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Easy Language(s) to Help With Arabic?

I have a really large interest in studying Arabic. However, the only thing stopping me is the difficulty. I only know English, American Sign Language, (some) Spanish and Esperanto. The thing with Esperanto is that it really does help one understand another language. Many things I struggled with in Spanish made more sense thanks to Esperanto. So, I was wondering, is there a pretty basic language that helps introduce one to Semitic Languages, that way I can have an easier time learning Arabic? tl;dr: Does any Semitic Language exist, that is simple for a English Native to learn while introducing one to Semitic Languages, making the Arabic Language easier to understand?

July 19, 2017


  • 1804

in my opinion the sooner you start the better, not doing it because it looks so hard won't help, it's like that with every skill in our life, when we start with basic mathematics we don't think of differentials and integrals :-) , when we start to crawl we don't think of walking, running and jumping, we just start and do it step by step, ... learning another language just to start your target language later sounds like an unnecessary obstacle, by the time you would still be learning that other language you can have a big chunk of Arabic done already


That's a good point. Thank you.


Just get started on the Arabic. Most people don't realise that they'll have to learn two languages in order to function in the Arabic-speaking world- a regional variant for everyday communication and Modern Standard Arabic for reading and the TV news. MSA will not see you through talking to most locals.

The sooner you get started, the faster you'll be communicating.


"Easy" is relative, but Maltese is Semitic and written in the Latin alphabet.


Actually, writing isn't too much of a problem for me. Plus, I heard Maltese is harder than Arabic, and most likely won't help as it has been isolated from Modern Standard Arabic for so long. But you're right, easy is relative, so I understand

  • 2318

Maltese has a LOT of Italian and English loanwords, making it quite a bit easier and allows you to concentrate your efforts on the grammar.


I guess Hebrew would be a choice. But think you should focus on Arabic directly instead.


There is no Semitic language that is "easy" from a Romance language perspective. I personally find Semitic languages to be much easier than Korean though, but that's besides the point and maybe not the norm for learners from an Indo-European language background.

Esperanto was made by Europeans from mostly European language features, so the claim that many Esparantists make that it is the key to unlocking language learning ability across the board is flat out wrong. I mean of course having learned another language before (including Esperanto) makes it easier to learn more languages, but knowing Esperanto won't make Arabic any easier than learning French or Guarani or any other language.

All of the conlangs are very Eurocentric and there isn't really an equivalent for Semitic languages, nor does there need to be. If you want to learn a Semitic language, you just gotta dive in! And once you are comfortable with it, then other Semitic languages will become much easier for you. The big caveat is that unlike with lots of other language groups, the top 3 Semitic languages each have different scripts. But learn the one you want to learn the most first. With Semitic language there is no reason to learn one just to make learning the one you want to know easier.

Learning Arabic is a really big commitment and you have to be very motivated because you can learn multiple languages similar to your own faster than you can learn Arabic.

I have studied Arabic for about 10 years off and on. I am somewhat comfortable with the language but after studying French for about 2 months I was able to understand French from movies and the news better than I can understand Arabic because I speak Spanish and some Portuguese. So if you value learning multiple European languages over learning Arabic, think hard =) But if you really want to learn it you definitely should!

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