Join now
Log in Join

Learning Arabic for free (or nearly free) (Dubai)

1. Arabic Alphabet
Front Range community college "Arabic Alphabet" on iTunes
Protected content
Unfortunately, there are very few books for learning Arabic script.
What is needed is some software that requires a writing tablet, and shows you where to start and end each letter. I haven't found that yet. So what I did was to find some children's books written for Arabic children that have tracings of the alphabet, INCLUDING DIRECTIONAL ARROWS to show you which way to form the characters. It took me about Protected content to learn to write the abjad in a crude way. I'm still learning to write words neatly and to recognize handwritten script.

2. Familiarization with listening to Arabic
Protected content $20 per month. I'm using it for Persian, but the Arabic course is very good. You will develop a familiarity with listening to Arabic. Use the course as often as possible.

3. Arabic pronunciation and intonation
rosetta stone software helps. It took me about one month to be able to pronounce certain vowels and consonants, because I didn't use the rosetta stone software and didn't have access to the Jane Wightwick/Mahmoud Gaafar materials at that time. I had to rely too much on native speakers... but most of them ( including Arabic instructors) are not used to breaking their words down into vowels and consonant sounds, so that wasted a lot of time. Or they are used to doing this to correct other native speakers, so they are unable to show you how to form _your_ vocal chords to make the unfamiliar sounds. Also realize that even sounds that seem familiar actually are pronounced quite differently: i.e. "ra", which is never pronounced like an English "r", but more like a German "r".

I have not found materials that teach intonation of words and sentences properly.

4. Free Online courses from Universities
University of California (Davis): Arabic without Walls on iTunes University. You can use their videos alone, or use them as lesson plans for your Arabic teacher. You can also enroll in one of their courses
Protected content

Arabic Elementary Course from Lund Universityin Sweden on iTunes
Protected content

Arabic I from Dalarna University in Sweden on iTunes
Protected content

5. Arabic Syntax
After/Simultaneously with learning the abjad (alphabet) and pronunciation of vowels and consonants, pedagogically you need to learn syntax before anything else. Not a single Arabic teacher or course (in UAE) that I visited was able to understand English well enough to teach syntax or grammar, so I became frustrated and gave up. Now, I am using my standard language-learning method to learn Persian: 1. Alphabet and Pronunciation (ignoring advice of native speakers, who will almost always claim that pronunciation of their language is "pure" and/or "complex", and therefore cause you not to be able to learn it. All languages are easy to learn, if you find a willing (and able) native speaker, or you find another way to learn pronunciation and syntax without a native speaker.

6. Arabic affiixes (prefixes and suffixes and infixes)
As in English, Arabic builds every word from root words.

From the root words, Arabic builds verbs and other words by adding prefixes to the beginning and suffixes at the end. English rarely uses infixes (changing the middle part), except in changing words like mouse and goose to mice and geese. However, this is the most important, i.e. most common way of building words, and the most important way of looking words up in a good English-Arabic dictionary. So you need a set of learning materials that teaches you based on root words in addition to basic phrases. I got a bit stuck in finding this info for the Persian language. But for Arabic, I found that Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar have some good, readily-available series for learning Arabic:
Easy Arabic Grammar, Easy Arabic script, Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar, and Mastering Arabic Grammar.
Protected content
Using the methoId of ignoring almost all input from native speakers (just using them for correction of pronouncing certain vowels and consonants) until I had mastered pronouncing vowels and being able to arrange words into all types of sentences, I learned German well enough to communicate in 2 months, and, after 3 months, I was able to pass Germany's university entrance exam for foreign students study European literature (in German). After about 1 year of learning, I taught German to non-native speakers in Germany. I refrained from asking native speakers any questions about grammar, since most native speakers are really not good enough at their own native grammar to teach it to anyone else, OR they know it, but have fanciful ideas that it is "complex".

Dubai Forum