Learning Arabic while living in an Arab country
Learning a new language is always beneficial for a person, especially if it's the local language of the country you're going to live in. People who speak multiple languages appear more cultured and educated, and of course, there are the simple day to day advantages of being able to communicate with the people around you.
You often hear that a person has learned a language by spending just a year abroad. However, with Arabic, that doesn't appear to be the case. People can spend years or a lifetime in an Arabic country without being able to say much more than a few common words and sentences, far from fluent.
If you are here in Qatar, we recommend you take advantage of this opportunity and make a conscious effort to learn Arabic. Being able to use the language daily will definitely speed up the process.
It might be a tough task to be fluent in Arabic, but look at the bright side. Proficiency of the Arabic language will help advance your career, grow your social circle, and add another language to your skillset.
Photo Credit: www.tes.com
Where to start?
These types of educational classes do not only teach standard written Arabic but teach their students to communicate and understand spoken dialect.
If you're on a budget but still interested in learning the language, take the initiative and check out Al Jazeera Learning. The website aims to spread worldwide literacy and so do many other sites out there.
Listen to Arabic music. Some songs can be catchy and you are bound to catch on to something. Watch Arabic movies with subtitles and develop a broader understanding of the language and culture.
Once you gain a bit of confidence, put yourself out there and try to interact with the locals in Arabic. Yes, in Arabic, because as we know practice makes perfect.
Photo Credit: Sam Agnew
I am ashamed of myself for having spent my life in the Gulf and yet reached only intermediate Arabic fluency; it hurts even more because I just love the language, the way it sounds and the way it flows.. even if I wasn't Muslim god forbid and even if it wasn't the language of the Quran, I'd still find Arabic to be my favourite language. Inshallah, my dream is to one day speak it like the arabs.... People say its difficult to learn but I feel English as a language is more difficult to master and most people speak it only because that's what they started early with in school and because its the primary language of business and education worldwide...