I'd really need to learn Arabic.
Does anyone know if Duolingo has a plan to offer Arabic??? I need to learn Arabic for a new job I'll be starting in September, so I need a fast track way to learn.
Any suggestions of another program???
Find a tutor on a site like Italki as soon as possible. You really haven't left yourself a lot of time to learn a new script, Modern Standard Arabic and the dialect you'll need for everyday communication. You absolutely need to begin speaking as soon as possible, and a professional tutor is the best way to do that.
How come you have such a short time in which to learn Arabic for work? It's odd that they'd surprise you with something like that.
Arabic is not in the incubator right now, so it is very unlikely a course for it would be both added and finished before September. Let alone that you would also manage to finish it and learn everything before that. That said, I do believe that MSA will be added at some point in the future.
You can find several different websites that will teach you Arabic. I would not recommend Memrise as it did not work well for me and I learn languages fairly easily. However I do use fluentu a lot and they have an Arabic course if I'm not mistaken but you only get a 14 day free trial there. Just keep your eyes out I find new ones all the time.
They don't have any plans to launch a course any time soon. They haven't even started a course and it takes a long time to finish making one once started. So don't wait around for Duolingo.
Which kind of Arabic will you be using at work?
I don't like Memrise for Arabic but it would be a great place to learn the alphabet, which is a must. I would learn the alphabet there, listen to BBC Arabic as background noise to adjust your ears, watch lots of youtube introductory materials, and hire a tutor if you can afford it.
FSI Arabic courses are pretty thorough (albeit dry) and available free online. They offer both Modern Standard and a few dialects.
For standard Arabic, I think the best textbook out there is "Standard Arabic: An elementary-intermediate course" by Schulz, Krahl and Reuschel. There is audio for this book available online. It's heavy duty and gets straight to the point. It is a bit dry but also very clear.
College classes almost universally use the textbook series Al-Kitaab but it is expensive and you won't be anywhere useful with it by September. It is also notorious for being shunned by its learners, but it does serve some use.
For dialects, I believe the hands-down best series to learn from is Kallimni 'Arabi. It's a five part series with audio and DVD. It teaches Egyptian Arabic which is widely understood. The pitfall here is they are entirely in Arabic, even the instructions. Learning is slower as you'll need to pair up with an Egypt-specific dictionary such as Lisaan Masry. You won't be able to find the meaning for everything, but there are also Facebook groups and chats with tens of thousands of members that are generally friendly and happy to help. I feel these books are worth it but I also completely get why people who are just starting out would have buyer's remorse here.
For Iraqi dialect, Modern Iraqi Arabic with mp3 files by Alkaleesi is viewed pretty favorably (and it's in English!)
If you're just breaking the ice with the language, Teach Yourself Arabic Script and Teach Yourself Arabic can be of some help. Pretty average. And of course the obligatory recommendation of the YouTube channel LearnArabicWithMaha. She's great. Madina Arabic online is good too for people starting out.
All of these are just my personal opinions; be sure to research anything hard before buying. For some reason, Arabic seems to be more of a financial black hole compared to other languages when it comes to resources lol. Best of luck with your new job.
Mondly Languages is quite nice. I have the app. The free daily lessons are pretty good, and I think the paid version would be worthwhile. I suspect you won't be able to master it by September. I've more or less given up on learning how to speak properly, as the grammar is really confusing. I live in the Middle East, but because there are so many foreigners living where I am, I can get by with English. Your best option would be to take classes if you must learn it.
There are a few good books around, but there are quite a lot of boring and difficult ones. If you are a total beginner "Read and Speak Arabic for Beginners" by Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar (I think) will give you a good start. It comes with audio. I also like "Build Your Arabic Vocabulary: 1000 Key Words to Get Beyond the Basics" by Haroon Shirwani. Lastly "Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar" by Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar is also very good.