Getting a Head Start With Arabic | اللغة العربية


Would you like if it did some basic Arabic intro stuff in a condensed manner in the forum? I have a lot of experience learning it, especially how to go about the basics. It could be an opportunity to get a head start before the course comes out, and understand a bit more about how the language works.

THOUGH, I am not a native speaker, I am still learning, and I am sure native speakers could point out things I could do better! But I do understand the basics learning from an English and Spanish Perspective (And I bet I could do it with Portuguese too, not that it is that important to all of you)

But, what do you think? شو تفكّرون عن هذا

November 10, 2017


I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I would like to point that the Arabic text you wrote in your post isn't Modern Standard Arabic.

November 11, 2017

Yes, I wrote شو instead of ماذا; I am aware. For me, more recently, when I write in Arabic I try to use more dialect words so that I remember them, though I am fully aware ماذا is فصحى and شو is Shamii, at least. I don't really love MSA that much and I would rather get better at the dialect, fully knowing that written texts will have the MSA word.مفهوم؟

November 11, 2017

The sentence you wrote doesn't belong to any dialect and isn't consistent. If you are going to say it in Levantine Arabic it will be "شو رايكن" or "شو عم تفكروا".

November 12, 2017


November 11, 2017
  • 1184

This is only my opinion:

It s true that not everybody speaks MSA, but it is also true that not everyone wants to learn the Levantine Dialect. That's my case, my goal is to learn MSA, so I would read your intro just by curiosity.

And one question: According to you what are the basics of Arabic, or the basic knowledge of Arabic?

November 11, 2017

The thing is, it is a word different—what. That is the difference in that post. When I have talked with my Iraqi friends in MSA, they say it sounds weird. Like very, very formal. I got the same impressions when I was Israel and told the same thing. For example, how to say I speak in FoosHaa can be Ataklum, or atahadath, but in levantine it is Bahkii.

The script is important, but one can start learning words before that. There is understanding pronunciation, long vowles and short vowels, trying to get an idea of how words sound, which is important for longer term when there are not vowls. Going from there IDaafa construction—it is a form that is used, that is not say crucial in and of itself, but understanding it exists and how to understand and utilize it—how adjectives work differently for nouns based on gender, human vs non-human, number—which varies for 1, 2, 3-9 or 10 (but I need to check my notes on this) 11+ and plurals without a number—,verb conjugations, possessive, and all these things ideally in the learning process would be coalesced into functional speech.

I spent 2 weeks in the West Bank and I was teaching someone who spoke no English—and I didn't speak his language, Slovak—how to read and write Arabic. It starts with understanding the script and knowing how to read and write, and going from there. I lack a lot of practice communicating, primarily because I didn't get to do that a lot, but I understand how to apply some of the base lessons that can help one start getting farther along with speech. I mean, I got to third year college arabic in a year.

One of the things with Arabic is that I have not found like a really good resource for it—in fact, a lot of how I learned it was doing flashcards and basing my study, with some clear modifacations, on how Duolingo works. I think one who wants to learn it probably needs to be well motivated to have success—its not like a Romance language ( like if I spent the time I did learning arabic on say French, I bet I could write all this in french). And the thing is, one should know, like my example I gave in the first paragraph, when I went to Israel and tried to talk with Native Speakers, while they could generally understand me, and if they switched to more FooSHaa I could get a lot more—but its not that simple—that it is not the way like people talk to eachother. That is why I used the wordشو instead of ماذا. A really basic difference to sound more normal....But the general response is the script, and some of the things I said going from there.

November 11, 2017
  • 1184

Thanks for your answer.

PS: I asked you to give me your opinion about my reverse tree studying methodology, and you told me, "And as such, if you want to follow your reverse tree studying methodology, your opinion doesn't really interest me in this case. I don't care how much progress you do in Arabic. Do whatever you want". Well now I want to study MSA, and of course that is what I will do.

Well مع السلامة and "do whatever you want" for you too.

November 20, 2017

I up-voted!

Isn't Arabic already available on Mondly?

Has anyone of you tried it? How is the quality compared to Portuguese?

November 11, 2017

I think I may have tried it; and if so I thought it was ok. I think I liked Duolingo as a product better.

November 11, 2017
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