Arabic Class

is Learning Arabic by teaching it

Teach Yourself Arabic

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One of the first ways I’ve tried to learn Arabic is by studying Teach Yourself Arabic.

Things I like about it:

  • It actually worked to some level… I managed to advance my Arabic enough to get around in Jordan on a short trip (asking directions, saying hello etc.) However, I gave up before seriously dealing with verbs.
  • It uses transliteration and Arabic script side by side. This greatly helps in both getting more understanding of the script quickly and being able to move forward before having a total grasp.
  • The subjects of the chapter are well chosen: starting with saying hello, introducing yourself, getting around town and moving to more advanced, but real life subjects later on. This is no rocket science, but for some bizarre reason it’s a rare thing when learning Arabic.
  • The CD’s are excellent, and provide at least one way to get some understanding of how the language should be spoken

Things that are lacking:

  • Many of the later chapter’s vocabulary is somewhat irrelevant: on the one hand it’s nice to read a little story about a “porter”, but I really don’t want to learn all kinds of medieval words to go with it.
  • It’s often unclear how formal the language you’re learning is, and which dialect any particular word is.
  • I really don’t think Arabic can be learned alone…

My strategy in learning a language is to get a big number of angles (books, people, mp3s etc) on it and alternate them depending on which works. In this toolset, “Teach Yourself Arabic” is a tool that I use a lot and I like to use.


Written by klaasvanschelven

January 5, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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