Arabic from English now available in beta!
You read that right! One of the biggest missing pieces in our language collection is now finally live, and we could not be more excited! Thank you of course to all contributors (special shoutout to Nada.Sh, Amgad, GunnyTunes, captainmoha, and Nora_AR) and staff members who made this possible, you all are incredible and we are so lucky to be able to experience Arabic on Duolingo thanks to your dedication and talent.
If you want to know more about the Duolingo Arabic course, and what makes Arabic "hard," read all about it in our newest Making Duolingo blog post: "What makes Arabic hard (and why that shouldn’t stop you from learning it)". Engadget wrote a quick piece about this course launch too, you can see it here.
How about you? Do you intend to give Arabic a shot?
I love Duolingo, and I love Arabic, and I hate to complain, but I don't like this course. It feels weirdly obsessed with transliterating Arabic into Arabizi. I tested out of 21 skills, and the first lesson I plopped into, 2/3 down the tree, is full of questions like "select the correct characters for 'Haanuu'". The entire lesson used a bunch of words, and a bunch of transliterations, but didn't use the meanings of any of those words once. I feel like this course is emulating the Chinese and Japanese courses, when it should be going for Hebrew or even Korean.
Yeah, I'm using the course on Android and whatever topic area I select, it just gives me endless transliteration questions. There seems to be no way to prevent this. I already know the Arabic alphabet - I want to practise vocabulary! I hope this will be fixed soon. At the moment I am really getting nothing useful from the course.
Hebrew course takes good approach to teaching letters through simple sentences, few at a time. Unfortunately it lacks vocalisation marks and recordings for most lessons which makes it much harder than it needs to be.
I haven't tried Arabic yet, but I think transliteration is also quite helpful, especially if you want to use it online with people who don't always have the proper keyboard installed or can't be bothered to switch all the time.
I imagine it's hard to hit the balance between teaching new alphabet, romanization, native vocalisation, vocabulary and grammar at the same time. I hope Arabic course is successful enough to convince duo to invest some resources in Persian and maybe upgrading Hebrew.
brjaga, People complain about Hebrew not teaching the alphabet all the time. Luckily, I already knew the Hebrew alphabet before I started to take the class. It's too hard to try to acquire the alphabet the way they teach it. They also don't use the vowel markings in the Hebrew class, which I think would be good when students first start out so that they get an idea about what's going on with the pronunciation and how the vowels work together with the consonants. I wonder how many students they've lost because they fail to teach the alphabet separately. I'm very glad Arabic is using the vowel markings. I also think it helps our learning of the letters to see words we are familiar with written in Arabic script. We might even learn how to spell our names and where we come from!
Hebrew was probably a bad example because the course almost never uses niqqud; I'm fine with using the vowel markings in Arabic, at least the first time a word is introduced. However, they should probably get people used to not seeing them, because they're not there most of the time.
In any case, what I meant was more the fact that Hebrew (and other courses like Ukrainian and Russian) are still introducing real words in the Alphabet lessons, which helps to reinforce the letters you're learning. When I said that this course is like the Chinese and Japanese courses, I meant that it's asking for pronunciations throughout the course, even though once you know the writing system, a (vocalized) word has an unambiguous pronunciation, unlike those languages having to teach the pronunciation for every new word.
The Arabic course is a good start, but as someone who learned Arabic in University for 3 years and tutors Arabic learners, it is fairly simple and basic, and far too short a course. I would only recommend this course for someone in their first 6 months or so of learning the language.
I really hope the course is expanded.
This is correct (also a language teacher - 25 years). You can argue the pros and cons of the theory behind this course (i.e. the way alphabet is introduced) but either way it is far too short as it stands, and should not have been released yet. I understand the contributors' hard work and the general 'woo, high five' reaction....but it starts to fall down once you start progressing, because there's currently no place to go. For such a widely used language (or set of languages, if you're going to be pedantic) it needs a much fuller treatment to do it justice.
Definitely. Even in such a short tree we could learn. Verbs have barely been touched (and no grammatical explanations are provided), I have no idea how to express singular/plural, and the thread of comments is a debate of experts on cases and nunation that is explained nowhere. A bit intimidating for the newcomers.
I just tried it now. I would like to thank all the team members for their efforts. I have few suggestions after experiencing the tree: 1. Please restrict alphabet lessons ONLY to the alphabet lessons. There are a lot of people who already know the alphabets. There are many people who already know how to read Arabic and it's very irritating to do those meaningless alphabet lessons which are even there in the last part of the tree. This is a very ridiculous idea to put alphabet lessons in every tree. 2. At many places the diacritical marks are completely wrong according to the standard Arabic. This could be very harmful for anyone who is learning standard Arabic in school. 3. The level of the course is still pretty basic. But I hope it will be much better when it is beyond the beta stage.
When I was a little kid, my aunt gave me a book that was written in both Arabic and English. It was one of many things she had brought back from her many trips to Jordan. Arabic has one of the most beautiful writing systems I have ever seen, and it still is beautiful to me after I saw it for the first time in that book. I knew at the end of the book I would like to learn Arabic.
I’ve been taking baby steps, maybe I should start running towards that goal....
And, will Duolingo consider Persian/Farsi and Urdu now? Languages as beautiful as Arabic, both of which have long poetic traditions....
iMuchisimas Gracias Duolingo! I have been learning Spanish with you guys every day for about a year and now I am looking forward to learning Arabic which I have been wanting to do for quite some time.
For people wanting to learn as much Arabic as they can: a user by the name of SASSYandsisters has made her own course that would be great to use along with the Duolingo course. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31999313
Picking up a conversation with a native speaker is not something Duolingo alone can do. So, a level 25 in a language does not guarantee that. You will definitely be able to read some news and stuff (I can already do that in German and I'm not even that far) But I don't think I will be able to speak to a native even after completing the tree. Duolingo gets you started but you have to keep going yourself.
Can you tell me what mistakes there are? Apart from the audio not working most of the time, and some translations not being accepted I thought should be (Bob's blue car but not Bob's car is blue, kind of thing), I'd assumed the different words were from different dialects. My two teachers and Memrise all base lessons on Wightwick and Gaafar's Mastering Arabic, so it's good to meet some different basic vocab (after the endless alphabet exercises - I'm on topic 25 of 31 and it's still going!)
Yay!! I have been waiting for this one for a long time. It looks good so far. I just hope there is more to come, it looks a bit short. I suppose once I can read it the reverse courses could take me further. I just need to map the sounds to the letters with audio first. But I hope more is planned.
I'm enjoying the course so far!
I like the way there is so much emphasis on the alphabet at first. This is really helpful for an absolute beginner like me. Except the numbers thing, that's a bit weird. It really should be explained better (and earlier!) in the tips & note.
So I have heard that Duolingo is teaching MSA (modern standard arabic). Which is the mother tongue of nobody, does that mean: no one speaks it, but everyone can? And is it possible to learn this MSA on duolingo and then learn one of the dialects or is that not necessary? And do you have any tips on which dialect to learn, because I actually want to learn the Gulf Arabic, but I don't know if any of the other dialects are more useful. ( BTW a big thanks to all the contributors!!)
Learning MSA will enable you to understand almost everything said or written via public media outlets like news bulletins, newspapers, etc. as they tend to use formal Arabic. MSA is the language all of us learn at school, but that does not mean those without formal education are unable to understand it (almost all my older aunts and uncles did not go to school but they understand MSA very well). While it can be difficult at times for us Arabs to understand each other’s dialect, we can, and do, communicate effectively with no problems at all. The most difficult dialect for me is Moroccan, yet I’ve never had any problem communicating with any Moroccan I met so far because we automatically shift to a simpler version of Arabic using semi-MSA lexical items that can be understood by either party with no difficulty. It is just that in such conversations we don’t pay much attention to grammatical structures/replace some lexical items with the spoken variety like (هذه (formal Ar.) = هذي (colloquial)) and so on. It is like we consciously simplify our dialect. Thus, I think it is better to learn MSA first as it will be really useful everywhere you go in the Arab world. Later, you can chose any dialect you like.
Educated Arabs everywhere will understand MSA, and most of them will be able to speak it. Simple folks like taxi drivers or falafel vendors may have trouble understanding you sometimes and will probably not be able to speak it.
It also depends on the country. MSA is probably more similar to Syrian and Egyptian dialects. Gulf is bit less similar and Moroccan is almost completely different language.
There are two main groups of Arabic: The Middle Eastern Arabic and the Northafrican Arabic (Derija spoken in Morocco, Algeria Tunisia and Mauretania). The difference between those two groups is so large that people don't understand each other at all. After a certain period of exposure they will however be able to understand. It is comparable to the difference between Northern German and Swiss German.
Great and ممتاز, I was looking forward to it! Congratulations and good job to the contributors. عملٌ جيدٌ، مرحبا! ☺♥
I trust it is now time to begin Persian (aka Farsi) course. I urge anyone with enough knowledge from Persian and English to participate. Specially any linguist with enough experience on teaching Persian to non-Persian speakers. Please fill up the the contribution form.
Very excited about the course, I've finished it already! But I was a bit disappointed as the course mainly teaches the alphabet and just very basic vocabulary. Other courses, like Hebrew for example, didn't teach the letters one by one either, it directly started with short sentences, which I wish would Arabic do as well. Also there are some mistakes in the Arabic course, unfortunately. I hope the course will get upgraded soon and the mistakes will be corrected and maybe some more lessons will be added.
It's great that this course is finally available. I've been waiting a while for it. It's a little annoying that it was almost done, then scrapped completely, and redone in the course of about two months. What happened there?
Anyway, there is WAY too much focus on the writing system. It's really not that difficult. I'd rather see more focus on developing vocabulary. Reading and pronunciation ability could come with practice. All the stuff about the alphabet should be in the first sections on the alphabet, and not in 80% of subsequent lessons as well. I've already gotten almost half way through the second section and I feel like I have barely learned any vocabulary and almost no grammar.
I have to disagree with you in reference to the focus on the alphabet. I know that I want all the practice with the alphabet that the course is giving. Students can always test out of the alphabet if they already know it, or skip ahead to the next lessons after doing just a few exercises.
The first four lesson circles are solely about the letters. In Duolingo Hebrew, people complain about the alphabet NOT being taught. It would have been great if they had taught it the way the Arabic alphabet is being taught.
The course is in BETA and does have some kinks that have to be worked out, as all courses in BETA do. But, I am very happy with the program so far, as I continue to learn the alphabet, and am eagerly looking forward to seeing how the rest of the Arabic class has been developed.
You can't test out of the alphabet exercises; as far as I can tell, they are there the whole way down the course. It's obviously a very complicated script, and there's a lot to teach, but the whole "one or two entire lessons out of this unit is going to be nothing but transcribing nonce words into arabizi" thing is tiring.
The fact that people have waited a while for the Arabic course may be colouring their judgement - enthasiam is great, but the course itself is still very skeletal, and the early stages are repetitive and highly idosyncratic in their introduction of concepts (Descriptions,for instance). I'm grateful it's here, but I'd say it's very alpha/beta. If you compare some of the Romance language courses - which are very well fleshed-out - you'll see what I mean.
If I can give a little feedback? I think there's waaaaaaaaaaaay too much of the "match the pairs" exercises vs. actual language content. I know that introducing a new alphabet you need to learn the letters and learn them well, but even at the upper levels of a module it's 80/20 of pair-match lessons.
And not for nothing, but it's impossible to get a pair-match wrong. (You can get any pair wrong, but you can't clear the lesson until you've matched them all successfully.) So it's a lot of points you can earn in a way that doesn't seem exactly sporting.
Still: thank you to Duolingo and everyone who worked on this course.
It has already been mentioned that the Arabic course has too many 'match the pairs' exercises. Usually I like this kind of exercise. But matching the same 5 pairs 4 or 5 times in sequence is really a waste of time. Esp. as it is matching between Arabic script and Arabizi, not even building vocabulary.
I decided to take Arabic for English speakers. There is a portion of the course with an Arabic word (with audio link next to it.) and a series of English words to drag into the translation line. Makes total sense but even on my HUGE iPad the Arabic writing is so minuscule I can barely make out any of the characters. Please make the font large enough for new learners to view it or allow me to zoom in. Also to leave this feedback was ridiculously complicated. There should be an option to report from the app that you cannot clearly see or hear the content presented. I also have a screenshot that I could post, but I cannot easily add it here.
Really enjoying the arabic course can't wait to see more. I just wish the transliteration stopped after a certain point, maybe after getting to level 1 on a skill or after the first section of a tree as while it is helpful to learn the alphabet its really annoying once you know the alphabet and transliteration varies so much depending on where your using it so its not hugely helpful.
Thank you so much for having Arabic! I love that you start out with teaching the alphabet nice and slowly, one or two sounds at a time. PROBLEM; Please make the Arabic BIGGER in the “tap the pairs” exercise. I’d love the English to be bigger too, but that I can handle. But I’m having a really hard time seeing the Arabic letters. Thanks!
The course is very nice, I am very happy that you made it. But since you have it in Beta, I assume you'd be happy to get some criticism? xD
I tried it and found a slight problem: the pronunciation. I propose you have it pronounced by actual humans since the AI is very off. For example "rosa" is pronounced "rosan" and "bob" as "pop" lol
Yes, that is a problem that I hope can be corrected soon. The problem with having voice actors voice the words and sentences is that the speech cannot be slowed down for "turtle speed". It is also expensive. Hebrew used human voices. And, of course, you have people complaining there that the speech is too fast and can't be slowed down.
Matching Arabic script with the equivalent in Latin script is a bore for me because I know the alphabet and sounds. I wanted to brush up on vocabulary (maybe grammar), but I don't have the patience for matching Arabic sounds with Latin equivalents. Likewise, in order to distinguish ذ and ث, or ه and ح, I wish you would use the international phonetic alphabet instead of dh/th h/H.
In two sentences you tried to introduce the case endings damma fatha and kasra and you got it wrong.
So far, I'm rather disappointed.
For people like me who have not studied linguistics, the IPA means nothing, and learning it would be just as difficult as learning another foreign alphabet. We would also have to learn it before we could start studying Arabic. Since we already know the sounds of d, h, and th, it is not a big jump to use dh for dhal or H for Haa. It's more intuitive.
Most dictionaries published outside the US (and Wiktionary) use IPA for pronunciation, so I definitely think it's worth knowing, even for non-linguists. Personally, I find using capital letters to represent different sounds annoying, because my brain has linked that they're the same letter. Plus, I think that generally Arabizi uses 7 for ح, so it's not exactly clear why they didn't do that since they were already using 2 and 3. Personally, I'd much prefer using the Hans Wehr transliteration, but I know that this course is not exactly supposed to be geared towards academics.
I’d love a more structured lesson. For example introducing colours a bit earlier as a separate course and then having a course with clothes where I can use my new skills in colours together with the clothes. When some clothes together with some colours are introduced they are harder to remember in the long run. Despite a ten days strike of five lessons, I still can say one word really that I know now that I did not know before. The courses should build on each other, building a grammatical word bank that I can use better and better. My knowledge so far is not better than knowing most of the letters. And how to use the letters to write for example names. Hence, not really Arabic words, but Arabic writing.
I am excited to be learning Arabic, from scratch.
BETA: I assume that "beta" means you are seeking feedback so you can fix any issues. But where do we leave that feedback? I think comments in the forum might get lost, because there are so many, most of which are not feedback. Where can I send my suggestions and have someone from Duolingo read them? Thanks.
I read a lot of comments about the course being too easy. For someone who doesn't know the alphabet I'd say it's a very good start ! I have tried several methods and apps and I just could not remember anything and did not feel like I was really learning. After just a few lessons of this courses now I am able to see that I'm making progress so as a complete beginner I want to say thank you very much ! We were really waiting for this course ;-) I hope the ones that are more advanced can get more from the course in the future or ... maybe also try to learn differently ? After all Duolingo is not designed for advanced learners, and there is only a certain level this method can make you reach ;-)
I love it that i can finally learn arabic. After three days and ten courses I’m really getting into the alphabet. The struggle is of course the new characters called 3 & 2, that I try so hard to hear the difference in between. The 3 seems to be extending the vowel sound if it’s after a vowel. But the 2 is quite hard to hear at all.
So I knew some few Arabic words before. But what I’ve learned so far is still the Arabic letters and not new words. I think it is because so far I can guess the correct arabic written word that uses similar letters as the English one. And the focus is still after ten courses quite a lot on writing and pronunciation. My fear is that my vocabulary won’t be that large. Somewhat similar to how I know French. I can read it and perhaps write the words I hear, but my biggest struggle is making sense of the language as a whole. Normally I learn a language by hearing it. I listen a lot to music sung in Arabic to maybe pick up some words. Some seems to be used more often than others. For example “enta” is used a lot. Too bad, many of the Arabic lessons are about learning the writing and speaking of the language. So when I hear a sound, I know how it’s written. Very good for knowing the structure of the letters and how they change in a word. But seems I don’t really recall any new Arabic words from my lessons so far, but rather the letters I just hope for more courses added soon with lots of vocabulary. Names of people and countries spell somewhat the same and sound the same, so those “glossarys” are basically just an extended course in learning letters. I’m so eager to get lots of translating sentences and words. Like words with similar sounding or spelling, but with different meaning. Right now I basically know about the “sound” of Arabic. I couldn’t put out a dialogue in the language just based on proununciations. Thanks for finally putting out Arabic!
The hamza (ء) is a glottal stop. It means that you're completely closing off your vocal cords so that no air gets through. It occurs in English in words like "uh oh" and "uh uh (as in no)". ʿAyn (ع) is a pharyngeal consonant. This is a type of sound that doesn't occur in English; you make it by constricting your throat, but still making sound. The "emphatic" consonants (ص, ض, ط, ظ) are also pharyngeals; you make them by constricting your throat while you're saying the corresponding sound (s, d, t, and dh, respectively).
As a native, I really don't recommend this course. These characters "3 and 2" are used between Arabic teenagers, just like how western teenagers use to write "h3ll0" or "1 l0v3 y0u" for example. Therefore it is not a real c. And the words like "kabuu" or "dhadh" are not real Arabic words and nobody uses them in Arabic. I assume that this course is not mad by professional linguistic. I'm really disappointed by this course.
I bought a college text book that is teaching the alphabet similarly to how it is being taught here. There are 10 chapters in the book. Each chapter teaches a few letters or vowel markings and some vocabulary words that can be spelled with those letters. They also do countries and easy phrases like "hello, my name is, I'm from...." etc. After doing this class for about two weeks, I understand why the writers of this course are spreading out the teaching of the alphabet throughout the lessons. It would be too boring to just learn the names of the letters and their sounds, like we did in the first three lessons, all the way through 28 letters plus around 11 vowels and other symbols. So, it seems that this is about like a semester's class at a university that uses the book that I bought.
I'll have to wait until I finish this class to be able to give an in-depth and accurate review of the whole class, though. I know that there are students here who are more advanced than others, but the class has to accommodate the beginning students or they will be lost.
More advanced students can just do Level 1 of each lesson then go on to the next lesson, which is more than we could do if we were enrolled in a college Arabic 101 class or a high school beginning language class, where we'd be stuck in the class and have to listen to all the things we already knew, being taught. We also can't tell college instructors and high school teachers how they should teach their language classes. Sitting in a class and listening to things we've already been taught at sometime in the past won't hurt us, it will just reinforce what we've already been taught and make us stronger in our language skills. There is always something new to learn when a new teacher teaches us something.
It's been almost 20 years, so my memory's a little faulty, but I'm on the last lesson of the tree and it feels like it's about a third to half of my first semester of college Arabic. Having done it a little more, I do recognize that they are moving through to the "more advanced" letters (like ؤ/ئ and ٱ), and I'm a little softened towards the "still teaching the alphabet throughout the whole tree" thing, but I still find the way that they're doing it offputting.
In the Chinese and Japanese trees, each exercise they introduce about 3 or 4 hanzi/kanji, drill a bunch on how they're pronounced, and then have regular sentences using them like in other Duolingo courses. I'm not crazy about learning the pronunciation first devoid of any meaning, but at least having a variety of tasks in each exercise breaks up the monotony. When I do Arabic on here, each time I start an exercise, I wonder if it's going to be a whole exercise of nothing but transliteration, and that's kind of disheartening.
Also, while I've made my peace with the Arabizi transliteration, I do feel like there's a little too much focus in those transliteration exercises on "gotcha" questions, like where there are two options that differ only on whether a vowel is long or a consonant is geminated. It turns the slog into even more of a slog.
A huge Shukran to all the amazing contributors to this course! <3 I am so looking forward to learning this language ever since i was a teen and has some Egyptian friends but all they taught me was stuff like a7a and 5ra haha. Go raibh míle míle maith agaibh as Araibis a chur ar DuoLingo!
They come from a transliteration system called Arabizi that was developed for SMS. "2" refers to the hamza (ء), which is for a glottal stop and doesn't have a corresponding letter in the English, and "3" is for ʿayn (ع), a voiced pharyngeal consonant which is also lacking an English letter. If you look at the letters, you can see that they sort of look like 2 and 3, which is how those numbers came to stand in. Arabizi also uses "7" for ح and "6" for ط, but the course decided to use "H" and "T" for those instead (I don't like using "H" to mean one thing and "h" to mean another, but here we are…)
Thanks for the release of the Arabic course on Duolingo, long overdue. Congrats to the contributors. My initial review, It is a very beginner-level course and appears to be focused mostly on arabic sounds, pronunciations romanized spelling. I can already read and somewhat write in Arabic so this is too basic for me for now. I will wait for another 3 years for an intermediate and advance level course. In the meantime, I'll be doing Memrise and others substitute for Arabic.
I've been working through and enjoying the lessons. It's been great so far. Will look forward to even more content in the next release. Great job! One request, would it be possible to increase the font size of the Arabic text?? Except for the big vocab tiles, whenever the Arabic text is written its almost indiscernible without zooming in the web page. Sadly on the [iPhone] app it's not possible to zoom in on the text.
Thanks guys! I do have some feedback though. I find the transliterating not that useful as its simple to memorize the alphabet and after that is done there is no need to continue with the many exercises that have matching words to their transliteration. Instead I would find it much more useful to teach us real vocabulary (some of the words I noticed were completely made up) and then have us match it to its name in English. For example instead of لوز = lawz you could teach that لوز = Almond because after the first few lessons its more useful to be able to learn new vocabulary.
I'm really enjoying the new Arabic course - thank you very much! Is it just me, but it seems to jump from learning the sounds in relation to the arabic alphabet to having to translate phrases in English, without learning the words in English. This makes it really tricky. Am I missing something or is this a problem others have found?
Yes, this was exacly the case for me. The focus is on sounds and letters and then all the sudden I’m supposed to translate quite complicated phrases. I would really appriceate lessons with basic words. Many times it is enough to only know the letters when choosing the correct phrase, because for example only one of the translations is about “Carrie” Also at the eighteenth lesson, I’ve still not been asked to write anything in Arabic yet. As you say. Letters and sounds, then a large jump towards sentences. There and then I might know some about what to do, but I’m not really getting the glossarys like a word bank of verbs and nouns that I can use to produce somewhat new sentences of my own. So beginning with one word at a time, slowly leading words that makes sense in a combination would be appriceated. At the moment they’re still teaching pronunciation when we at the same time are supposed to understand sentences with a quite complicated syntax. More lessons with easy words or phrases is needed, much like what is used as side notes when starting a lessons.
I second this. I don't know if systematic testing with actual learners is performed while developing a new course. I think this would be very helpful. The volunteers put a lot of effort into creating such a course - not Duolingo!!! But Duolingo should provide all the tools to make sure that the amazing work of the volunteers creates the value everyone is looking for. From the posting we know that the Arabic course was developed outside the usual Incubator framework. Obviously, the creators had problems making progress using the incubator - and this Arabic course has been in the making for years, and the release had been announced multiple times over the past 3 or so year, which shows that there were significant problems to overcome.
I don't know if they had problems "making progress with the incubator" because I haven't read anything about that, but I did read in the thread about the Arabic course being developed, that the developers stopped work on the Arabic for English speakers course to work on an English for Arabic speakers class. I believe this course was probably put out before it was completely finished because people have been waiting for it for years after it was promised and that the creators wanted to give us something to start on while still working on finishing it.
I've been waiting for Arabic for a long time and I'm glad to see it finally being offered.
I (native english speaker) have only started the first three intro courses that introduce the alphabet and I think the pace is too quick. For example: the "b", "k", and "j" sounds are all introduced in their "connected" forms (for lack of a better term) as opposed to all on their own in the second course. The concept of letters that morph based on placement within a word is pretty mind-blowing in-and-of-itself; moving right onto connectedness and placement is a big step after only being able to recognize a few letters on their own.
I want this course to succeed and I'm happy it's finally in Beta, I just wanted to point out some opportunities for improvement for the full release.
First of all, this course is fantastic. I've really enjoyed learning thus far and am surprised at how intuitive it has been at teaching Arabic script.
If I could offer one point of feedback it is that the script, with so many finite points and curves, is just too small to read. I have 20/20 vision and I still struggle to read it on my phone. Perhaps that is something to consider.
To all responsible for this course - thank you so much for your work, it is a really well done job, 100%, and the sentences are so... kind :D I mean this is really something important, for example there is one course on Duolingo that is quite poorly done and even though it's a language that I always wanted to learn, I gave it up because I found the sentences quite boring and sometimes maybe even slightly narrow-minded. And on the other hand, I never planned staying on Norwegian course, but the sentences there were so clever and funny, and the grammar was so well explained that I 'accidentally' ended up pretty much able to hold a conversation in this language xD And same with Arabic - I initially came just to check it out, but I'm totally staying. Again - many thanks for your hard work <3 Much appreciation.
That's a thing in MSA; The "t" part is what the tāʾ marbūṭa (ة/ـة) becomes when it's not the end of the word, "u" is the nominative case marker, and "n" means it's indefinite. AFAIK the dialects don't have either case markings or nunation.
I want to second everyone who commented on the font size and its inconsistency. The alphabet sections are fine. However, the fonts in the word sections are extremely small and hard to read. This can be quite discouraging to the point of making the language inaccessible, because, as we all know, the Arabic script is already very intricate (perhaps more so than Japanese or Chinese)! At the beginner levels, the writing should make as much use as the screen as possible. The words need to be big and clear, as it would help with visualisation and memory retention! Please make this a priority!
Wow, that was sooner than I expected! Hats off to the contributors!
The features that make Arabic hard that a mentioned in that post are all ones that I've already encountered and made my peace with in my offline course, so I'm actually feeling kind of reassured by that post. I'll definitely give the course a try, though I'm still debating whether I should do so now or wait a bit (I didn't want to add any new courses for a while, but it's oh so tempting).
So thankful for the Arabic. A couple of comments for improvement: The voice is beautiful and clear, but could pronunciation be louder? I need to turn up volume all the way, which makes the Duolingo sounds very loud. Also, could there be a slight pause before pronouncing the names of the letters, so that the learner has a chance to guess first?
Why are there numbers mixed into the words? (3uu3a)
Please use larger writing when we need to translate phrases to English. The arab letters are tiny and quite hard to read.
The Alphabet is taught very well (many people say those are not actual words but I don't care. It's great to have short 2-3 letter words to pronounce and see how the letters are used. Up to this point I don't understand anything, so I don't care if it's an actual word or not. Also some words are actually real words and you see them again in next lessons. This was really nice.)
The thing I miss in the course: phonetics of the new actual words. a lot of lessons are spend on learning the alphabet (great for complete beginners such as myself) with letters ans phonetic excersises but as soon as the new actual words come in no phonetics are given, only sounds and tiny letters (where the .... underscore sometimes obscures the tiny sign for the 'i'. Words are easier to remember when also matched with written phonetics as well as the sound. It is actually something that is also missing in the chinese course. Pinyin whit the separate characters for those that want to connect the sound to the written phonetics to really understand what is going on.
I am having fun with the Arabic course. I'm not as critical of the way the alphabet is taught (I'm in the "oh, dear, not the Duolingo Hebrew course" camp when it comes to the way it teaches that), but I agree it could be reorganized so it doesn't feel like every lesson teaches random syllables. I would go the route of Korean or the Japanese kana. (And yes, I would appreciate the bigger font.)
Hoping to see more from the Arabic team!
Thank you so much Nada.Sh, Amgad, GunnyTunes, captainmoha, Nora_AR and Duo! I started to learn Arabic 11 days ago, and today I was truly amazed how fast I learn with your course. It feels so good to be able to read Arabic, and understand some basic sentences already. I can't wait to see how far I can get with this course! Soon I can talk arabic with my girlfriend's family! شُكْراً!
Is there already a Tinycards stack for the official Arabic from English course? I couldn't find it. But maybe I just didn't see it among the zillion of Arabic Tinycards stacks, which are available. Duolingo used to show the stacks for the official courses. Doesn't seem to do this anymore. :-(
Feedback: 1. the speaker icon often covers the dash for the "i"-sound 2. too many match the pairs. 6 times in a row matching the same pair is boring and not useful 3. don't match sound-script for so long. I have 12 crowns and don't know a words so far 4. larger arabic font 5. don't use the numbers, replace 3 by H and 2 by "dash" - and أ by "dash followed by which ever vowel used" like -a because 2 also does not specify which vowel should be "half suppressed"
It's great to see the Arabic course is finally live in Beta. I salute all the contributors and the staff memebers. However, there are lots of pronunciation flaws that should be taking care of. Hopefully the Duolingo community including me would help the great contributors to make this course better.
One big suggestion. Please, make the Arabic letters at least double of the current size. It is way too small to read long sentences when doing dualingo on a phone. Right now arabic letters are half the size in height of latin alphabet. I prefer to ignore the app, and study from a website where I can zoom in 150%. Another way to make the phone app work is by increasing the font size of the entire phone by 2-3x, but this is just an overkill since you dont need this for the rest of the phone.
Thank you for finally adding Arabic! I have tried to learn it for many years now, and though I can speak it and understand it very well, I could not read or write. In the past week alone, I have learnt more of the Arabic alphabet through Duolingo than any of my family members who are all very fluent in Arabic. Thankyou.
So Duo just released Arabic after months and months of preparation and hatching. Then everyone comes to the comment section to ask for other languages. Huh? What gives? Interesting times we are in for sure. Im sure there is some way for all these people to learn that language they want. You might just to pay for it lol. Thanks Duo for Arabic and the other 30 or so languages you already offer. Also Arabic depending what source you look at is the 5th/6th most spoken language in the world spoken in 22 different countries on 2 different continents ………..so come on guys.
I've been having a great time with the Arabic course! :-) and I have a few suggestions:
1 Please provide more opportunities to hear and read the actual words/vocabulary along with their English translations. All the sound-matching exercises use collections of letters/phonemes that, if they are words in Arabic, aren't paired with their English translations. So I might get good at matching the Arabic script with the transliteration, but then when there's actual vocabulary I feel like I've been pushed into the deep end (of a swimming pool).
I'd love to learn the transliterations for the actual Arabic words. But more importantly please create exercises that have multiple Arabic words and their English translations so we can match the words to the meaning and practice listening to them. In particular if there are words that look very similar it would be helpful to have them in the same exercise so we can learn to distinguish between them. For example جَديد and جَيد.
2 Please present new words in isolation with the opportunity to listen to them as many times as we need before including them in a sentence. Having the new word in orange makes it harder to read the script, which really needs to be bigger (in general). If the same care were given to vocabulary as to the collections of transliterated phonemes, it would become much easier to recognize and internalize the meanings of the words.
3 Provide the option to slow the recording down. That's very helpful in the "type what you hear" exercises; I'd love to see (hear?) it in the exercises where you're trying to translate a sentence or learn a new word. I think it could also help with learning new phonemes and distinguishing between phonemes that are interchangeable in English. For example I'm not really hearing the difference between هَ and حَ.
4 When selecting an entire sentence in Arabic it would be extremely helpful to hear whichever sentence we select.
5 I absolutely love being able to type in Arabic when I'm using Duolingo on the computer! (free keyboard: http://www.arabic-keyboard.org/ ) However, there have been times when I've left out consonants and it's told me I have a typo but ultimately accepted the answer. I think it would be more helpful to have to try again, to make sure I learn the correct spelling.
6 I look forward to getting to practice saying the new words I'm learning and getting feedback on my pronunciation. I'm about halfway through the course so I don't know if it's introduced later. If it's not, then I encourage you to add it. :-)
Again overall I'm loving the course. As someone who's brand new to Arabic, I like the gradual approach to introducing the alphabet and starting with phonemes that are familiar to English speakers, then using those phonemes in familiar names, then beginning to learn vocabulary. The matching exercises allow us to make mistakes but still have the satisfaction of ultimately getting it right and maintaining a streak, which is very encouraging. I look forward to continuing with the course and seeing it expand as you develop it beyond the beta. :-)
BEEN LEARNING ARABIC ON DUO FOR A FEW WEEKS NOW. LOVING IT. SUGGESTION: MAKE THE ARABIC TEXT BIGGER FOR NEW LEARNERS. PRETEND WERE IN KINDERGARTEN. IT IS A NEW ALPHABET TO US AFTER ALL. I HAVE TO HAVE MY BROWSER AT 150% TO READ IT CLEARLY. THANKS AGAIN FOR THIS AWESOME LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
You could create an Urdu course more or less easily by basing it on the existing Hindi course, rewriting it in the Arabic alphabet and changing the vocabulary that differs (plus adding lessons for Arabic script, which can be based on the Arabic course ones).
But all the grammar would be more or less the same between Hindi and Urdu.
100% this. The font size when learning the alphabet was ok, but when actual words are introduced it is so tiny on my iphone it is very hard to read as a novice. Also i noticed when a multiple choice is given to select the correct translation, the arabic word you answered is not pronounced by the app. This is crucial feedback i need at this point. I paused my learning for now until the font size gets fixed. Still very nice to see this addition to duolingo
Yes pleaaaaase!!! While yes, the serious learner will need to get used to how tiny arabic seems compared to roman font, when you're first learning you shouldn't need to zoom in your browser 150%. Mango languages has a nice big arabic font (though I'm not a fan of the shape of their letters, it's big and easy to see.) It can be done! :)
Yes, please, much larger - and while you're there, please don't ask me to 'translate this sentence' if it is only one word, that I can't read because it is so small; I'm completely new to Arabic and this is confusing.
Really enjoying the course though, so thanks to everyone involved.
On Android I did "Settings->Display (Wallpaper, Sleep, Font Size) -> Advanced -> Font Size". Set it to "Largest". Now Latin and alike fonts look a bit too big, but at least I can see diacritics to recognize "du"...
P.S. Size is a problem for Duolingo... For Hindi some of the questions with "pick one of the 4" have letters that do not fit into the place. Most of the Ads are cut on the sides too: I like to see an ad teasing me to by something on "AZON", but my favorite is "limited checking account" ;)
While it is true that one can manually increase the font size on your phone or compute, this is an unnecessary nuisance. So far, the Arabic script takes up only a small space inside the buttons. (I'm using Chrome on a desktop computer.) The text inside the buttons could easily be enlarged, and the buttons could be made bigger if that becomes necessary. Instead, I have to Ctrl-Plus the whole browser window, and that means I need to scroll down just to get to the Check button. A minor annoyance, but completely unnecessary.
I've finished alphabet courses and so far I love it! This is a language I've been waiting for so long to learn. I joined Arabic course at the Islamic school I went to, but they stopped. Thank you so much Duolingo and all the contributors for making it possible for me and for everyone the learn this language :)
Thanks for your hard work :) I have been hoping to learn arabic for several years now. Never learned Moroccan as a child, I hope that this will make it easier to learn that dialect too ^^(I expect this not to be Moroccan)
What dialect is this by the way? Modern standard arabic or? Edit: It was MSA :)
I finished the tree. I don't want to be complaining, but.... This Arabic course is on a very low level. Too much focus on scripture, too little on vocabulary and grammar. Too many American names and places, too little Arabic names and places, some cultural mistakes even... I think this course needs some repolishing and to be made more 'Arabic'. However great work on trying to integrate the Arabic Scripture. There are very few bugs, which is not a small accomplishment.
I'm brand new to Arabic so I like a more gradual approach to learning the alphabet and still need the transliteration. However I agree that it would be more useful to at least have it be transliterating actual words and then (or at the same time) learning their meaning. And/or having separate alphabet and vocab lessons side by side so I could take the alphabet lesson but someone who already knows the alphabet could skip it.
I'm very happy to see this and start the Arabic course! Unfortunately I did not get my email notification. The placement test was way too hard since I learnt a slightly different phonetic spelling and not a lot of vocabulary before. However I'm very relieved to have learnt the arabic letters beforehand. I'd recommend everybody trying to learn Arabic to first use an app only dedicated to the letters and how to write them and then come back to Duo.
Thank you Duolingo staff and contributors for adding Arabic. I have tried to learn Arabic in the past but had difficulty with the script and pronunciation. So far, I have not had any problems with learning Arabic on Duolingo. It would be nice if the Arabic tree and content expands in the future.
i find it very hard to read the text in Arabic because the text is WAY too small for me to see. during the translating segments, the Arabic text is too small to read, and it messes up my lesson. i literally have a magnifying glass with me and my eyesight is perfectly fine.
I just started the Arabic course, and I love it so much! I instantly fell in love with Arabic, and while I still love Spanish and Mandarin, I think Arabic will quickly become my favorite language. Thank-you all for your hard work in making this accessible for us and please keep it up! You guys are awesome :)
Thanks for releasing the first phase to a great course. My initial thoughts with the task 'Match the pairs' is that the Arabic and English should be split into two columns. User case would be that I could look to the left column and read the Arabic options first before seeing any english phrases so it gives me a chance to work out each Arabic phrases in my head before seeing english phrases in the right column. Vice versa for if I want to read the english before the Arabic to visualise the Arabic in my head for each option before looking at the Arabic phrases.
It is a great course so far! :)
Thanks, It needs a lot of improvement, especially the way vowels are pronounced (Harakat). Another thing is the vowel at the end of the word which entirely counts on its position in the sentence, although this needs a separate course (Nahw) the pronunciation of them inside the stored sentence in Duolingo is annoying which should be pronounced correctly as in many cases it changes the meaning. Finally, even Google is weak at Arabic so you need people who have really studied standard Arabic and are good at it, not any native speaker can contribute to this course unless otherwise proven.
Just a quick question. I am a big fan of your platform, but... If you are not acquainted with the Arab alphabet and spelling, is there any way you can follow the course? There is no introduction to that on your platform, is there? The same goes for Hebrew and other language courses you offer. Thanks!
The Arabic program does spend a lot of time teaching the alphabet and vowels, unlike the Hebrew program which does not use a voweled script and expects the students to learn the alphabet by presenting pronounced short words without first having taught the letters and their sounds.
Hi Sabine, please don't take too much offence, Garsiepeg is not speaking on behalf of Duolingo or the Arabic course team, they are just a forum user with apparently a chip on their shoulder.
With regards to your question, as far as I can see, for at least the first part of the course, 50% of it is designed to drill you to become familiar with the Arabic writing system, with no previous knowledge required or expected. This pattern seems to carry on well into the course introducing new elements and letters slowly, and while there is no explicit explanation given yet in the form of tips and hints, I think that it is presented in quite a nice and gentle learning slope.
As with any language that doesn't use the latin alphabet, there is an added challenge of training yourself to be able to read a set of unfamiliar shapes, but in my experience I have found that once you become familiar with a writing system, it is no more or less difficult to understand as the one you already know.
So ,given the fact that the Duolingo arabic course spends a lot of time forcing you to dissect the alphabet, you should be quite alright even with no previous knowledge - however, you might find it easier if you research a bit yourself online, there are a million different resources out there to help you get started. In future, the Arabic course on Duolingo is bound to have more explicit instruction and information making it more self contained, but for now it is in the very beginning stages and is quite bare-bones, so it doesn't hurt to look elsewhere for help and clarification.
Notice, all of these comments are by users like yourself, not by representatives of Duolingo. Even the course itself does not come from Duolingo, but was done by volunteers. Therefore, we shouldn't blame Duolingo for comments from other users, nor should we praise them for work they didn't do.
The course is using Arabizi, which is a standard way of writing Arabic on a keyboard with Latin characters. Some Arabic characters don't have and Latin (English) equivalent and are therefore represented by numbers. There are other (more standardized) forms to transliterate Arabic, but Arabizi is doing the job, even so people would never double the vowels to differentiate long from short vowels. However, this is important when learning Arabic.
Maybe the contributors could add the info about Arabizi to the Tips and Notes of the first lesson?
I was already a bit annoyed because there is so much transliteration in the lessons and it didn't make much sense to me to learn this. Now with your explanation that Arabizi is a standard way of writing Arabic with Latin characters, it makes a lot more sense. Thanks for telling us.
I really enjoy the phrases and I feel like im really learning a lot but I don't like the generic what sound is this - Ib, ub etc. questions.
I feel like at that point in the tree, you should be able to read arabic fine enough that questions like that feel unnecessary. If only there was an option of just phrases.
I just completed lesson Descriptions 3, level 1. And I really struggle with the vocabulary. For learning the characters we have endless 'match the pairs; exercises, and for the real vocabulary we are thrown in at the deep end with the new vocabulary embedded in long and complex sentences like 'Sam is a good and fast translator'. It would be nice to have more varied exercises to practice the new vocabulary, esp. as there is not yet a Tinycards stack for this course.
i know alittle arabic from befor .now i use the arabic cours here.its alittle confusing .grammar is so important in Arabic .but u cant find it :D other thing is Arabic is a little different in Arabic countrys for example i learned Arabic in Lebanese accent .now when i use ur app i had small problems .i think when a language has different accent in different countrys its good to mention it
I'm enjoying it so far. I hope the vocabulary becomes more difficult. I would also love to see an explanation of the accents (or actually vowels for arabic). Fatha, domma, kasri, hamza, and dagger alif are very important in the understanding of arabic. Though they are never actually written in mainstream media or subtitles and primarily reserved for the Quran, it's important to understand their meaning.
Yeah that's something I've been pretty critical about with Duolingo. It's almost as if you should take a pre-lesson on the alphabet for each language before taking the actual language. Arabic doesn't have that many more characters than English but it's still an alphabet that's basically scripture and not seen all the time like latin and germanic based alphabets.
There are four lessons that are labeled Alphabet 1, 2, 3, and 4, but the teaching of the alphabet does not stop there, it continues through other lessons until the whole alphabet is taught. Words are never introduced until the letters that spell the words have been taught and words are introduced they same way they are now being introduced in other Duolingo languages. A phrase or a short sentence is given and you click on the words to get the definition.
I am very excited to be learning Arabic. Thanks for including it.
I do have one small suggestion. For the exercises where we have to give the Arabic equivalent, I am using the keyboard, rather than the word bank (because this helps me learn how to spell and also helps me learn where the Arabic characters are on my keyboard). But it is slightly inconvenient to keep switching keyboard languages (in MS Windows), when one exercise is English-to-Arabic, and the very next one is Arabic-to-English, etc. It would be nicer if you could group all the English-to-Arabic translations together instead of alternating. That way, I would need to change keyboard language only once. Just a small suggestion, but I would appreciate it.
I've been loving this course so far! Arabic is a language I've wanted to learn for years. Just one thing: When selecting the "sound-abjad" pairs for exercises, the text is REALLY small. Makes it very difficult to make out certain diacritics, particularly when stacked (such as on top of an alif). It might be good to have a text size option? :)
I really hope this course grows and continues to expand.. Unlike a lot of languages with non-latin alphabets, i'm finding it surprisingly accessible so far. However, if it doesn't grow, it wouldn't be difficult to complete the course, and you would have only scratched the surface of the language! The Arabic script alone is incredibly useful to learn and would be a stepping stone to learning Persian and Urdu as well!
I'm enjoying this course, I've been learning arabic for over a year now and this is near perfect. There ar a few faults, and I've reported them, for example when you have sentences like هذا كلب كبير you could either write this is a big dog or this dog is big, both options are correct, however Duolingo only recognises one of these answers are correct - usually 'this is a big dog', so one would assume that the answer would be similar when faced with a sentence like هذا مطبخ واسع, however for this particular sentence duolingo only sees 'this kitchen is spacious' as a correct answer. So in short, a slightly wider range of answers need to be accepted for certain sentences in this course.
There is a problem with one of the lessons where the ‘sa’ character س does not display correctly in the matching exercises - it is displayed as a 3. I have reported this - it is occurring in alphabet 4 and description 1. Thank you for addressing this. I am using an iPhone but this also occurs on pc.
I actually did not like the Arabic course. in my opinion (as an arabic speaker) it did not seem like the best way to teach Arabic. Arabic sounds are incredibly different from other languages and the alphabet should be the first thing taught. I got this for my younger cousin and stopped because it seemed to be teaching reading before letters.
Thank you for this opportunity to learn Arabic. Is this Standard Arabic?
Also I have a question about pronunciation:
the character for "aa" when pared with the d or w sound like daad or waa, aa sounds like ehhh and ahhh together when pared with the r or z sound like zaar or raa, aa seems to change to sound more like awww.
Is that correct or am I hearing it wrong?
Also I am hoping maybe eventually for a writing portion for mobile and touch screens where we can practice writing the characters? It is such a beautiful alphabet!
I would like to learn the Moroccan dialect, which is my main interest. Most of the words I remember from Moroncans talking seem quite different from MSA, however. Maybe someone around here to give recommandation for useful online resources for the Morrocan dialect. So far I continue with MSA, which is a good start -- especially with the alphabet...
Well done on adding Arabic. Just a couple of things: I find that the Arabic text in some of the exercises is tiny, even with the screen zoomed. I find reasonably-sized English text, but the Arabic text is tiny and I am having to guess at what I think is there. Also, I am confused by the use of numerals, such as 2 and 3 in the transliterations.
It's explained in the tips & notes, but unfortunately Arabic isn't one of the languages where they're enabled on mobile (for me at least—with all the A/B tests you never know). 2 is the hamzah, or glottal stop (like in English "uh oh"), and 3 is ʿayn, which depending on who you ask is a voiced pharyngeal fricative or a pharyngealized glottal stop. It's not a sound that occurs in English; you're constricting your throat with the very base of your tongue.
First of all many thanks to the Duolingo team for the new Arabic course! One comment: the size of the script in the "tap pairs" exercises is so small that it makes it really difficult to read for a beginner. Accents in particular are hardly detectable. Could something be done to increase the size? Thanks
Please make the tree for Arabic larger. I didn’t wait for years to only have 3 language sections and one writing system section. Don’t let this be another repeat of the Hindi tree. Make it at least like the Hebrew or Norwegian tree. This app has so much potential. DO NOT WASTE IT. Arabic is crucial to the modern world
FWIW, the Arabic team does call this their "first release" in their course update in the Incubator: "Our first release is going to cover the foundational skills of Arabic. In this material, we'll be teaching writing, reading and pronunciation; basic vocabulary; and enough grammar to have simple conversations."
Here's hoping their additional release(s) go as planned!
I think this is something that's missing from the course indeed. It would be handy to see in the first lessons how each letter can be written in 3 different ways. Perhaps Duolingo is just focusing on speaking and recognition rather than writing. You can try look on YouTube for tutorials on how to write the script though! :D
You are mistaken in this. The scripture is the easiest part. The rich variety of vocabulary, the tremendous difference between written formal Arabic, and the various forms of spoken Arabic and dialects prove a bigger challenge. Except you live in one Arabic speaking region, which I guess won't be the case for most of us, you will have to deal with at least three, four Arabics at a time. I have translated between Arabs who couldn't understand each other:D But it is worth it. Arabic is a very beautiful language. Wonderful for storytelling and poetry, beautiful in its scripture and the art works made from it...
Yay! I am so happy! I’ve been waiting for SUCH A LONG TIME!! Thanks for adding this course
Thank you. I tried to guess by the flag icon. But so far didn't find one for a specific country.
Additional thought: MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) or fusah is used internationally. But when it comes to movies etc. Egyptian Arabic was famously known.
Besides Egypt, Arabic is spoken by other neighboring populations such as Sudan, Mali, Senegal, Niger, Tunisia, and others more northern and to a lesser degree down through the African continent. Mostly for MSA but also it developed in use locally from traders and adoption through need to read the Quran.
Notably other languages borrowed from Arabic (Ustedes, sheriff, algebra, Gibraltar and more).
Correct. Arabic (and Hebrew) do not have dedicated letters for most vowels. Instead, the vowels are often demarcated by lines or symbols above and below the letters. Therefore, most of the lessons I've seen so far focus on syllables which are a combination of the letter and the "harakat" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_diacritics#harakat ).
What type of Arabic is this? MSA? Egyptian? There are lots of dialects and speakers are often not able to understand each other even if they are both speaking "Arabic." Will more courses be coming out for different dialects?
Also, I hope you will work on Palestinian (Levantine) Arabic <-> Hebrew courses now.
There is a place to report problems were you do the lessons. At the bottom of the screen after you answer a question, you will see a green "toolbar" appear. There you will see the word "Report". Click on that. The developers of the course will look at that. Reporting the problem here on the forum won't help. We're just student's like you and can't do anything about it.
Amazing achievement. We have been waiting for this course for years. I can see many people are demanding Persian & Urdu. I want to take a different route. There aren't many Slavic languages here (only Russian, Ukrainian, Polish & Czech). Can we have Serbian, Croatian & Bulgarian? That will be pretty exciting.
I have seen and heard the word جاكيت together with its plurals جواكت and جاكيتات written and spoken in Cairene clothing stores. It is a recent borrowing from English, to be sure, but if the course is going to include borrowings from Turkish (e.g. شنطة), then commonly-used borrowings from English and other languages should be acceptable. Iraqi Arabic also has the delightful قمصلة with the plural قماصل for a kind of heavy coat.
Persian and Urdu are Indoeuropean languages (Indoiranian branch), closely related to each other and more distantly to European languages like Armenian, Polish or Greek.
Arabic is a Semitic language, related closely to Hebrew.
Because of that, Persian and Urdu are not very similar to Arabic . But they both use Arabic script and borrow a lot of Arabic words, especially religious and legal terms.
So, Arabic for Persian and Urdu is almost like Latin for English. Somewhat useful for beginners or fans of linguistics but don't spend too much time on it unless you actually want to learn it for its own value. Luckily this course is really basic, and mostly teaches the script which is the only thing you need as a base.
For most Europeans Persian is easier than Arabic, once you get over the script.
Having the Arabic course finished is a great step towards incorporating other languages which use the Arabic script such as Persian, Pashto, and Kurdish. I wonder whether Xiao'erjing users will ever number enough on Duo for a course...
I tend to work better when I am focusing on only a few languages at a time, but I look forward to trying the Arabic course in the future!
Aside from Arabic and Persian, Urdu would be the other major language written in the script that's rich with literature. Anyway, a Uyghur course with the Arabic script from English and/or Mandarin might be something to consider in light of certain current political and cultural affairs.
There is too much complaining about this post. I am the only Anglo-American working here. Actually my name is Swedish. Everybody else working here is in the Arab-American immigrant community. They know I love Duolingo and they are happy I am doing it. And they brought me Mjadara Hamra for lunch. It was good. How do you spell Mjadara Hamra in Arabic?
I admit there are many dialects and accents in the Arabic world, but one thing is absolutely certain, the Arabic Alphabet is pronounced identical in every region with the exception of (ج), it is pronounced as J except in Egypt where it is pronounced as hard G as in Game. Now, how do you like learning Spanish for five long years in preparation for your immigration to Brazil, and when you do arrive in Sao Paulo, you realize you have been duped, you can't communicate with the local properly? That is the problem when you learn a language with the wrong accent. Complains means: We are Interested (in learning Arabic), but Fix the pronunciation for mercy sake. Except I totally lost that interest, thank you very much. P.S. Have fun while you are working and work while you are having fun. Take care of yourself, don't work too hard.
As an Arabic native, I'm telling you that this is the most horrible course EVER! many many mistakes and the worst is that almost ALL the words are not real Arabic words!!! The words can't be used in Arabic like "ذذ" or "كبو"! What the hell is this??? And what the hell is "" and how would expect English speakers to pronounce a Facebook-Arabic-teens-secret language? This number mix with Latin alphabet is used between Arab teens! This is not real language? WTH?
As an Arabic native, I'm telling you that this is the most horrible course EVER! many many mistakes and the worst is that almost ALL the words are not real Arabic words!!! The words can't be used in Arabic like "ذذ" or "كبو"! What the hell is this??? And what the hell is "" and how would expect English speakers to pronounce a Facebook-Arabic-teens-coded language? This number mix with Latin alphabet is used between Arab teens! This is not real language? WTH? I do not recommend this course to anyone. This course is not made by professional rather an amateur.
I see those exercises purely to get to know the sounds of the letters. Yes it is annoying that those are not actual words but it helps as a tool to understand and practise the letter/sound combo. I guess the 2/3 thing is really weird, I agree with that it does not help at all. I would prefer some form of lettercombo, I still don't know what to think of any word such as 3uu3a.
I'm LOVING the Arabic so far! But I primarily use Duolingo on the phone ... and the Arabic characters so so tiny that I can't tell some of the vowels apart ... especially when they're above other letters. Is there any way to make the font any larger? I don't usually need glasses .... but this makes me feel like I need to.
Arabic doesn’t use vowels, the Arabic script is an أبجد (Abjad) So you have to use markings to distinguish the vowels with marking called Fatha-a, Damma-u, Kasra-I, Sokoon-o. Here is a video about how to write them in Arabic, Learning Arabic: Vowels Part 2- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ociHhnVuOLs As for the font I have no clue what to do about that.
It would be wonderful to see courses like Persian, Urdu and Pashto. It is especially important since some people are beginning to lose touch with them (myself included) and this would be a wonderful way to stay connected. I'm looking forward to surprising my grandparents with my new skills.
there is a serious 'diglossia problem' with Arabic. There is not only one 'Arabic'. MSA is not the classical, and it differs from levantine Arabic or Gulf Arabic both synthactically, semantically and morphologically. In reality what we call 'Arabic dialects' could be considered separate languages (it's a complicated topic). You cannot expect Duolingo to offer levantine Arabic (the one they speak in Lebanon and Syria) or Egyptian colloquial Arabic.
I've wanted to learn Arabic for a long time but have to admit I'm struggling with the programme. It's hard to match the Arabic sounds to their translation as the translations are not phoetically English. Also when given three Arabic script options, it's nigh on impossible to tell the difference between them as they are so tiny!
Your question implies that there is something either ridiculous or wrong with these sentences.
There are "nonsense" sentences elsewhere on Duolingo, such as the horse who is an architect on the Russian course.
The sentences here, however, make sense and are possible in the real world - two women can be married and a man can wear a skirt.
I just did level 4 of Alphabet 3. This was 13 rounds of mostly 'Match the pairs' of nonsense syllables. Really?
There were a few country and city names in there, which I used to practice typing, and this part I enjoyed.
But a zillion of 'Match the pairs' task is just too much and doesn't make any sense. And I am someone who usually wants to have lots of repetitions, as my memory needs them to burn in new vocabulary. Unfortunately, in later skills, where more vocabulary is introduced, the exercises jump quickly into long sentences, instead of practicing individual vocabulary items in isolation or short phrases.
Anyway, this was the most ridiculous lesson ever!
I just tried the Arabic course. And as a native speaker, I found the following points to be addressed.
1) It seems like some words are not in their right lesson/ category. For example: alsiyaad (الصياد) or the hunter, shouldn't be under geography.
2) There a lot of words improperly pronounced with respect to their place in a sentence. Also, the letter (د) should be daal and not dead. So please review that as well. Another thing to note here is the word thukh (ثخ) , which not only does it have no meaning, but the first letter of the word is pronounced as a different letter in which it changed the meaning of the word to a word that means doing #2.
3) There are many words that have no meaning in Arabic. For instance, lukiim (لكيم), hathal (حثل), and jathal (جثل ). I am not sure if these words are from a northern African dialect, but we certainly do not use them in the Arabic fusha, the Levant dialect gulf dialect, or Egyptian dialect.
Lastly, I think it would be great if you ask a group of natives and learners to try out a language before posting it on duolingo in order to have a feedback.
In the end, I just want to say thank you for adding the Arabic language to duolingo. And thank you for everyone who worked so hard on the language.
Please can you let me know how to provide specific feedback regarding the Arabic course? I don't think the developers will necessarily see what I write in this post.
I am totally enjoying the course. In fact, Arabic learning seems to be addictive! The only problem is that often the loudspeaker icon covers over some of the phonetic marks or parts of the writing, making it more difficult than necessary to distinguish similar-looking characters.
I have started Arabic - I have been waiting 3 years for this to come, and I am thrilled. However I hope that this improves drastically. Simple words like 'come' and 'go' are nowhere to be found, there is too much emphasis on alphabet at the language level, and some of the sentences are absurd, like "my television is inside my lion" <-wut.
I am a person who needs to be able to converse effectively in Arabic. I do not need to read a novel or write an academic paper. After a 10 week intensive in-person course of MSA Arabic (because thats the only version offered) with a 1:2 Instructor:Student ratio, I was frustrated by the many difference between MSA and spoken/conversational Arabic. I had high hopes that this course would suit my needs, as it was billed as such by Duolingo. However, I am finding that ALL of the narrated parts of this course are spoken using MSA by adding the tanween (the "oon/an/ iin" sounds added to the end of many words). According to my instructor and Arabic-speaking friends, this simply is not how people converse in Arabic. I do not understand why Duolingo chose to create a colloquial course and then muddy the waters by mixing in MSA. And I am not referring to the use of MSA-specific words such as "maa" as an interrogative versus "shu" (Iraqi dialect). I am referring to the enunciation of words using the tanween. This makes the spoken sentences difficult to decipher, especially given that the tanween does not show up in the written form but only manifests in the spoken form. Also, to make things even more confusing, the lessons that give the option to slow the speech via the turtle-looking icon, do NOT use the tanween for the slowed verbal exercises. Why not just stick with that for ALL the verbal exercises and make it more conversationally realistic? We are not trying to be TV journalists after all, just social speakers.
By now I really like the vocabulary we receive in the sentences. But I feel like there is not enough vocabulary training. I am able to complete all tasks but I do that by recognizing the words. I do not actually remember them and could not make up an own sentence. I would wish for more specific vocabulary training which is simply asking the translations of single words, maybe even that we need to type it with an arab keyboard.