As any beginner in Arabic learning will know, the Arabic language is broadly divided into two categories – Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. Moreover, the language has got more than 30 dialects in the world. The first step to learning Arabic is to choose the right dialect and style of Arabic that you want to learn. If you are learning Arabic for getting a better understanding of Islam, there is no confusion. You can forget about other dialects and styles and choose Classical Arabic and look for opportunities to learn it. You need to get familiar with the Arabic alphabet and Arabic grammar to start the learning process.However, learning Classical Arabic is not an easy task for everyone. It is largely different from the other European languages like Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc. Although it will ultimately become a rewarding process, most of the learners will go through ups and downs while aiming to gain mastery over Classical Arabic. So are you planning to learn Classical Arabic? Here’s an informative read for you on learning Classical Arabic.
What is Classical Arabic? As any language learners will know, the classical form of a language will be slightly different from its vernacular forms. It is same in the case of the Arabic language too. Classical Arabic is another name for Quranic Arabic. Quran, the holy book of Islam, is written in Classical Arabic hence the name. It is the style of Arabic in which the sacred and liturgical texts of Islam are written. By learning Classical Arabic, you will be able to understand more about the Islamic religion. You can read and understand Quran recitations and enrich your knowledge about Muslim spirituality. Definitely, learning Classical Arabic will help you deepen your religious faith. But the benefits of learning Classical Arabic are not restricted to religious purposes. Learning Classical Arabic has a lot of offer to people who don’t have much interest in learning about religion as well. It opens the door to gain a better understanding of the Arabic language and culture while enabling you to know more about Arab civilization. You can learn the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East when you can read and understand Classical Arabic.
History of Arabic Classical Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic language. It is a Semitic language which has a history of more than 1400 years. It is believed that the Arabic alphabet and Arabic grammar has its roots traced to Aramaic, which is based on Phoenician. The actual origin of the Arabic script and grammar is still a debatable topic. One of the hypotheses says that the language was originated in the 5th and 6th century BC by a North Semitic tribe which is called as the Nabateans. They have used a primitive version of the Arabic alphabet. The language had a slow progression. By the 6th century, the Arabic alphabet was well established and started to spread across the world. In a nutshell, when you are proficient in Classical Arabic, you will learn one of the oldest languages in the world. The Arabic alphabet The Arabic alphabet is the second-most widely used alphabet in the world. In total, there are 28 letters in the Arabic language, and all of it is considered as consonants. Every letter in the Arabic alphabet can take four different forms – Initial, Medial, Final, and Isolated. It is simple to understand. If the letter comes in the start, it is considered as Initial. If it is used in the middle, it is called Medial. If the letter is used at the end, it takes the Final form. A few letters can be used all by itself which are referred to as Isolated.Points to remember before you start learning Classical Arabic
- Give yourself enough time
As mentioned above, Classical Arabic is complex. Therefore, make sure you give enough time to learn it. On average, one should give one or two years to learn Classical Arabic. You need to be patient and diligent throughout the learning process. You may find it a bit tough at times and you should be prepared to continue your learning journey.
- Keep practising
To learn a new language, you should increase your exposure to it. You can practice Arabic by reading Quran and other literature from the old times. You can listen to Arabic news and Quranic recitations to familiarise yourself with the language.
- Join an Arabic course online
Today you have numerous online resources at your disposal to learn any language in the world. Select an authentic online Arabic course and enrol into it. If you can find a dedicated teacher who can teach Classical Arabic, it will ease up the learning process. If you have more time to dedicate to learning Classical Arabic, you can join an institute as well. There are institutes offering studies on Islamic Sciences and Quranic Arabic in many parts of the world. By joining a good institute offline or online, you can learn the language in a healthy and motivating environment.
- Be dedicated and work towards your goal
Learning Classical Arabic is not an impossible task, provided you put in the required effort. Make sure you stay dedicated to the learning process. Also, you should employ the tools and proper strategy to learn it. If possible, you can enrol into private tuition to help you learn Classical Arabic.
- Make slow and steady progress
Let your goal be learning Classical Arabic or Modern Arabic the key lies in choosing the right learning method. In this digital age, you can find authentic online coaching platforms where the course structure is well-organized and follow a learner-friendly approach. Choose the right course that fits your requirement and learning style. We wish you good luck throughout the learning process!