 minutes on your chosen language by the end of the day. Compared to a weekly class of one hour, how effective are these 30 minutes a day of language study? The ideal investment to start you on the road to language learning!
50 languages will help you to learn to speak Using a variety of educational yet intriguing topics, teach Arabic. You can pick up knowledge about greetings, emotions, music, sports, and more. You can take audio clips from the app with you to listen to while you’re out and about because it functions offline. It offers at least 100 lessons to get you up to speed on the basics of Arabic and lets you put what you’ve learned into practice by playing entertaining games.
Android and IOS; Free
The user-friendly and straightforward app Memorise capitalizes on your propensity for memorization to help you learn the language. Start off by learning the alphabet, how to say hello, and pick up some survival vocabulary. It makes use of a game-like, interactive flashcard system. You can upgrade from the free version if you’re interested in games and take advantage of this extra interaction.
Android and IOS; Free
With the help of the entertaining flashcard-based BravoLol system, you can concentrate your learning on the Arabic words you want to learn. It’s versatile because you can make your own flashcards or use those the app has already created. In order to help you start learning Arabic right away, it uses expressions that are frequently used. You can access your phases anywhere and at any time with BravoLol, which functions offline and looks like Google Translate.
Android and IOS; Free
With the help of the chat app HelloTalk, you can communicate with Arabic-speaking individuals anywhere in the world. Because HelloTalk is solely a language exchange where you learn your chosen language and share your native language with your partner, it turns you into both the student and the teacher. HelloTalk lowers language and cultural barriers while making direct learning enjoyable.
Study Abroad In The Arab World
If you want to master Arabic quickly, this is the best way to do it.
Studying Arabic in a nation in the Middle East or North Africa for a period of time, if you can afford it, can significantly boost your language abilities. There isn’t a single place that is the best to visit; any nation where Arabic is the official language will suffice. Instead, choose which of Morocco, Egypt, or Lebanon appeals to you the most.
You’ll be able to pick up more vocabulary and slang while immersing yourself in a new culture, in addition to learning the local spoken Arabic dialect and all the hand and face gestures that go along with it.
You are free to choose which of the 23 countries where Arabic is spoken as your destination. Options include Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, etc.
Your level of Arabic will advance significantly if you speak Arabic every day with locals from all social classes.
Language Courses At A School Or University
You can take Arabic classes at specialized language institutes or in university courses where a professor who is a native Arabic speaker instructs the students.
These classes can be a great way to improve your Arabic language skills and to assess your current level of knowledge.
These Arabic classes will typically follow the academic calendar and a predetermined curriculum that probably won’t allow for too much flexibility.
You will, however, benefit from a qualified instructor who speaks Arabic as a first language and who is using a recognized curriculum.
Look for Arabic classes in London.
Private Arabic Classes
Finding a private Arabic teacher could be a great option for those of you without access to any Arabic language schools nearby or who lack the time to commit to a regular course.
An Arabic teacher could visit your home and assess your level in the language as well as your areas of strength, weakness, and confusion based on what you’re looking for.
To ensure that you learn Arabic as effectively as possible, your private tutor will collaborate with you to develop a unique study schedule. Soon you’ll be able to converse in Egyptian Arabic or talk about the weather with anyone who speaks Arabic.
Having a teacher to yourself can be very beneficial because you can get direct answers to all of your questions about Arabic grammar, colloquial expressions, verb tenses, and spelling, and your Arabic pronunciation will improve greatly.
With the help of a Superprof tutor, you can study Arabic!
Arabic Classes Online
Online Arabic classes can be an excellent way to learn the language for prospective students who prefer to work from home or geeks who like to be surrounded by as many computer screens as possible.
You need to carefully consider your options if you want to learn Arabic online. Not all online Arabic courses are free, nor do they all adhere to a curriculum that will teach you the fundamentals of Arabic, such as the Arabic script and pronunciation, in a way that makes sense and will aid you in achieving fluency.
Finding a MOOC for Modern Standard Arabic on a platform like Coursera might be a good place to start if you want to make sure you’re getting the right kind of foundation in Arabic for beginners.
Additionally, you will be able to connect with a large online community of language learners and share your enthusiasm for learning Arabic.
That depends, to return to my initial response. There is no surprise here, and if you learned anything from this post, that should be it.
The main influencing factors are, in brief, as follows: your native language, languages you have studied in the past, difficult factors unique to Arabic, your SMART objective, and your own personal drive.
Like most languages, the duration of learning Egyptian Arabic will vary depending on the individual. But that doesn’t mean we can’t at least have a general idea. Assume for the moment that your goal is to learn Egyptian Arabic so you can converse freely with native speakers about commonplace subjects.
Let’s also assume that you are a native English speaker who has never taken Arabic or other similar courses. Let’s also assume that you can dedicate about an hour each day. This leads me to the conclusion that it will take about three years to learn Egyptian Arabic.
Naturally, everyone’s time frame will vary. Certainly, if you want to, you can learn it more quickly! Nevertheless, I believe that a rough but realistic time frame of three years is a good one to set.
The ability to learn Egyptian Arabic is definitely within your grasp, but it may be challenging and require consistent effort and good study habits.
Furthermore, learning Egyptian Arabic will be worthwhile no matter what your motivation is for doing so.
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