How Long Does It Take to Learn Arabic? (For All Levels)

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Learning a new language is always difficult yet a fulfilling experience for learners. By learning and understanding a language that is completely different from your mother tongue, you will only enhance your knowledge. Additionally, it will change your perspectives toward the outside world. Arabic is a beautiful language, and if you know the language, it will help you when you travel to the middle east or go there on a business trip. Arabic is spoken in several countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Algeria, Qatar, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, etc. If you are thinking about the best way to learn Arabic, let us tell you there are many ways to help you learn this rich ancient language, which we shall overlook here. 

Arabic Basics (Different Levels) – Who Can Learn?

Learning Arabic is not easy as it is difficult to learn, especially for those who speak English. Three levels of Arabic studies are beginners, intermediate and advanced. 

According to experts, Arabic for beginners will take nearly 700 hours of study. This means dedicating about 15 to 20 hours of study a week. If you stick to this schedule, you can reach the beginner level in 8 months. 

An intermediate-level learner will need to dedicate at least 1000 to 1200 hours of study time, including classroom sessions, homework, and practice. This will involve spending 20 hours a week studying Arabic.

Those students aiming for advanced level will need at least 2200 hours of classroom experience. This level will take 2 years to learn Arabic with 20 hours of study per week. 

Pre-requisites to Learn Arabic

You must give proper thought before start learning Arabic. When you decide to learn Arabic, you should know that to achieve your goal; you must be committed towards it. You should ask yourself a few questions before you learn Arabic.

  • Think about why do want to learn it and your requirements and goal in learning Arabic 
  • Do you want to explore the history and culture of Arab and their language?
  • Do you wish to interact with people from Arabic cultures?
  • Do you have any religious motivation for learning the language, or do you just simply want to learn the language for academic purposes?
  • Do you want to learn the language casually because you want to talk to the people you meet during your travels to the Arabian countries? 

Purpose/ Benefits of Learning Arabic

Arabic is the fourth highest spoken language in the world. There are many benefits to learning Arabic.

Knowing Arabic will give you an advantage, as very few people speak the language. Learning Arabic will help you explore the rich culture of the Arab region, which is fascinating. You can read one of the most interesting classic literature of the world if you know the language. You must remember the exciting stories of Alibaba, Aladdin, and Sinbad, the sailor that keeps you entertained.

Knowing Arabic can benefit you career-wise. You can apply for various job positions in the Arabian countries as natural resources are found abundantly in the region, and so are the jobs around these resources.

If you know Arabic, it will be an added skill to your knowledge. You can work in the field of translation and interpretation that demands people who can fluently speak and write Arabic. Some other fields, such as foreign service, intelligence, banking and finance, consulting, education, etc, also need Arabic speakers.

If you know Arabic, you can learn other languages easily, such as Urdu, Turkish, Persian, and Hebrew, as they are similar to Arabic. Most of the words in these languages are derived from Arabic. Whenever you travel to middle east countries, it will be easier for you to communicate as though a considerable number of Arabs speak English; a huge part of the population uses Arabic as their main language. 

Levels of Arabic Language Explained

There are three levels of the Arabic language- classical Arabic, modern standard Arabic and colloquial Arabic. All these three are quite different from each other. Classical Arabic refers to the Quranic period of Arabic, which uses tremendously complex grammar and vocabulary. These were the days of the development of the Quran as a holy scripture. 

Modern standard Arabic is simpler than classical Arabic. This is a formal version of the Arabic language that is taught in academic institutions, news reporting, books, and political meetings. It is not used in conversation because of the tough grammar. 

Colloquial Arabic is spoken Arabic. Since it is a spoken form, it differs from country to country. So, for all casual communications, colloquial Arabic is used. If you want to learn basic Arabic language, this level is for you.

Time Required for Each Level

It will take one and a half years to learn classical Arabic. While nearly 2200 hours of dedicated study will be required to learn the rn standard Arabic. You can learn spoken Arabic in a few days if you wish to learn it just for fun. But to be able to communicate properly in Arabic will require more than 2 years in total, as experts say. If you wonder how long does it take to be fluent in Arabic, given the complexity of the language, then it is all about time. The more you devote time, the more you will learn and become fluent in the language. 

Best Ways to Learn Arabic from Home

Several factors affect the learning of Arabic at home for free.

  • Set some goals that you think you can achieve 

First, think about what your purpose in learning Arabic is. Is it that you want to visit an Arabian country and want to talk to the locals to gain knowledge, or are you shifting there for work-related necessities? Learning Arabic involves a lot of steps, such as vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and you must devote time to each of these stages. Assign a time limit for each of these steps. Never over-commit. Moreover, review your goals at regular intervals to check if you can fulfill them. Be consistent in your approach and move slowly towards your goal.

  • Take help from a language-learning app

There are a lot of smartphone apps that can assist you in your habit of learning Arabic. Most of these apps are free and can help you with all the steps of learning Arabic, as mentioned above. They will help you practice, memorise, and learn the vocabulary. 

  • Listening to news and documentaries 

If you want to hone your skills in Arabic, watch the news and videos from the top Arab media houses. You can also take the help of the internet if you want to learn the language from a specific region or dialect. Documentaries from the region are another great way of learning Arabic, which you can find online.  

  • Previous language experience 

If you already know English or are bilingual, it will not be difficult for you to learn a third language, as studies have opined. This is because bilingual people are used to exposure to different languages, and fluency in one language always leads to fluency in another one. However, even if you are not bilingual, you need not have to worry. It is all about the willingness to learn that all matters. But yes, mastery over two languages will definitely help you to learn Arabic faster than others.

  • The approach toward learning

If your learning is limited to classroom teaching, it will take longer to learn Arabic. If you experience Arabic learning outside of your class, such as visiting a country there, listening to the news and ebooks, and watching tv shows and movies in Arabic, all these efforts will help you learn the language faster than usual.

  • The time you are giving to learn Arabic 

If you want to learn Arabic fast, you must dedicate as much time as possible to the learning process. Regular practice is a must, and you should completely immerse yourself in learning Arabic.

Wrap up 

The above discussion focusing on learning Arabic will guide you if you intend to learn it. Analysing the various aspects of learning a foreign language like Arabic help you avoid mistakes while learning it. So if you are thinking about how long does it take to learn Arabic for you, try to implement these tips and stick to a timeline. You will learn Arabic much sooner than expected.