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    I want to learn Arabic.

    I have no prior knowledge at all of the language but I'd love to be able to read it, and attempt to speak it - for future travel ideas (UAE, Egypt).

    Can anyone suggest any materials that are good for teaching oneself Arabic?
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    (Original post by ecraven)
    I want to learn Arabic.

    I have no prior knowledge at all of the language but I'd love to be able to read it, and attempt to speak it - for future travel ideas (UAE, Egypt).

    Can anyone suggest any materials that are good for teaching oneself Arabic?
    It will be very difficult. Much better to do a course, or incorporate your future travel ideas into doing a course-I am going to Yemen this summer and doing 4 weeks of Arabic 20 hours a week for 250 pounds. It's cheap! And it gives you something interesting do when abroad! Much better than battling away at it single-handedly in the UK.

    But I don't mean to dampen your enthusiasm-if you really want to do it yourself in the UK, then start by learning the alphabet and getting your head around the script. That is the first step, and is surprisingly easy to do yourself. I had a book called "Teach yourself Beginner's Arabic Script". I learnt the Arabic script and some basic vocab with it before my Uni course started this September. It's not a bad book. It's completely unvocalised though (which means the short vowels are not shown on the writing (they are not shown in normal Arabic writing, but are used in many teaching programmes, because it makes it much easier to learn vocab and word patterns, and verb patterns etc etc)). I have to say I don't like unvocalised stuff until you are at at least an intermediate level. In fact I can not imagine having to learn Arabic seriously without vocalisation. So that's the biggest flaw with that book. After about 15 weeks of intensive teaching I could read largely unvocalised text OK, though not quickly or totally accurately.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yourself-Beg...ef=pd_sim_b_12

    But my friend used this book, and it's meant to be good. I was recommended it before that too:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Arabic-Alpha...d_bxgy_b_img_c

    Haven't used it myself, but I'm sure that would teach you the basic writing system and some elementary vocab too. Probs a good first stop.
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    (Original post by bj_945)
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    Thanks very much
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    (Original post by ecraven)
    Thanks very much
    I don't know if you know, but there's a distinction in Arabic between formal Arabic, which is written in books, newspapers etc, and spoken in speeches and on news television, and colloquial spoken Arabic, which is never written.

    The first is known as MSA or Fussha, and the latter is colloquial/3amiyye.

    Fussha is known throughout the Arab world, but sounds very formal if you try to speak normally with it. Colloquial is what people chat day to day in. There are loads of different colloquial dialects, some of which are different enough to be mutually unintelligible. Egyptians will struggle to understand Iraqis if they have had no former contact, though the languages are obviously quite close.

    There's Levantine Arabic, which is spoken in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine. Then there's Egyptian, and Gulf Arabic. The more you move into Africa the weirder and more removed from fussha it becomes.

    So you have to decide-are you trying to learn Fussha, or Colloquial. If Colloquial, I would still reccomend you learn the script-it's generally useful, but you will concentrate on learning Arabic from Colloquial books, which are transliterated.

    I have a few of them-"Spoken Lebanese"

    Here, the words are transliterated, not written in Arabic script, like:

    sabaah al khayr ya khalid
    sabaah an-noor ya muhammed
    keefak?
    ana kwayss

    etc.
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    I have been learning Arabic for just over a year and have found listening to podcasts the most effective methods. They're fun to listen to, convenient and cheap. My favourite Arabic podcasting website is ArabicPod.net. They also have videos and other cool stuff
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    I have been to egypt a couple of times and just like any other language it is easier to pick it up whilst around people who speak it all the time.
    Arabic is very hard to learn, but Egyptian arabic is slightly easier or so i was told. Private tutoring is your best bet, unless you have self discipline i wouldn't spend dosh online to get a course or whatever if you can not stick to it best of luck! i have always wanted to learn arabic and hope i do one day
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    Thanks very much. I probably will start with the script and will also look into podcasts.
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    I'm a native Arabic speaker . If you need any help . ask me any time .
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    I did Arabic for 3 years when I younger (had to because I lived in the UAE) and I know a little bit because I have a lot of arab friends. It's pretty easy to speak I would say but writing can be pretty hard. Reading it depends.... I guess it's harder than say French or Spanish because you have to learn a completely new alphabet. It's a pretty cool language that's for sure and will probably be useful to you if you do travel to the middle east (although really everyone speaks english there as well as arabic).

    I must say though it will gain you more respect when talking to natives if you speak in Arabic rather than English. When I was around 9 I used to talk to the UAE natives in my apartment block in Arabic and they were all very impressed that a young western girl could speak arabic.

    The most I can remember now though is:
    Marhaba, ana ismee ... wahed ethnen tilata araba humsa sitta subba timanya... inshallah... salam alakum... habibi... 5alas etc..

    Good luck learning it though!
 
 
 
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