Arabic is among the five most spoken languages across the world. It is also the official language of the Gulf and features a variety of dialects.
Are you an expatriate who has been living in the region for a while and haven't had the chance to learn Arabic? The good news is, it's never too late to learn. This World Arabic Language Day (December 18), make a resolution to master the beautiful language.
The first step is to study the alphabets. With a variety of Arabic dictionaries and learning books, as well as tools available online, you can start familiarising yourself with the letters. Once you have established that foundation, you can begin your linguistic journey.
One of the traditional ways of learning a language is by attending proper language courses. But if it's difficult for you to take time out of your busy schedule, there are many other ways you can learn or teach yourself.
Here are some typical and unconventional ways of getting a grasp of the language:
Pay attention to road signs
One easy way of learning Arabic on the go is reading road signs and other signboards.
Most road signs in the UAE and other regional countries are in both English and Arabic – as are many notice boards in malls and public places.
Take advantage of these clear translations available at different intervals. It may not allow you to learn the entire language, but will give you an opportunity to expand your vocabulary by learning the meaning of different words, such as street, road, open, close, etc.
On the go
You can also make your morning drive more productive by listening to educational CDs and taking audio courses. Play language CDs on your vehicle's music system and begin your learning journey. From vocabulary to basic greetings and audio exercises, the courses offer a wide range of learning tools that can help you understand the language. You can even connect your smartphone to your car's Bluetooth system and learn through language apps.
Download language apps
There are several Arabic learning apps available online and in app stores. Simply browse through your smartphone's Galaxy Apps store to download a language app. They offer a variety of resources that you can use to study.
From guiding you on how to write the alphabets and teaching sentence construction, to offering translations and vocabulary practice, the apps can prove to be a valuable source of information. Some also offer audio notes to help you understand the correct pronunciations of words and sentences. There are many free apps available, so you don't have to be limited to one. Download multiple apps to grasp different aspects of the language.
Learn from peers
Being in an Arabic-speaking region, you are bound to have friends, colleagues or neighbours who speak the language. Take this as an opportunity to learn from them. Make it a habit to learn a new Arabic word or phrase from them every day. As days become weeks and months, you will have learned hundreds of words and phrases. Also try to talk to them in Arabic whenever you can in order to improve your conversational skills.
Practice makes perfect
Learning a language doesn't mean you'll retain it forever. How many things that you were taught in school do you still remember? Hence, it is important to regularly speak the language. Try to speak Arabic in every situation you can and in your everyday use – with friends, family, etc. You may occasionally say something incorrectly or speak in broken Arabic – but that is fine, as it is a way of learning. Your friends would be happy to help correct you.
Aside from speaking, practice on your writing skills. You can even do it during your free time or your daily commute on the metro. You don't even need to carry a pen and paper. If you have a
Galaxy Note5, the S Pen is as good as carrying a pen or pencil with you. Practice writing the alphabets with your S Pen, which offers the grip and ease of a normal pen. You can even send your notes to a friend via your phone to check if you're on the right track.
The web is abundant with instructional videos and podcasts. Take advantage of the audio and video lessons to enhance your Arabic language skills. If you're looking for a bigger screen than your smartphone, you can watch the videos on your Galaxy Tab S2.