Friday, November 4, 2011

Learning Arabic

A few months back I wrote a post about the task of mastering the Arabic language – a difficult one I must say, considering you have to deal with an entire different alphabet, written from right to left, several dialects and various interpretations...

Since most people around here do speak English, it is easy for you to get by with just the basic stuff like marhaba (hello), shukran (thanks), afwan (you are welcome) and so forth, but I must admit I feel a bit embarrassed that after four and a half years I am still unable to form a sentence in Arabic.

If you, like me, are considering dedicating a few hours of your time every week to learn the local language, here are some tips that might help get you started:

- Online
Today it is easy to learn Arabic online. Almost every mall in the country is filled with kiosks that sell CDs with learning systems that promise to be very useful.

During my last visit to Abu Dhabi Mall I bought myself one of those, supposedly the fastest, most effective way to learn words and phrases in Arabic and never forget them. Haven’t tried it out yet. Will let you know how it goes…

- Classroom
You are the kind of person who needs an actual, live teacher in front of you? Here are some good options…

Mother Tongue
The Mother Tongue is a very popular Arabic language center established in Abu Dhabi in 2005 as a specialized center for teaching Arabic to non-native speakers – from beginners to advanced levels.

For more information: / +971 2 639 3838 /

With over 130 years of experience and 500 centers spread all around the world, Berlitz is also here in Abu Dhabi. You can choose between a series of different options, including total immersion, private, semi-private and group programs. 

For more information: / +971 2 667 2287 /

Coming over for some tourism or a business trip and in a hurry to learn some basic words to break the ice? Try this website:

Bettawfeeq (good luck, or at least I was told…)!

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