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What Are the Best Ways to Learn Arabic?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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The best way to learn Arabic is almost always a combination of study and immersion, unless the student is relatively young, in which case immersion alone may be sufficient. Precisely which methods are used to teach Arabic in order to facilitate learning can also have an effect on how successfully the student learns. Many people who are not native speakers of this language find it difficult to master, but it is somewhat easier to learn Arabic when a similar language is a person's native language or even simply a language a person already knows. It is also sometimes helpful to learn Arabic in a country that speaks this language, as this will provide exposure not only to modern standard Arabic, but also to a dialect that is commonly used.

One of the biggest problems adult learners of Arabic have is with the writing system used. While the grammar of this language is highly complex and the sounds are sometimes difficult for speakers to make, the writing system often proves a primary impediment to new learners of this language because, in order to learn new vocabulary, a person must often be able to read. Arabic is a language in which vowels are not often included in writing except for the purpose of teaching, so reading sentences can be extremely difficult. For this reason, many people choose to focus first on spoken Arabic and then move on to writing.

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The best ways to learn Arabic work to remedy problems that speakers of a certain language are likely to have with the language and facilitate expression. Once basic grammatical patterns have been established, it is then possible to expand on these basic sentence forms to express a wide variety of ideas. Building vocabulary is also important, and the best ways to learn Arabic involve a large amount of vocabulary integrated into the curriculum. As Arabic words have roots that express basic meanings, knowing the structure of words can also be useful.

Immersion is often thought of as the best way to learn Arabic because necessity makes most people learn a language quickly, as does constant practice. When a person is constantly surrounded by Arabic words and needs to use the language in order to do daily business, he or she is given ample opportunities to practice. The drive to make one's self understood often makes students more likely to try out new sentence constructions, which can be corrected by native speakers, giving students a natural way of learning correct grammar. Even so, basic instruction in the language is also usually necessary in order for students to get started in Arabic.

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