Arabic is one of the most spoken languages around the world and the numbers keep increasing as more and more people learn it.
Arabic is a unique language with its own history and culture which leads more people to fall in love with it. Did you know that it goes back over 1,500 years? It’s an ancient language.
Is Arabic the hardest language to learn?
When it comes to the hardest languages to learn for English speakers, Chinese comes at the top of the list including its different dialects. Then it’s followed by Japanese, Arabic, and the list goes on.
So, Is Arabic hard to learn? yes, Arabic is one of the hardest languages to learn. But does that mean you shouldn’t learn it? No, if you like the language and you’re interested and have goals to learn it then go for it.
Arabic is hard to learn only if you have no goals of learning it. And don’t forget, Arabic is one of the most spoken languages around the world. Which will open many opportunities for you that others don’t have. Don’t miss the chance just because you’re scared, and don’t let anyone break you down.
Shucking fact about Arabic.
You can learn Arabic online with native professional tutors where you will learn to speak Arabic fluently. Here’s a fact that will shock you. When saying Arabic is one of the hardest languages to learn we mean the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).
But when it comes to learning one of the different Arabic dialects it’s rather easy to learn. And there are over 25 Arabic dialects and I’m pretty sure one of them will catch your interest. And that is the first step in learning Arabic, to pick the Dialect you want to learn. And don’t just choose anyone, make sure to choose the one that aligns with your goals.
For example, if your goal is to move to Egypt then you should learn Egyptian Arabic. As you will hear is the easiest dialect to learn due to Egyptian movies, songs, and media.
So just to be clear, when someone asks you “Is Arabic hard to learn?” what is the right answer? The right answer is “Modern standard Arabic is hard to learn, however, when it comes to the different Arabic dialects, they are easy to learn.” Here you go, now you know your answer and you are ready to go, right? No, not yet, in the following section, we will learn what makes Arabic hard to learn.
The different Arabic Dialects.
Here are the main Arabic dialects:
- Maghrebi Arabic:
This dialect is used in Western Arab countries which include: Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians. The total number of people who speak Maghrebi Arabic is about 80 million speakers.
You can learn Maghrebi Arabic from the textbook ‘The Routledge Introductory Course in Moroccan Arabic’.
Egyptian Arabic is the Arabic used in Egypt. And most Arab understand it, as Egyptian movies and TV series are popular. So, if you are a non-Arabic speaker then this might be the easiest dialect to learn.
- Gulf Arabic:
This Arabic dialect is also called Khaliji. The countries that speak it include Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait.
- Yemeni Arabic:
This one has many dialects but the main dialect is called San’ani or Sana’ dialect. You should know that the hardest two dialects to learn are the Yemeni and Maghrebi.
The Arabic dialect is spoken in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine. More than 30 million speak it.
This includes several mutually understandable varieties that have been spoken even in parts of Iraq and eastern Syria.
Those are not all the Arabic dialects in the world, there are still many others like Hassaniya in Mauritania. It is closer to the Gulf dialect than it is to the Maghrebi.
why is Arabic so hard to learn?
There are different reasons including:
- The different writing systems.
- Arabic grammar.
- letters that are not in the English language.
- And the fact that it is read and written from right to left, which takes some time to get used to.
Now let’s talk about each one of the above reasons, and learn why Arabic is hard to learn:
The most difficult part of learning the Arabic language is its grammar. The Arabic grammar is complex, well, it is kind of hard, but it is the same thing as any other language. Each language has its complex grammar. In the beginning, it will be hard but as you start to understand its rules you will learn it fast.
However, complex grammar is only found in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), but in the different dialects, the Grammar is much easier.
The Arabic alphabet and pronunciation. The way the Arabic Alphabet is written differs based on the place of the letter in the word. And so does its pronunciation. Additionally, the Arabic letters are 28 letters and they are completely different from the English alphabet. Perhaps that’s why people say that Arabic is a hard language to learn.
Here is the Alphabet chart, and how each letter is pronounced.
Arabic has some sounds that English doesn’t have: like the letters خ/ /ح/ /غ/ /ض/ /ظ/ /ط/ /ق.
According to Arabic learners, the hardest part about learning Arabic is its grammar. Arabic grammar is the hardest thing about it. Why? Because the words have what are called roots and they change depending on the vowels placed on each letter.
Furthermore, the word differs based on gender, dual and plural. The gender of the person you are talking to or about plays a major role. Additionally, some may find that learning the concept of the dual is really difficult as it doesn’t exist in many languages. Even native speakers find It hard to learn Arabic grammar. But that is not the case when we talk about Arabic dialects.
Then what about its alphabet? Are the Arabic letters hard to learn? No, when it comes to the Arabic writing system most of the learners said that it looks hard but actually it’s not hard to learn at all. However, you should know that the Arabic letter changes its shape according to its place in the word. And the fact that Arabic is written and read from right to left takes some time to get used to but it’s not hard at all.
Another thing to know about Arabic is that Arabs don’t use Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in their daily life. It is only used in newspapers, radio, TV, formal writing, and in schools. But when Arab communicate with each other, they use what is called colloquial Arabic (Arabic dialects).
As we said there are over 25 Arabic dialects, therefore, you should choose which dialect you want to learn. You could start by learning the basics of Modern Standard Arabic then learn the dialect you want. Or just start learning the dialect you chose right away; the decision is yours to make. And don’t worry Arabic is not hard to learn as long as you have your own plan and goals to achieve. Just be persistent and don’t listen to the ones who want to break you.
How long does it take to learn Arabic?
The time it takes to learn Arabic differs from one person to another. Is it because Arabic is hard to learn? Well, yes that’s one reason, but there are other parameters that slow down someone’s learning. And we will discuss them but first, here are some questions to ask yourself before you start learning:
1- Why do you want to learn Egyptian Arabic? Is it because you want to learn more about the culture and history? Is it because you have Egyptian friends you want to communicate with them in Arabic?
2- What are your goals for learning the language? is it because you like the language? Do you want to learn it for fun? Do you want to learn Arabic for religious goals?
3- Do you have enough time to commit to learning the language?
Knowing the answers will help you understand yourself more. Because learning a language needs commitment and persistence. As long as you’re motivated and have your own goals you will learn Arabic fast, as you will have what pushes you forward.
Learning Arabic might be hard but only if you don’t have the commitment and dedication to learn it. Just like any other language does. Something to keep in mind, if your goal is to learn Arabic fast then you should enroll yourself in an online or offline Arabic course. the same goes if you’re afraid of not having what it takes to commit to learning on your own.
Also watching Arabic movies, and series, listening to songs, and reading Articles and blogs out loud will boost your learning. However, you should know that it will still take a couple of weeks or months. You can’t learn a whole language in a week or less.
If you are ready to commit to learning Egyptian Arabic you should know that you have to study every day. Only then your brain will start to get used to the Arabic language as a familiar language and process it faster.
Studying new words and practicing them daily will make them stick into your brain. Hence Arabic will become your second language faster, and won’t hard to learn as you think.
So, how long does it take to learn Arabic?
According to estimation, if you’re an English speaker and you want to learn Arabic it will take about 2200 hours of Arabic classes and courses. This means more than 80 weeks of consistent language study.
Arabic comes in third when talking about the hardest languages to learn. Right after Chinese and Japanese. Therefore it takes a lot of time to master.
Some languages like French will only take 23 weeks of classes to master. About 500 to 600 hours of French classes.
To know how much time, you will spend learning Egyptian Arabic here are two questions for you to answer.
- How much time are you ready to spend each day learning Arabic?
- Are you willing to continue? and, for how many weeks or months will you keep up learning? Are you ready to spare for Arabic learning?
For the first question, the answer really depends on you, your motivation, your commitment, and whether are you really willing to learn Arabic or not. Additionally, how much time can you spend on learning?
Although the answer to the second question depends on the answer to the first question. However, you should keep in mind that it is impossible to learn a language in just a few weeks.
If you want to learn it in just a few weeks you will end up knowing some Arabic expressions but you want to be able to understand Arabic and translate it. It will be a disaster, so there is no need for you to force yourself to learn Arabic fast.
Why should I learn Arabic even though it’s hard to learn?
Many people say that the Arabic language is an important language to learn but why is that even though it’s hard to learn? Well, Learning Arabic opens the door for you to travel anywhere around the world, and to study abroad in an Arabic country. It is one of the top five languages spoken around the world and now it’s becoming an important language to learn and to excel amongst other candidates.
Here are the reasons why you should learn Arabic:
- High demand for the Arabic language:
Today the US government agencies are searching for Arabic speakers; if you can speak it then you will be an excellent candidate.
Besides that, you could work in one of the Arab countries like the Emirates in different fields like engineering, medicine, and business.
One of the top 5 spoken languages in the world is Arabic, and only one percent of US universities study Arabic. If you learn it you will get many job opportunities and excel in them.
There are some languages like Spanish and French that learning will offer you opportunities to travel around the world and find many jobs. While other languages like Chinese will offer you job opportunities in a few countries.
The Arabic language is a mix of those two, you won’t find many of your colleagues speaking Arabic yet there are 25 countries speaking the Arabic language. here you go, even though Arabic is hard to learn it will open many opportunities for you.
- Gain international experience:
Studying and taking internships in a foreign country is one of the greatest opportunities one could get. The Arabic language offers you the opportunity to study abroad and even jobs more than you can dream of.
- Learn about the Islamic religion and culture:
The second-largest religion in the world is Islam, Islam is not just a religion it is a way of life. Learning Arabic gives you the advantage of exploring Arab culture and religion. Understand its history and how it started. There are many things to explore and learn from.
- Travel to Arab countries:
Many people travel around the world but few have the opportunity to travel to an Arab country. Learning Arabic will open that door for you, you can go there to study or work.
- Different dialects:
Arabic has many dialects, and each one of them has its own beauty and differences. You can choose the one that you like more and learn it.
Information about the Arabic language.
Arabic is one of the oldest languages, it’s an ancient one, and it dates back at least 1,500 years, it is an ancient language that affected the whole world.
Arabic is the native language in many countries like Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen with more than 300 million people speaking it.
It is the language of the holy Quran which is the main book of the Islamic religion and many Muslims around the world are learning the Arabic language to be able to read the Quran in its original language.
Arabic is one of the Semitic language families that emerged in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula. No one really knows when it started but the clue of its appearance goes way back to the 8th century BCE. Many changes happened to the language over the years, a main part of this change was in the 3rd and 6th century AD.
While in the 7th century, AD signs were added to the alphabet to make it clear how to read and differentiate the letters from each other.
What makes Arabic hard to learn is that it’s a root language which means, one word can help you come up with a huge number of words. And if you think about it, it doesn’t make it hard to learn actually it’s easier. If you remember the root of the word, you can figure out the word you’re trying to remember.
The Arabic language was spoken by nomadic tribes in the northwestern frontier of the Peninsula. And it is said that the word Arabic means “nomadic.”. It is the most spoken Semitic language nowadays.
How did the Arabic language spread in the first place? It was spread by the traveling tribes, and the rapid growth of Arabic happened during the Islamic Conquests in the 7th century C.E.
The Arabic language is a unique yet beautiful language to learn with many dialects. Nowadays due to the internet and globalization, the Arabic language is once again spreading around the world. Also, more Arab students are going abroad for scholarships, which helps spread the language even more.
In the Arabic languages, there are letters that don’t exist in any other language like ‘ح’ and ‘خ’. English includes many words of Arabic origin like algebra, algorithm, alchemy, coffee, cotton, ghoul, lemon, and many others.
Now people use what is called colloquial language to communicate with each other. The Colloquial Arabic called ‘Ammiyya’ is the Arabic that people use in their daily conversations. It differs from one country to another; each country has its different dialect from other countries. You might ask, Is colloquialism slang? And the answer is yes, it is slang.
While modern standard Arabic is the official language used for teaching at schools. It is also the Arabic used to write anything formal like work reports and so on. It is also taught to people who want to learn the Arabic language.
How many words in Arabic language?
When it comes to Arabic, you can’t count the number of its words, because it is a root language. which means different words are formed from its root. Perhaps Arabic has around 13,000 roots, from them you can come up with millions of words.
For example, the root word “ktb” from it you can form words like yaktubu (writes), kitab (book), kataba (wrote), and many other words.