Often languages that are thought of as difficult are just misunderstood by natives of western languages. Arabic is often seen as particularly challenging. So, while Modern Standard Arabic is in high demand, you may have hesitated to learn it because it has a serious reputation for being inaccessible to foreigners. Rosetta Stone is here to dispel that myth and reassure you that with the right approach and a quality language learning program, you can build your confidence and begin speaking Arabic, from day one.
Because of Arabic’s wide use across the Middle East and throughout many other nations, learning to speak the language can be especially helpful for those who work in government, business, or those who want to travel with a feeling of confidence. That said, with so many different dialects and varieties of spoken Arabic, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Before beginning to communicate in Arabic, you’ll need to learn some of the nuances of Classical Arabic like the abjad, a system where the different letters, specifically consonants, represent numbers. Before the numerals of the modern standard version of Arabic were developed in the 19th century, abjad was used to represent numerals. Today, it’s much more likely to be used as part of an outline or list as a kind of shorthand.
Beyond individual letters and numbers, Arabic grammar has a couple of perplexing quirks, like the dropping of vowels entirely from words, that may leave you puzzled. Word order also isn’t as essential in Arabic as it is in other languages, but it’s important to note that it’s a VSO language in which often the verb (or a nominal element) precedes the subject or object in a sentence. That’s why it’s crucial to learn phrases in context rather than relying on strict rules to decipher sentence order.
Rosetta Stone focuses on teaching Modern Standard Arabic, used as the official written and spoken language in over 25 countries. Also, because pronunciation can be one of the trickier aspects of learning Arabic for beginners, a patented speech recognition engine called TruAccent is incorporated into every Arabic lesson. It compares your voice to that of native and non-native speakers, providing feedback and helping you improve your ability to speak and understand Arabic.
Start with the Arabic Alphabet
The Arabic alphabet consists of 28 letters, all of which are consonants. And while there are some different styles to the formation of some of those letters, overall the styling is consistent.
Arabic writing may seem daunting at first, but getting a firm handle on Arabic letters is actually fairly straightforward. This is because there are many similarities between Arabic and English letter forms. One of the more challenging elements of learning the Arabic alphabet is that the form of individual letters may need to change, according to their specific placement in a word. In general, each Arabic letter has four forms, each used for a specific position of the letter in a given word. The four forms of an Arabic letter are: final form, medial form, initial form, and detached form.
Arabic is a stressed language. Moreso, there are few diacritic marks to guide pronunciation and those diacritic marks are not used consistently. Arabic does share similar sounds with English, but there are also a few sounds in Arabic that don’t exist in other languages. Some Arabic hard consonants sound throatier or raspier than their English counterparts. And some Arabic vowel sounds are held twice as long, depending on where those vowels appear in placement in a word. Arabic also has both voiced and voiceless consonants, which may be a bit challenging to learn at first. The difference in voiced and voiceless consonants is whether you hold the sound in your throat or make it primarily in your mouth.
With Rosetta Stone’s immersive approach to learning, you will learn the language in context of how it’s used, and not just the individual words that comprise the language. What makes Rosetta Stone uniquely effective is that we prepare you to use a new language in your everyday life. That way, you’ll be ready to handle any situation with ease and confidence while speaking Arabic.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Arabic whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.