There is no definite answer to “how long does it take to learn Arabic” because. Whether for an upcoming trip to Arabia or a business trip to Cairo, the motivation and the attitude behind learning a new language are entirely different. And in both scenarios, learners want to learn the language as fast as possible.
How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic?
The US Foreign Service Institute (FSI) figured out how much time it usually takes for English speakers to learn Arabic. They say it takes about 2200 hours or 88 weeks to become really good at speaking Arabic. However, keep in mind that this is just an estimate and might not apply to everyone.
This gives people the idea that it is one of the most complex languages to learn besides Chinese and Korean.
However, it is completely a choice and preference of an individual to master a language. Of course, if one needs to get fluent in Arabic, the 80 weeks may be extended to 88 weeks or more.
5 Factors to Consider
A few factors make all the difference in the time to learn a language. There is no easy way to answer the question of the time it takes to learn the language, but these factors make it easy for you to figure out how long it will take to master Arabic.
1. What’s Your Native Language?
If you grew up speaking more than one language, you might not have to work as hard to learn a language as someone who is not bilingual or multilingual.
Several studies have confirmed that bilinguals find it easier to learn a new language, especially a language as complicated as Arabic.
This is because such people are inherently more used to various languages and know their way of speaking while using more languages.
In short, proficiency in one language aids proficiency in another. But if you are not bilingual, even then, you don’t have to worry much.
The classes you may have taken for Arabic in school or encounter with a friend from the Middle east will help you get proficient in Arabic.
Moreover, if your native language is English or any other romantic language, Arabic will surely be difficult for you as it belongs to a different family. But if you are a native speaker of a similar language, Urdu, then learning Arabic would not be a task for you.
2. Language You Are Learning
Though Arabic is considered one of the most difficult languages for English speakers, it still has some of the words borrowed from the English language.
Knowing about these words will save you a lot of time when getting your hands on learning Arabic. Some of these words include مليون –[ milyoon]: Million, ميكرويف –[ maycrowayf]: Microwave, ميكانيكي –[ mikaniky]: Mechanic, كومبيوتر – [kombiouter]: Computer, تليفون – [telifone]: Telephone.
However, there are also a few words in Arabic that sound like English, but their meanings are different. But the similarity can make them easier to memorize; في – [fi] – (sounds like “fee”) means in, ارض – [ard]- (sounds like “art”) means earth, أنا – [ana] – (sounds like the name “Anna”) means I / Me, ألف – [alf] – (sounds like “elf”) means thousand.
Many English words have Arabic origins. But the words mentioned above are your friends and will help you.
The Arabic language surely takes a lot of time to learn because it is one of the most difficult languages to learn, topped by only a few languages like Japanese in terms of difficulty. Its grammar is one of the top things that makes it a hard language.
3. How You Are Learning
The way you opt to learn the Arabic language greatly influences how long it will take to learn the language. The first step is deciding which form of Arabic you want to learn. It is the official language of nearly 30 countries, and many pronunciations and accents have developed. Then, instead of overwhelming yourself, you should start with the basics.
The words in Arabic are generally recognized around three-letter roots. Moreover, you need to immerse yourself in studying the language.
The immersion approach is one of the most effective methods for learning the most challenging language, Arabic. This usually means devoting a lot of time to speaking the language and making conversations revolving around the language in your head.
Studies have proved that you should devote at least 3-4 hours to learning the Arabic language. You will see excellent results if you use this method.
4. How Much Time Do You Have?
How long it takes to learn the Arabic language depends on how much time you dedicate daily, weekly, or monthly to language learning.
Studies have proven that learners who can give a few hours to learning Arabic can learn it faster. You can decide for yourself what you want to dedicate to that hour. It can be watching a movie in that language or taking an online class. It will make the whole process of learning a language a lot easier.
You must give each language learning session a concrete and achievable goal. On days when you don’t feel like studying the Arabic language, you can still learn it by making a list of all the things you will do on that day and see if you can take at least 15 to 20 minutes to do any essential language exercise.
5. Your Motivation
Staying motivated is one of the most significant factors that affect the language learning experience. So many studies have proven the importance of motivation in language learning. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to stay motivated when learning Arabic.
One of them is that you should be disciplined and flexible. Stay calm if you feel like studying one day, have some commitments, or don’t have the time or energy.
Think about something you love and incorporate it with something that you find challenging about Arabic.
Lastly, rewards are great motivators. Whenever you achieve a small Arabic learning goal, reward yourself so you stay motivated to achieve more of these.
I’m Sehar, and have been working as a Content Writer for The Different Languages. Moreover, I’m just an amateur writer who didn’t quit and believes that everything in life is writable about if you’ve the outgoing guts to do it!