Probably one of the most often asked questions we get here at kaleela.com is: “How long does it take to learn Arabic?” Well, according to a 2014 U.S. State Department study, it will take the average English speaker at least 2,200 hours of Arabic lessons over 80 weeks – or a little longer than a year and a half – of consistent study to learn the Arabic language. Compare that to the 1200 hours it generally takes someone to learn English, and it may seem like a considerable amount of time. However, there are some things you can do to help lessen that time and learn Arabic quicker. Today we are going to give you some top tips to help you immerse yourself in the language and learn Arabic a little faster (and maybe even have a little fun while you’re at it).
- Get Social with Social Media
The internet is one of the most amazing inventions of our time and with the advent of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it is now more than ever before easier to meet people from all over the world. Get on a social media search for groups that contain members like you who want to practice their Arabic language skills, whether that is speaking, writing, reading or listening. Often times you will also meet individuals that like to do language swaps where they will help you with Arabic in return for helping them with English, for example. This is a great way to learn a new language, and possibly meet new life-long friends, too, which brings us to our next trip.
- Make Arabic-Speaking Friends
Joining a social media site offers a great opportunity to meet new people that will give you real human contact and human interactions that are very important when learning a new language. Making new friends who are fluent or native Arabic speakers and having conversations with them in Arabic will greatly increase both your speaking and comprehension skills in Arabic. Additionally, if you speak Arabic with friends, it allows you to put your vocabulary and grammar skills in the correct context, and all that extra practice is just what you need to learn Arabic more quickly.
- Watch Arabic Movies and Series
Through video sharing sites like Youtube, it is now possible for you to watch Arabic films and television series without even having to leave the comfort of your own home. Most of them are even offered with English subtitles. You can begin by following along with the subtitles and slowly weaning yourself off until you can watch a whole program and comprehend what is going on without the translation. You can even watch some of your favorite American TV shows like Friends or cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants and Gumball dubbed in the Arabic language, which is a great way to improve both your listening and comprehension skills. You’ll probably even learn some new Arabic vocabulary along the way, too!
- Listen to Arabic Music
Another great perk of video sharing sites is that you can listen to Arabic music, some of the liveliest, most melodic, and fun types of music you’ll ever listen to. You’ll even pick up new phrases and words without even realizing it as you find yourself starting to sing along to the catchy melodies and lyrics! It will also help you to immerse yourself in the Arab culture and give you something to talk about with your new online friends.
- Eat at a Middle Eastern Restaurant
Okay, for this one you’ll have to actually get off of the internet and get outside. No matter where you live, chances are there is a Middle Eastern restaurant within driving distance of your house, so grab a couple of friends and go eat. By interacting with the waitstaff, ordering drinks and food, and asking general questions about the menu in Arabic, you’ll be amazed at just how quickly your Arabic reading, speaking, and comprehension skills will improve.
In conclusion, just because the time it takes to learn Arabic may seem daunting doesn’t mean it has to be. By following our tips, you can take a few fun shortcuts and be fluent in Arabic quicker than you thought possible.
If you have any suggestions you can add to this list, or any questions or comments about any article we’ve posted here on kaleela.com, drop us a line. We always love hearing from you!