Jump to content


Anyone else studying Arabic?


Recommended Posts

Is this for yourself or for your children ?


For reading and writing, there are a lot of books available.


For communication only (no grammar), I believe Pimsleur is good. But it's only suitable for adult or older children. They have two version: Eastern or Egyptian. Rosetta Stone, I believe, is Modern Standard Arabic - this form of Arabic is not actually spoken daily. It's only for news, in educational setting, and paperwork.


If your focus is communication and you want to know grammar a bit, you don't have to memorize all the endings because they're dropped in conversation. I have a sort of grammar book by Jack Smart which does not give you 'endings' (no an-in-un or a-i-u at the end of the word). Actually, I learned sentence structure using Jack Smart's book. It's pretty straight forward as long as your writing and reading ability is good. The only thing I hate about this book is the long list of vocab.


If you want to know Arabic properly (either the MSA or classical), then you can get the Standard Modern Arabic grammar book to introduce you to the real grammar. If you want to learn Arabic to read classical text, there is a book called Medinah Arabic course book (free download) and it's brilliant. It teaches grammar very logically, and the vocab is gentle too IMHO. There are also free videos which you can watch online. The instructor is very good in explaining grammar concept and really guides you bit by bit.It's, however, religious in tone and vocab (i.e. use a lot of high-frequency QUranic vocabs and use Quranic verses/phrases as examples).



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I guess I was looking for something all-in-one (speaking, reading, and writing) with which my children and I can learn.


I have a little background with the Madinah books,which I still have, but I just feel like you really need an instructor to help you go through the books.


I don't like the Rosetta Stone because I feel like I am guessing at what they are talking about. It just isn't that specific. Could that be the point of the program?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've studied Arabic as a second language for a loooong time, and I haven't seen a really great program yet. My kids are still young, so I'm mostly working on building their vocabularies. To make it easier on myself, I have a weekly focus: colors one week, common foods another week, bedroom or bathroom or backyard words another, etc. Constant review and practice helps, and making it playful and game-like keeps it fun. As for grammar.... I guess I'd have to suggest the Medina books, but they're far from perfect. My plan is to focus on nouns in K, verbs in 1, and then introduce more complex grammar as we go.


What ever happened to Umm Sulayman's Arabesq website? I can't find it. She wrote an article about how she taught herself and her children Arabic. Her youngest babies actually spoke Arabic as their first language, a result of her hard work.


Insha'Allah Kate in Arabia will chime in... she has more experience than I do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like the Rosetta Stone software at all. Anyone other suggestions for someone who isn't a native Arabic speaker and needs to hear the language. I would like us to learn to read and write as well as communicate orally.




I do know that the military and dept. of defense offer Rosetta Stone. . .but it's more of an "after" thing than a learning thing. (Course, if you are naturally good at languages, I suppose you could make it a learning thing.)


For what it's worth, Tell Me More (Aurolog) has a program too. I didn't like it much, but I can't recall why.


I find it terribly hard, in any language, to find a "full" program. It seems terribly easy to find "vocab" programs, but very difficult to find ones that go through sentence structure, writing, etc.


Oh, and do any of the programs go through the script formation? Because a number of the scripts are different depending on where they are in the word.


Sorry, I'm really no help. I learned through the military. . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you mean by it's more of an "after" thing?




The military and dept. of defense have Rosetta Stone (I believe all languages) available to the soldiers / employess (online).


We, military, get paid an extra allowance for foreign languages, if you test well enough.


Now, most military members that I know learn the language through the military. However, "if you don't use it. . ." So, the ones that I know will use Rosetta as a type of refresher course -- "after" learning the language.


However, any ole "joe" could, if they chose, take the Rosetta course, then the test and if they were to do well enough get paid for it. Yet, I don't know anyone that does that. Which is why I said more of an "after" thing.


Now, I do know a couple of people that are natural linguists, and I believe that they could take a Rosetta course, and "test out" in those courses. Sadly, I'm not one of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Now, most military members that I know learn the language through the military. However, "if you don't use it. . ." So, the ones that I know will use Rosetta as a type of refresher course -- "after" learning the language.






What do they use to actually "learn" the languages?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Native instructors




Oooh, let me think. . .


We had a "sound and script" book (like early phonics, but for Arabic)

and then we had coursework, plus tapes (this was way back in the day. . .) newspapers, radio stations (Voice of America, and a couple of years ago it was still broadcasting Arabic. . .but after 9/11 it stopped, don't know if it's restarted)


Mostly, it was the native instructors. I know the coursework was developed right there at the "schoolhouse", so I don't know if it's on the market.


We used to have all our coursework. . .until we had kid #4, and then we were concerned about our "weight" (moving allowance), so we chucked it all. (It was at least 50 pounds of stuff -- course, that was for 2 people.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...