Best Way to Learn Arabic – 10 Expert Tips

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Have you decided to take Arabic lessons?

That’s great! Arabic is a  beautiful and rich language. And very useful as well.

Now, the big question is: what is the best way to learn Arabic?

Well, you need to pick the way that works best for you. You have unique learning habits, goals, and abilities.

If you want to learn on the go or master the basics in a quick and easy way, you can opt for online Arabic resources.

If you want to reach fluency, try to combine different sources and find an online tutor.

However, there are some things you can do to make your learning journey a whole lot easier, regardless of your learning source.

These learning tips and tricks will help you make your studying routine more effective and enjoyable.

It’s nice to think about the final results, but you need to enjoy the process as well!

10 Best Ways to Learn Arabic

If you make your learning process both productive and fun, you’ll be able to keep your motivation high. And that’s really important if you want to be consistent.

Luckily, there are many great programs that will help you stay on track.

We live in a time where you can learn Arabic even if you don’t have Arabic classes in your area.

Plus, you can focus on your specific goals. Just be careful – setting realistic goals is the first step towards fluency. 

1. Set short-term goals

It’s great to have big dreams. But if your goal is to reach fluency, you should break it down into smaller pieces.

That’s how you’ll gain clarity on your goals.

Also, if you chunk down goals and create specific milestones, you’ll be able to track your progress more easily.

And you will feel more organized and accomplished.

You can even set daily goals. That will help you improve your organizational skills and actually finish what you’ve started.

Of course, a little spontaneity can make your lesson time more interesting (and sometimes more productive.)

You should trust your gut, but you should also stick to your study plan, especially if you have a deadline. Maybe you’re planning a trip to Egypt and you want to acquire practical vocabulary as quickly as possible.

Learning Egyptian Arabic

Either way, setting short-term, achievable goals is important. Learning a new language is a long project, and it’s necessary to divide it into milestones and tasks.

One of the ways to do it is by focusing on what really matters to you. Do you want to master your Arabic pronunciation? Do you want to learn commonly-used words and phrases? Do you want to build a strong foundation?

The thing is if you write down your wishes and specific goals, you’ll find a suitable learning source more easily. Every language app and online course is created with a specific learner in mind.

That said, the first step is to decide which Arabic dialect you want to learn.

2. Pick a dialect

The Arabic language is categorized into two major subcategories: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Colloquial Arabic. The Colloquial Arabic is specific to each area and it includes Levantine, Moroccan, Egyptian, Sudanese, etc.

Egyptian is the most widely used dialect and it’s understood across Arab countries. You will find a lot of Egyptian lessons online.

Levantine is also spoken in multiple countries (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine…) It’s considered one of the easiest Arabic dialects to pronounce.

However, if you’re planning to visit Morocco, you should take Moroccan lessons.

Moroccan Arabic dialect

The thing is, there are common words between all the Arabic dialects but there are significant differences in pronunciation and vocabulary. Therefore, it can be hard for Arabic speakers to understand each other, especially if they’re geographically distant from each other.

So, all Arabic dialects have the same underlying structure. But if you’re a beginner, you will feel confused when you hear another dialect.

And what about MSA (Modern Standard Arabic)?

Many online platforms offer classes in MSA, but MSA is not a conversational language. When you find yourself in an Arab-speaking country, you’ll be understood by many people but you’ll probably get an answer in a local dialect.

Still, MSA is universal across Arab countries. Arabs learn it in school and it’s a language of Arab politics and media.

If you want to communicate in Arabic in all countries, you can learn MSA. But MSA is nobody’s mother tongue, and if you really want to get to know Arabic culture, language, and people, you should opt for a spoken dialect.

3. Use a language app

If there are no Arabic classes in your area or you simply don’t want to take the traditional route, there’s a variety of online resources to choose from.

In fact, with so many great options, learning Arabic has never been easier.

Online courses and apps offer a quick, effective, and fun way to learn a foreign language. They are also very practical and, in most cases, non-expensive.

If you want to learn Arabic fast, using a language app is a perfect solution for you.

Rocket Arabic is one of the most popular Arabic learning apps.

Rocket Arabic

Developed by Rocket Languages, Rocket Arabic offers well-structured, linear lessons designed to take you to the next skill level.

The app combines video clips, audio tracks, and exercises.

It’s focused on Egyptian Arabic, and it will help you develop speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills.

So, you’ll learn how to write and you’ll master your Egyptian accent.

Moreover, you’ll learn a lot about Egyptian culture. Rocket Arabic language and culture lessons will provide you with cultural insights and immerse you in the language.

One thing’s for sure: apps like Rocket Arabic will keep you motivated. But they will also prepare you for real-life situations.

Another huge benefit of Arabic language apps is the fact that you can learn on the go.

If the app has a hands-free mode or it’s completely audio-based, you can learn while you’re jogging, commuting, or cooking.

The portability of some Arabic apps will help you develop learning habits.

Also, they will curate content based on your level, goals, and needs. And that’s incredibly useful – you don’t have to waste time learning in-depth grammar if you don’t want to.

Some people believe that using an app is the easiest way to learn Arabic.

Well, if you have a tight schedule or you don’t want to learn Arabic in a standard way, that’s definitely true.

4. Learn the Arabic alphabet

If you want to learn how to speak Arabic, you need to master the Arabic alphabet.

Although that might seem daunting to you, the Arabic writing system is actually more simple than it looks.

It’s quite easy and straightforward. And in a way, it’s very artistic and beautiful.

Learning Arabic alphabet

There are 28 letters, and the alphabet is phonetic. So, there are no hidden sounds (like in English or French.)

The only tricky part is a different directionality – the Arabic language is written from right to left. But it won’t take too long until you get used to it.

Also, it’s written in a cursive style. There is no such thing as capital or lowercase letters in Arabic.

Luckily, all Arabic dialects have the same alphabet. Some words are just pronounced differently.

When you’re learning the Arabic alphabet, you also need to hear what each letter sounds like. And that’s why it’s great to use an app to learn Arabic.

For example, Rocket Arabic combines video clips and audio tracks to teach you how to write in Arabic.

So, if you’re wondering what is the easiest way to learn Arabic, you need to focus on Arabic letters, sounds, and spelling first. That’s how you’ll acquire Arabic vocabulary faster.

Plus, when you learn the Arabic alphabet, you can start with another important step: surrounding yourself with Arabic.

5. Watch Arabic movies and TV shows

One of the ways to surround yourself with the Arabic language is by watching Arabic movies and TV shows.

You can plenty of Arabic content on Netflix, from action-packed movies based on real-life to fantasy TV shows.

Watch it with subtitles first. That way, you’ll improve your listening skills and expand your vocabulary.

Arabic movies on Netflix

You can also write down new words. If you’re just starting out, you can pick one word per minute – in that case, it would be ideal to choose a show with 30-minute episodes.

Also, if you’re a beginner, it would be ideal to pick a film or a show that has a lot of casual conversations. That way, you will learn commonly-used words and expressions. You can even watch a show like Arabs Got Talent.

Either way, watching Arabic TV is a fun way to increase your comprehension.

6. Listen to Arabic music and podcasts

Another easy way to improve your listening skills is to listen to Arabic podcasts.

In the beginning, choose an easy-going podcast and a topic you’re interested in.

Even if you don’t understand everything, you’ll hear how the language sounds in real life. You’ll have a chance to hear its natural flow, rhythm, pronunciation…

And you’ll pick up new words too.

You can also work on your pronunciation – simply pause and repeat what you hear. Try to articulate well and in a clear voice.

Since the Arabic language has many dialects, the correct pronunciation is important.

Also, working on your pronunciation from the start will help you understand native speakers.

And listening to dialogues and mimicking natural conversations can be very helpful.

If you’re a music buff, you already know that the Arab world has rich music styles and genres.

Listening to Arabic music will bring you closer to the Arabic language and culture.

And it will help you get used to the accent.

7. Read Arabic news and books

Besides watching Arabic movies and listening to Arabic music, another important activity is reading in Arabic.

Read as much as you can, even if you don’t understand everything. That’s the only way to master the Arabic alphabet and feel more confident in your general Arabic language skills.

You can read Arabic news, articles, and magazines…

And finally, you can read Arabic books.

Best way to learn Arabic

You can start with a children’s book or your favorite book in Arabic translation.

As you progress, you can explore essential works of Arabic literature.

Reading will help you understand basic grammar concepts, but it will also introduce you to different styles and topics.

8. Use language hacks

If you want to know how to learn Arabic quickly, you should use language hacks.

But even if you’re ready for the long process, these hacks and techniques will make you more productive and efficient.

Fortunately, the best online Arabic courses and apps use modern study tools and effective methods.

One of the most popular memory techniques is mnemonics. You can use mnemonics to memorize a certain word, phrase, or a single letter. You just need to create a sentence and a meaning that works for you.

For example, the transliteration for the Arabic letter ب is b. And Baa looks like a Boat with a paddle in the water – that’s a nice mnemonic example.

Spaced repetition is another popular technique. It’s based on recalling relevant information at specific time intervals.

Repetition is an inevitable part of learning any language, and learning Arabic is no different.

That’s why it’s good to take bite-sized lessons. If you overwhelm yourself with too much information at once, you won’t allow yourself to internalize what you’ve learned.

Even if you want to learn Arabic in a quick way, you shouldn’t rush. You’re probably familiar with the saying: go slow to go fast. Well, try to apply that to your learning process.

Easiest way to learn Arabic

Furthermore, if you want to study smart, you need to create a comfortable study environment. Even if you want to learn Arabic on the go, you should sit down and go through what you’ve learned from time to time.

You can also keep a vocab diary. You can create word lists as you read or watch a movie.

Creating your own flashcards would also be a good idea.

If you’re just starting out, focus on the everyday Arabic speech and practical vocabulary. There will be time for more complex words later on.

All things considered, if you want to make your lesson time more effective, you should find methods and techniques that work for you.

And you should take regular, short Arabic lessons.

After all, consistency is the key. And if you create a daily learning habit, you’ll understand why that’s not just an overused quote.

9. Talk to native speakers

The best way to learn how to speak Arabic fast is to find native speakers.

If you’re traveling to an Arab country, use that opportunity to talk to locals. And don’t worry about making a mistake – just talk!

Also, visiting an Arab country would put you in situations where you simply have to speak Arabic. And that’s arguably the fastest way to enhance your Arabic speaking skills.

Plus, you’ll see and hear Arabic everywhere you go.

However, if you currently don’t have a trip to the Arab world in mind, you can find native speakers online.

You can find a language partner or visit a language exchange website.

Learning Arabic online

Some apps and Arabic courses also offer the possibility to get in touch with a teacher. Even if you don’t like online tutoring, you ask for feedback and suggestions from time to time.

The important thing is to use the language. That’s the single best way to practice and come closer to fluency.

10. Immerse yourself in Arabic

Immersion plays a vital role in learning a foreign language.

Therefore, what are you waiting for?

Watch Arabic TV shows, listen to the Arabic radio station, and follow Arab influencers.

Read articles on news sites like BBC Arabic or Al Jazeera.

Find recipes (in Arabic, if you can) and try authentic Egyptian-style cooking or traditional Lebanese food.

Label some objects in your house with Arabic translations.

Change the language on your smartphone to Arabic. Just make sure you’re familiar with the basics first 🙂

There are many ways to immerse yourself in the language. Be creative!

That will also make your study routine more interesting. If you make it fun and immersive, you’ll also stay motivated.

And if you want to reach proficiency levels, you need to keep your motivation high, especially if you’re learning Arabic by yourself.

Final Thoughts

Learning Arabic might be challenging, but it’s definitely rewarding – just like many other languages.

The important thing is to find the best way to learn Arabic for you.

And in order to do that, you need to set clear goals.

But even if you’re not sure what you want, there are apps and online courses that help you figure it out and guide you through the whole process.

Don’t worry – once you start with your lessons, everything will be easier.

For now, it’s great that you want to learn Arabic, and we hope this article encouraged you to start learning right away!