In today’s world we find more people taking classes to learn the Arabic language. The reasons they have for learning Arabic is as varied as the people who want to learn it. Some need to learn it for employment, others for scholastic reasons, and others because of religion.
Whatever the reasons, there are vital mistakes that many students of the language make in the beginning. These mistakes cost them more money and more time. They make their Arabic learning harder or more complex than it needs to be.Not knowing your ‘why’
Deciding to take the journey of learning Arabic is a big step. You will have supporters, but you will also have naysayers. Those naysayers will be there to convince you not to pursue this language. They will tell you how hard it is or how it will not help you to become fluent.
Not Knowing Your ‘Why’
You will have to be firmly grounded into ‘why’ you want to learn Arabic. Your why; your motivation will be the sword that slays all excuses and naysayers. One of the mistakes new students of the Arabic language make is not identifying their ‘why’ early in their studies to help them on the path of knowledge. Hold firmly to your ‘why’ and use it to learn this beautiful language in a small amount of time.
Not Knowing Your ‘How’
Many people who decide to learn Arabic have no plan as to how they will pursue the language. With no clear direction, it is easy for their studies to go wild. Students spend much needed study time hopping from course-to-course and all Arabic learning programs are not the same.
Your ‘how’ is strongly connected to your ‘why.’ If you have identified why you are learning this language or the goals you would like to accomplish by it, you can focus on using the tools that you need to carry out those goals. You will be able to attend educational programs that are tailored to your Arabic learning needs.
Holding Classical Arabic and Dialects of Arabic the same
There is classical Arabic, which is what you will find in the Quran, on the news, and in universities. It is well-known as fus-ha. Then there are dialects that people speak in their everyday lives. Each region of the Arabic speaking world has its own dialect that is different from the others and some of them, although their origin is the same, sound quite different from fus-ha.
So, should you learn a dialect or classical Arabic? The answer to this question goes back to your ‘why.’ If you are learning Arabic for business purposes or because you have moved to a specific area, then you want to learn the dialect specific to the area you will work or live in. If you are learning it for religious purposes, learning Quran and other Islamic texts, then you should learn classical Arabic.
This should be self-explanatory, but many students begin studying Arabic without any guidance or aid. This wastes a lot of time and energy. Buddying up with fellow colleagues who are learning themselves is not the way to go. Now, in hiring a tutor, you must be selective. Remember, your methods of learning the language may differ according to the reason you want to learn it.
So, your tutor needs to be someone who can tailor to your ‘why.’ For example, if your reason for learning Arabic is to be able to read the Quran and understand it, then hiring someone who has memorized the Quran, its pronunciation and explanations would be more suitable for you than the engineer who is teaching Arabic to his non-Arabic speaking colleagues. Having a tutor from the beginning helps to build a solid foundation for you to stand on as you progress in literacy and fluency.
Using Transliteration for reading
Transliteration is the use of English letters to spell Arabic words. The intention is for the reader to be able to pronounce Arabic words, however, it falls short. A transliterated anything cannot take the place of the Arabic language, and there are some sounds in it that are not found in English.
Therefore, there must be some symbols created for those letters. Transliteration is a crutch and slows down the progress for reading Arabic. You must learn to recognize the Arabic letters for what they are and not symbols for something else. So, skip the transliteration.
No Daily Arabic Practice
To become proficient in anything, you must practice. When it comes to language acquisition, this is especially true. You can never become fluent in any language if you do not speak it. Arabic has a long oral tradition, so there are many works in the language that are appreciated more if done orally.
Do not be embarrassed. Take every opportunity to practice Arabic verbally, and not just with others in your course. Stores, libraries, parks, and malls are all suitable places to practice it.
Using Only One Method to Learn
In general, the method of gaining new knowledge in the Arab world has been through rote-memorization. Their minds are strong, and they can recall a lot of information verbatim. This does not work for non-native Arabic learners. There simply is no point of reference. Sitting in a class memorizing texts that you have learned to read fluently will not help you. There must be an anchor for you to climb on.
Because of today’s technology, finding courses to suit your needs is easier than ever before. Online searches can pull up physical classes all around the globe. You can also pull up virtual classes. These classes can be tailored based on when you want to take them and how you take them.
Virtual classes often solve some of the language learning obstacles. They are flexible, self-paced, getting rid of the excuse of time limitations. Most have a video feature, so that you can hear how the words are pronounced. Try a few different methods and see what works best for you. Learning Arabic can be fun, adventurous, and easy. Make sure that you take into consideration these 7 mistakes that new learners make. Avoid them, and you will be well on your way to becoming fluent in the Arabic language.