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A non-native's view of their experience learning Arabic on Duolingo

I've just finished the Arabic tree[more like stump ;p] and I have to say it really was a good experience. It's been fun doing it all online: practising my skills and learning new stuff too.

By non-native I mean that I'm actually Somali but I know my fair share of Arabic. I've been learning it since I was a little kid and all I knew was how to greet people and a few random items. I knew apple in Arabic[tuffaaH] because that's what we call it in Somali. By last year I was learning more and more language[cause I do Arabic in school] and only this year we started doing grammar. I prefer the grammar much more cause it's easier.

This course was actually great. I've learnt more words and it's taught in a way that makes you learn. I also like the way it's set out but there are way too many Alphabet lessons. I wish I could've skipped them.

There are some things however that the course can improve on:

  1. Font- Oh my God it's so small I can barely read it.

  2. It's kind of like an MSA/ Levantine dialect mix.

  3. I kind of wished that some of the lessons in the middle of the tree were more phrases and less alphabet but that's the way it is so....

  4. There is no grammar. I wish they'd put some in

  5. We need a word bank. How else am I meant to know what words I have learnt?

  6. Get a real person to say the words instead of a robot. Swahili's better in pronunciation.

I hope the Arabic course updates soon. I'm up for more challenges.

Happy Friday and have a good day/night! ^-^

Edit: I re-read this and I've been rambling about myself. Sorry for that ^-^

July 19, 2019



I'm also having trouble with how small the font is. Surely this is something Duo can fix?


I get your point about much of the lessons being about the alphabet, but it is a tricky alphabet ! Like I did when learning hiragana and katakana though, I personnaly think I would be better off downloading another app, focused only on the memorization of the alphabet.

But putting yourself on a complete beginner's perspective, would you have found this course well made ?


My recommendation would be that you need to pass an "alphabet" section before moving on to sentences. It would be letters and words only, building vocabulary you could use later to learn grammar. You could test out of it, obviously.


I just started the Arabic course and I personally find that I am learning faster than I ever imagined myself learning Arabic. Yes, some of the lessons have small writing at the top, however, this seems to me the best audio coverage of any language thus far, especially for the approach from English; it is most welcome!

Now I can rely on Duolingo for all of the old world languages I need: Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Hindi, but also Russian and Swahili; not to mention the Asian languages. Thank you DL.


I miss some explanations, but I guess they're in the making. Sure hope so cause I feel like I'm sort of stumbling in the dark and guessing too much now.


About the grammar part, I found the book http://allthearabicyouneverlearnedthefirsttimearound.com (entirely available on the website for free) very useful (but note that I'm a false beginner, I already knew some rudiments of Arabic before).


Don't forget that half the words they make you practice alphabet on is gibberish XD


I think your feedback is kinda perfect =3

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