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I have Ideas for how to improve the Arabic course

I have several issues with the Arabic course which I'd like to make known. 1) The writing can be SO SMALL. I've barely learned the symbols, so not only am I unfamiliar but I can't even distinguish the letters they're so small... it is frustrating. 2) The listening portion of the alphabet learning section is pointless. I know how to write sounds I hear in English already. At least match the sounds with letters in Arabic..... 3) Soo.. more exercises need to be devoted to practicing the sounds to which each letter corresponds (NOT matching English writing to a sound... rather matching Arabic writing and the sound). As well as exercises actually writing Arabic to a given letter sound. 4) So many matching exercises... but they don't really help me. It would be more helpful to hear a sound and have to pick out from ONLY Arabic writing... or even better have to write it out myself.

In conclusion... fewer English letters.... and BIGGER Arabic letters
:D Does anyone agree?

December 20, 2019



I agree. The Arabic from English course on Duolingo is not mature enough. It needs a lot of additional work. We definitely need some people to work on it.

The letter size could be changed in the web or phone, but huge letters are definitely neeeded at the beginning and they could be smaller later in the course.

I'd guess it could help to copy some stuff from the reverse tree, which is quite extensive.


Your comment here about the reverse tree gave me the idea of creating another account, where I put Arabic as my own language, learning English. I started yesterday, so I can not say too much about it yet, but so far it seems really challenging, so I hope to learn much more that way.

Thank you very much for the idea.


Very interested in how that works for you. I'm not far enough into Arabic yet but I will try that once I feel a little bit more secure in the language.


I have been doing the French for Arabic speakers course for a while. I find it helpful except the obvious downside is theres no Arabic audio. (I keep them all on the same account though.)

I find it interesting that they don`t teach the roman alphabet at all and start learning entire words immediately. Im not sure how other courses for languages that use a different alphabet go about teaching it.


The size of the letters don't bother me but I know you're not the first to raise that issue. I like the course. My only issue with it is that when you practice lessons or try to restore the lesson after it's broken for a while most of the practice is reviewing letters and sounds and not constructing sentences or working on vocabulary. There's ways around that I guess. I could make flash cards but I would rather reinforce vocabulary during the practice sessions.


I absolutely agree with you. Practice should be more sentence construction and vocabulary rather than alphabet review.


I found the alphabet tedious as someone whos learned it already but it didnt occur to me that this would also be an issue for people who completed the lessons and want to review.

I definitely wish the alphabet practice were separate lessons from other skills so people could decide what they want to work on.


Yes this Arabic course is terrible i should have just started learing it without duo lingo


I, too, am having difficulties with the size of the letters - I am in alphabet 3 and the exercises with the four choices are big enough, but the ones where there are about five with matching sounds are so tiny I have to go back and forth with enlarging the screen to see them properly and then reducing so I can continue. Larger ones for sure would be on my list of preferred changes.


I agree with the comment on typesize for the Arabic script. It's almost impossible to distinguish letters, let alone the diacritics. But thanks to the contributor who pointed out the way to blow them up yourself (see below). I have just finished the tree but am continuing to practice for the moment. Looking forward to the next instalment and more volcabulary, plus past and future tenses of verbs.


I would like to ask them to extend the course also, there are so few categories, I know nothing and I´m already coming close to the end.


I just finished the Arabic tree الحمد لله, all 5 crowns. It is nice for beginners, hopefully it will be extended indeed.

With the tree at its maximum, the level for Arabic is only 15, for other courses that would be 25, right?


When I was a beginner in Arabic, I used to have the same difficulty with letter size. But I think I practiced Arabic calligraphy a lot and that made me differentiate letters a little better. Maybe you should try it too!


I second pretty much all your points with an emphasis on eliminating the matching to English letters, which I also find rather pointless. It would make much more sense to match to the Arabic alphabet.


I agree too, the Arabic letters are tiny, it is especially difficult to distinguish the fathas and dommas and socoons etc. About the learning stuff, when we get to the point where we know all the letters well, it is frustrating to have to do a lot of these simple letter exercises over and over again (I mean when we have completed the Arabic tree and want to practice more). There could be more real sentence and grammar practice. I hope the course will be extended at some point, without letter practice. (I hope you excuse me if my english is not perfect, I am from Finland)


Thank you for describing how I felt - I felt bad when I couldn't get a question right as I could barely tell the letters apart. I also had to stop using my duolingo Arabic course as I was so confused about grammar and sentence structure - I felt the course didn't give much help in introducing these concepts. The only thing that was really good was the alphabet stuff and the TinyCards resources for the duolingo Arabic tree weren't that great either.

And don't worry - your English is great!


Thank you. I did study some Arabic before doing this Duolingo Arabic tree, so that of course helped me a lot. I knew the letters and some words and simple sentences. I am sorry that you had to stop using this Arabic course, I hope you have found a better one in some other place.


Just have to laugh to myself here - I haven't a clue what fathas and dommas and socoons are!! Guess that will come later - assuming those are the accents. :)


Yes, they are the accents and circles and other small signs. I don't remember if those are even mentioned in this Duolingo course, I have learnt them by another course before Duolingo Arabic.


I certainly agree with bigger Arabic letters


I agree as well.

That applies to the font in the Android app. On the website it is ok for me.


I agree, the arabic font is too small, but there are some turnarounds for that problem. For me the best solution is a browser Addon, that enlarges the arabic fonts separately. I use the wudooh extension, which works best on Chrom Browser. In my opinion the letter exercices are not bad. But there is the big problem with the faulty sounds. The TTS machine used seems to have big problems with Arabic. The pronounciation is wrong very often, not only in the whole sentences, but also in the letter exercices. What I miss : The tipes and notes are missing in the later chapteres, that means, when the grammar gets more difficult we have no explanations at all! Fortunately there are some very helpfull people in the forum!


Definitely need bigger script. I either use Command + or swipes if on mobile. Not ideal, as I have to keep moving the screen around to see the "Check/Continue" button.

As to the writing in English, you'll see the transliteration everywhere and I think it's helpful to learn what each letter does translate to so you can do the reverse (transliteration/transciption/romanization to Arabic) if necessary. It's not just writing the sound in English, for example, Cuba for Cuba if actually writing the English "sounds", but "kuubaa" - which is very different from "kuba" if you're spelling these out in Arabic (كوبا versus كب with the latter having the "u" (ḍammah) and "a" (fatḥah) diacritics, that I don't know how to type out - and the latter would be a different word, I assume, if it were an actual word).

I personally go by sound a lot in the lessons but actually am REALLY glad they taught the proper "transliteration/transcription" because now that I've bought flash cards and books, I see this version of spelling EVERYWHERE and I can easily translate back into Arabic script.

I would definitely love to see the "Stories" thingie show up here, it would be helpful to see these in context of a conversation, although I am learning Egyptian through Pimsleur for the more conversational, but it's helpful to see it written out as well.


I agree with the point about small writing. Actually doing the course has made me realise I needed to see an optician, so maybe if your eyesight is really good you won't have that issue! And I definitely agree that there should be more focus on writing in Arabic. I've done quite a few Duolinguo Arabic lessons now, and there hasn't been any writing in Arabic yet. In addition, the French and Italian Duolinguo sites have speaking (basically repeating) sections, which could also be good...


Indeed. Lot's of changes should be made.


I had the same problem. Now, I installed an extension to the browser that enhances arabic script. It's way more legible, althought a bit uglier. The one I'm using is Wudooh.

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