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Best way to learn Arabic in Jeddah?

I will be here for the next 18-24 months.

What's the best way to learn Arabic?

mohamed715 :

I will be here for the next 18-24 months.

What's the best way to learn Arabic?

Short answer: Practice, period.

Long answer:  You could use Rosetta stones or online sites to learn the basics. The Arabic dialect here is Hejazi.

Also you could get to exchange a language with a local (your colleagues should be the first choice). You could skype or talk with people in coffee shops. Guys from Jeddah tend to be very good in Arabic and familiar with Western cultures, so they welcome approachers.

There are many options and ways. See which one suits you the most.


Regards,

Does the Rosetta stone contain lessons/vocab which are what is "really" spoken here?

myyams :

Does the Rosetta stone contain lessons/vocab which are what is "really" spoken here?

I have used my friend's Rosetta Stones in his PC, back when I was learning German. It helps the most with vocabulary and pronuciation. I don't remember seeing grammatical lessons in Rosetta Stones. As to what the Arabic version teaches, this software teaches mainly MSA (in three levels only), which is an acronym for the Modern Spoken Arabic. What I understood from reading and asking others is that it teaches you the basics of Arabic with minor utility of different Arabic dialects, meaning that they select the traditional Arabic (ancient and Qur'anic) and adjust it to modern uses, in terms of noun and verb selections. In Arabic, there are many verbs that could describe one action, and normally more describing a noun (names- or 'Esm Alam').

There are different dialects spoken and different accents in the Arabian Peninsula itself, making standard Arabic not much in use when listening to local dialects. The majority of public understand MSA, but they will most likely respond in their local dialect, unless they are being very helpful and supportive.

To summarize this, no, I don't think Rosetta Stone is going to fully prepare your lingual comprehension of the differnet Arabic dialects used across the Arab nation. It could, however, enhance and improve your speaking and reading skills.


Interesting Facts:

1- Extension of the Arabic language: there are hundreds of nouns in Arabic for the noun (Lion- 'Asd'). I confirmed lots of these names, and I don't know if they were all correct or not.

http://ejabat.google.com/ejabat/thread? … 41ed1ba4ca

I doubt any average modern Arab speaker to know more than 12.

2- Importance of diacritics in pronuciations of Arabic expressions: there are mainly 4 different (diacritics- 'tashkeel') in the Arabic language: ('Fatha','damma','kasra','sukoon') in addition to the combinations (shadda), to compensate for the "deficiency in numbers" of vowels in Arabic ('alif','waw','yaa') in all their forms.

An interesting story regarding to point number 2:

Abu al-Aswad Al-Du'ali was with his daughter oneday on a trip at night.

The daughter: "Abi, ma ajmalu al-sama'[?]"
The father: "The stars."
The daughter: "la ya abi, aqsud onzur ela jamal al-sama'!"
The father: "Then you meant, ma ajmala al-sama'."

English

The daughter: "My father, what's the most beautiful in the sky [?]"
The father: "The stars."
The daughter: "No my father, I meant look at the beauty of the sky!"
The father: "Then you meant to say 'look how beatiful the sky is."

In arabic, the slight difference between Ajmalu and Ajamla ( أجملُ and أجملَ ,in the diacritics (accent), yielded a change of the sentence's meaning!

Put in mind that accents could be put on any letter of the word; they are necessary only if the word is unknown to public or if there could be a confusion in meanings (multiple meanings of the word with the same letters combination and order)

I hope it was not too long to all, but I thought this would be interesting to Arabic language learners.

Finally, the spoken hejazi in the Western (Central West mostly) side of Saudi Arabia is differetn and unique. It will not be an exaggeration if I said some saudi locals of the central regions of Saudi Arabia have some difficulties understanding the west, and vice-versa.

Thank you really so much for such a thoughtful reply.  I guess I have to stick to your first shorter suggestion...practice. I don't think the Rosetta Stone is going to help me. I am really very good in Classical Arabic (Quran, Hadith etc).  But as you might know, showee, showee is not in the Quran lol. 

My maid is from Ethiopia and speaks Arabic, though she cannot read well in Arabic. She reads ok in English, and understands simple things she reads.  We have a serious communication problem.  She can't understand what I am telling her very well in any language. Perhaps 25% of the words I know in Arabic she knows.

Maybe it'd be as simple as attending a local course in spoken Arabic and writing down some key verbs that we use often around the house as well as expressions like, "would you like to or do you want to .... I need to know how to say these.  I am missing most of the connecting, supporting kinds of phrases.


What do you think about that option for me - just something to kick start everything?  Do those courses teach real, spoken Arabic as my maid would understand? = )

And if you would suggest that, do you also happen to know of a course for only ladies = )    I'm asking a lot...sorry about that.

thank you though, much appreciated.

myyams :

Thank you really so much for such a thoughtful reply.  I guess I have to stick to your first shorter suggestion...practice. I don't think the Rosetta Stone is going to help me. I am really very good in Classical Arabic (Quran, Hadith etc).  But as you might know, showee, showee is not in the Quran lol. 

My maid is from Ethiopia and speaks Arabic, though she cannot read well in Arabic. She reads ok in English, and understands simple things she reads.  We have a serious communication problem.  She can't understand what I am telling her very well in any language. Perhaps 25% of the words I know in Arabic she knows.

Maybe it'd be as simple as attending a local course in spoken Arabic and writing down some key verbs that we use often around the house as well as expressions like, "would you like to or do you want to .... I need to know how to say these.  I am missing most of the connecting, supporting kinds of phrases.


What do you think about that option for me - just something to kick start everything?  Do those courses teach real, spoken Arabic as my maid would understand? = )

And if you would suggest that, do you also happen to know of a course for only ladies = )    I'm asking a lot...sorry about that.

thank you though, much appreciated.

*- Could you come here please? "Mumkin teji hina?" Or, "ta'ali lw samahti."
*- Would you like us to bring you dinner, on our way? "Tebghina njeeblik asha ala al-tareeq?"
*- This is how I stir the soup. "Kida agallib Al-shorba."
*- When are you coming back? "Mita jayya?" Or, "Mita raja'a?"

I think learning Arabic with instructors is a very good idea, especially since that the purpose of learning Arabic could be discussed (in case of possible adjustments to materials)
What is to be taught  in courses is usually MSA, for that it helps learners and researchers look up resources and write down in that language. However, some courses are offered in Hejazi dialects. I would contact the institution first and ask about that.
Once you get started, you could practice with native speakers or your nanny.
You could buy booklets for common Hejazi expressions and add them to your bank; you could find these books in bookstores, like Al-Marikh on King Fahad Road and Al-Muhairy on Prince Miteb Road; Jarir Bookstore may have these booklets.

‎‎Jeddah Center For Arabic Language. مركز جدة لتعليم اللغة العربية
To get there, from Madinah Road having Lexus Agency on your right , take the second right then the first left at Bin Zagr intersection. The institute will be on your right.
They have a FB page with their location, with contact information, course fees and schedule. The used book is called "The Arabic Language between your Hands"

I tried uploading images on the phone but it does not work.

Also, there is Al-Bayan Arabic Institute offering online courses for men
http://www.albayan-arabic.org

You could ask them if they offer females only classes.

Finally I know King Abdulaziz university used to offer discounted prices for foreign students; I could be wrong about this though.

If you want to practice Arabic, you could talk with your colleagues; that's a convenient option.

Please don't feel you are asking many questions. As I said earlier, I enjoy assisting others. Plus, questions you put will help generating answers benifiting others.

Feel free to ask more questions, and the same applies to everyone.

Regards,

hi! im also an expatriate a filipino, the easy way i learn arabic language is learning basic arabic words which we used in daily activities,you can also learn from youtube.You should starts from the basics and talk it with ur friends who knows how to speak arabic.I'm living here in jeddah for almost 7 years and happy to say im enjoying arabic language.

There is an institute called Language Studies Institute (or maybe International) on Prince Sultan Street, across from Salama Center, next to the wooden pedestrian bridge.  There is a supermarket there which I can't remember the name of.  The institute is above this supermarket.  You will see "LSI" at the top of the building.  They have lessons for men and women, or at least they used to last time someone told me they were taking lessons there.

You speak both Arabic and English?!
I neeeed help!

Sister suma,

Of course the person who speaks both english and arabic both can help comprehend your thoughts and converse with you in a meaningful way, but there is a big misconception. Every arabic speaker may not be a good arabic teacher, on the contrary, a non arabic speaker (GHAIR-NATIQUEEN)  who has spent a lot of time and effort in learning Arabicin a scientific manner, may be a better guide to you since he or she would know where the confusions and mix ups are.

I hope this will help.

hello guys
im in jeddah and im looking for an arabic course.
can you please help me?
i live in palasten Street.if i can find near to me it would be great.

thank you so much

Hi Abolat,
I'm like you learning Arabic. I'm using an online course very interactive and intuitive called rosetta stone. rosettastone.com/
It is not expensive and if you are serious you get results quickly.
Enjoy!

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