How Long Does It Take to Learn Arabic: Facts to Know!

Sarah Lifestyle
23 Min Read

Do you want to learn a new foreign language?  Does the elegant nuance of the Arabic language capture your attention? Are you wondering how long does it take to learn Arabic? You’ve arrived at the correct website!

The process of learning something completely new is always challenging. It requires mental strength, commitment, and motivation to work hard. One finds it disheartening that the results are not seen immediately.

But, it is the general agreement that the accomplishment of learning a new language is a fulfilling process. There is also a significant effect on your cognitive functioning.

Planning to learn a new foreign language is an effective strategy to slow down the aging of your brain. Additionally,  the size of Broca’s area increases, the language center of the brain.

Overall, it helps in providing flexibility to the brain, improves memory, and prevents the brain from aging. Preventing or slowing down the aging of the brain prevents disorders like dementia from having an early onset.

How To Learn Arabic - 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Learning

Arabic has a large number of nuances. It has more than 10 words for the word “love” alone. Being completely out of touch with the Semitic language might it even more difficult. Learning Arabic is indeed different.

With the hope that you clicked on this article with dedication and a strong sense of pursuit, we will move ahead to help you understand the general idea of how long it takes to learn the Arabic language.

Furthermore, we will explain the various aspects of the language, why you should consider learning Arabic, factors that influence the learning of Arabic, etc.

1. How Long Does It Take to Learn Arabic: Facts about Arabic

Arabic continues to be a captivating language for language learners that holds a lot of historical and cultural significance. It has a complex linguistic structure and requires much dedication to learning. In this section of the article, we list some of the fun facts about the Arabic Language that you should learn.

Understanding this plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic. We hope that this serves as an incentive for you to love and start learning this language.

1.1 Historical Significance

Arabic dates back more than 1500 years. This time frame makes Arabic an old language, in fact amongst some of the oldest. The Arabic Language was used to write many of the scriptures and books that aided in the evolution of science, mathematics, philosophy, and literature.

how long does it take to learn Arabic
By Brigida_Soriano on Unlimphotos

1.2 Right to Left

The direction is from right instead of the other way around. This makes it one of the few languages that use the right-to-left direction instead of the left-to-right direction.

Other languages that use the right-to-left direction include Urdu, Farsi, Hebrew, etc. One of the reasons for this direction is because of the positioning of the scribe.

Since many writers were right-handed, they would use the right hand to hold the chisel to carve scriptures and would hold the hammer in the left hand. Writing from right to left offered an easier way to write from the point of view of motor or hand movements.

1.3 Calligraphy

Exquisite calligraphy is also created in Arabic. Arabic calligraphy is a revered form of calligraphy. This Arabic calligraphy holds great cultural significance and it is also used to adorn several monuments and structures like mosques, palaces, etc.

how long does it take to learn Arabic
By Berkay on Unlimphotos

1.5 Influences on Words

As we mentioned the historical significance of Arabic above. It has an impact on many languages. It has also led to the conception of many scientific and mathematical as well as medical terminology. Words like “alcohol”, “algebra” and “algorithm” have their origins in the Arabic Language.

1.6 Numbers

Indians developed the numbers. This fact is true. However, today the numerals are known as Arabic Numerals. This was because Arabic Scholars are responsible for spreading the use of these numbers in the West. The use of these number systems replaced the Roman number system.

1.7 The World of Poets

The Arabic language is rich in literature. The Arab world has a strong and beautiful custom of poems and narrations and storytelling. Some of the renowned poets are Al-Mutanabbi and Al-Ma’arri.

Their poetry and literature are still cherished in various forms and languages and they left a lasting impact on literature. Understanding Arabic Understanding poetry plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic.

Khalil Bendib "Al-Mutanabbi St." at the San Francisco Public Library

One interesting fact about Al-Mutanabbi is that his full name was Abu at-Tayyib Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Mutanabbi al-Kindi. One of his most famous poems, when translated into English goes:

Courage to reason second place must take.

For valor should not balanced judgment shake.

But if both in a hard soul united are,

Then Glory’s realms their demesne shall make.

1.8 Quran

Arabic holds cultural and historical importance but did you know that it is also considered sacred? It holds immense religious importance in Islam.

In Islam, believers hold the belief that the  Quran was originally in the Arabic Language. Therefore, Muslims all around the world learn to read the Arabic Language. This is done to assist them in learning and reciting Quran in Arabic.

how long does it take to learn Arabic
By Galitskaya on Unlimphotos

1.9 Wordplay

The use of Wordplay and puns is one of the most fun traditions in the Arabic Language. The difficulty of Arabic wordplay plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic.

Clever manipulation of words and alphabets is employed to showcase artistic and intellectual talent in classical poetry and literature.

1.10 Vowel System

Arabic completely lacked the vowel system. This made the language essentially difficult to read and learn. Modern Standard Arabic now has diacritics. They added the small marks to the scripture at a later time.

They act like the vowels and there are six of them. Out of the six vowels, three of them are known as short vowels and are /a/, /i/, and /u/. The other three are long vowels and they are /aa/, /ii/, and /uu/.

1.11 Additional Facts

  • There are many Arabic-speaking countries in the world. It is the official language in almost 22 countries of the world and has more than 30 dialects.
  • The Arabic language is so vast and diverse that it has 24 different ways to say or write the word “Love.” You can use the word all-hawa which talks about the attraction and lust one feels at the start of an early romance.
  • A crush or an infatuation. al-wold which is platonic love, a friendly companionship. Al-haram is the passionate and fervent love and attachment you feel for your significant other. Al-Hayam is the annoying and crazy love.
  • If you are an English Speaker, then tough luck. Some claim that learning and speaking Arabic is hard for a Western speaker.
  • Arabic is a challenging language to directly translate.
  • Some of the Arabic letters have sounds that are otherwise not found in the English Language. Capital letters are also absent! One such Arabic alphabet is ح.
  • English speakers might be well acquainted with the term cursive writing. This is also known as script. Arabic is only written in cursive writing and nothing else. Therefore it is also very visually distinctive.
  • Arabic had different versions—The modern and the standard or classical. The classical language is most found in ancient scriptures and Quran. Many Speakers around the world, now use Modern Arabic.

2. How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Language Learning Factors

Many individual factors might influence your Arabic language learning ability. Age, your familiarity with the Semitic language, and your covert dedication to learning the language are some of these. Below,  we list some individual factors that have an impact on the Arabic language learning experience.

2.1 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Critical Learning Theory Hypothesis

Critical learning Hypothesis will determine how long it takes to Learn Arabic. This theory adds an interesting tidbit and opens up a discussion about learning Arabic. The Critical Learning Hypothesis is an important theory in language acquisition.

The theory further proposes that there is an ideal age period or window of time. In this ideal period, it is easy for the networks in the frontal lobe’s capacity to learn anything new. However, later on, as age progresses,  language acquisition becomes more and more difficult.

The Critical Period Hypothesis

2.2 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Age

Age is one of the key aspects that determine your capacity to learn. The common result in many types of research is that learning a new language is easier during the earlier years.  Provided if the individual is surrounded by a linguistically rich environment. This is the critical period.

This does not mean that adults cannot master the Arabic Language. While age is just a key factor that makes language learning easier. This also implies that adults require more dedication and hours to learn Arabic. If exposed to Arabic earlier in life, it boosts optimal proficiency.

2.3 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Past Experience or Exposure to language learning

Are you familiar with the adage, practice makes a man perfect? This applies here as well. Learning Arabic will become a little easier for you. This also implies that if you have exposure to a language similar to Arabic, you will show a greater aptitude for learning Arabic. The cognitive skills needed to learn a  language similar to Arabic will transfer to the new learning experience.

If you have experience or exposure to a language that shares grammatical or phonetic similarities, then the process of learning Arabic will speed up. For example, if you are from Indo-European countries, it will be very difficult for you to grasp the various nuances of pronunciation in the Arabic Language.

Similarly, for people who know Hebrew, Lebanese, etc, it will be easier to grasp Arabic. This is due to the similarity in cognitive strategies and linguistic structures.

2.4 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Cognitive Abilities

You must be wondering what are Cognitive abilities. In psychology, Cognitive Ability refers to the functions like problem-solving, attention, memory, the capacity of working memory, reading, listening skills, comprehension, abstract thought, etc.

A person who has cognitive solid skills will find it easier to engage in the language-learning process. It will allow individuals to learn the complex sentence structures and additional vocabulary rules of their native language or Arabic.

Cognitive Flexibility describes a person’s capacity to shift from one language to another. It allows one to shift easily between different linguistic rules and norms. This is beneficial in learning Arabic.

2.5 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Intrinsic Motivation

A lack of motivation will result in no success in the language learning process.  A positive attitude and strong motivation to learn a new language will impact your Arabic language learning process. Cultural Appreciation, curiosity about Arabic, previous language learning, professional aspirations, and willingness to work hard fuel motivation.

how long does it take to learn Arabic
By Mazirama on Unlimphotos

3. How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Learning Approaches

The Arabic Language holds a lot of historical significance. The difficulties and barriers associated with learning this language are unique. The method of understanding how to learn Arabic is unclear to begin with, to you.

Consequently, in the following part of the excerpt, we will discuss the various learning approaches related to learning Arabic. We will also look at various resources that you can look into before you start learning Arabic.

3.1 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Classroom Learning

Classroom Learning will provide you with a methodological learning acquisition. There is a systemic curriculum, professional guidance, and real-time practice and interactive practice.

Face-to-face communication and direct mentorship will help individuals in learning how to properly pronounce words. Direct guidance will also help in clearing doubts. It will be easier for the learner to grasp complex rules of the language with hands-on experience.

how long does it take to learn Arabic
By kasto on Unlimphotos

3.2 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: E-learning

While learning in classrooms is a good option, not everyone has a choice. You might live somewhere where they don’t offer practical Arabic classes.

If these worries are troubling you, then we assure you that online platforms are also a great source for learning Arabic. This will allow you to learn the language at your own pace. Moreover, there are many apps and websites available which will teach you the language for free.

These apps also cater to everyone’s learning style. They offer daily quizzes, goals, and also practice sessions.

Keep in mind, while these apps might be an easy way to build vocabulary and basic linguistics study, the advanced Arabic language can only be learned with a proper curriculum and course.

3.3 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Tutors

You can also hire someone to teach you the Arabic language. If you are fully committed to learning Arabic and don’t mind spending money and dedicating time to it, you can hire a tutor. A tutor can help you create a program that caters to your demand. There are advantages of training in Arabic that are the same for tutoring and classroom teaching. In addition, you can also learn the language at your own pace.

3.4 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Resources

The resources on the internet can aid you in learning Arabic easily. The context of learning Arabic will become easier with the use of these resources.

how long does it take to learn Arabic
By trgowanlock on Unlimphotos

3.4.1 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Textbook

Arabic Course for English Speakers by Madinah Library, How to Learn Arabic by Abbas Ali Baig, and Arabic for Dummies by the For Dummies Lifestyles Paperback series are some of the textbooks that you can use to learn Arabic. “Alif Baa” offers step-by-step guidance for learning Arabic. It provides content for the culture present in the language.

One drawback of learning solely from textbooks is that it does not give you an interactive learning experience.

3.4.2 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Podcast

Listening to Arabic podcasts daily means that you will surround yourself with rich Arabic linguistics. This will give you listening practice. Some channels that you should check out  are “Arabic with Sam” and the “Dukkan Show.”

To conclude, there are several Arabic courses, textbooks, and podcasts available for you to get your hands on. The opportunity to learn Arabic and the available resources for it remains limited.

They come in abundance. Therefore, if you have set your mind to learning the Arabic language, with proper guidance and resources, you will become a pro in no time!

4. How Long Does It Take to Learn Arabic: Goals and Timeframes

When you start your venture to learn the Arabic language, it becomes essential for you to set goals. These goals should be realistic. This plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic. The timeframe you set for each realistic goal should also be reasonable.

4.1. How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Defining Goals

Do you have great academic aspirations with this language? Is your goal to learn it because you need to use it daily?  Is it because require Arabic to engage in conversations in your surroundings? Or do you want to pursue it simply as a hobby? Do you want to engage in complex discourse?

Your goal will dictate what level of Arabic you need to learn. It will also determine how long it takes to learn Arabic. You can also set realistic expectations and timeframes for yourself.

4.2 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Commitment of Time

You have to adjust your schedule to include the time to learn Arabic. Take into consideration how much of a workload you already have. This will also help you decide on learning goals and expectations.

Be honest with this. This plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic. Do not set low expectations because that will lead to low motivation to learn. Do not set high and unrealistic expectations because that can lead to burnout.

4.3 How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic: Tailoring your learning approach

This is key in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic fluently. Once you have understood what your purpose in learning Arabic is. Tailoring your lesson plans according to your needs works. You might want to learn Arabic for conservation purposes.

For this, you have to set your lesson plans in a way that focuses on conversations, pronunciation, daily vocabulary, etc. Your learning approach will focus more on basic grammar and everyday approaches.  This plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic.

how long does it take to learn Arabic
By EikoTsuttiy on Unlimphotos

Similarly, if you want to delve into Academic Arabic, the demands are different. You have to attain a comprehensive grasp of formal Arabic language structures.

Aside from this, you need to have an understanding of complex terminologies and the ability to understand complex Arabic texts.

5. How Long Does It Take To Learn Arabic Fluently?

Let’s look back at the official FSI Estimation. This plays a crucial role in determining how long it takes to learn Arabic. For a high to intermediate level amount of proficiency, you must work hard to speak and learn Arabic daily and watch Arabic videos to improve your English vocabulary.

If you want to learn Arabic quickly it would take 10 or 20 hours a week to reach professional levels. Dedicating around 15 to 20 hours of your time to learning Arabic, you will master it in about 8 months.

5. Conclusion

With this article, you can see that assessing the time to learn Arabic depends upon various factors. It all depends upon individual factors, your learning approach, goals, motivation, and timeframes.

Therefore, learning Arabic can take anywhere between a few months to even a few years. On average, it can take you around 88 weeks or 2200 hours to learn Arabic.

Language learning is a fun process. Whatever the reason maybe, if you start this process with motivation and willingness to work hard, you will be a pro at that foreign language in no time!

Last Updated on by ditz1010

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