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Studying Arabic Language – What Is Easy and What Isn’t


By on February 06, 2014 in Learn Arabic

Studying Arabic language can be a tad bit difficult because, like a lot of things, it takes time to perfect.

Not just the words, but Arabic pronunciation and dialect as well require a lot of practice before they can be spoken flawlessly with a perfect accent. For English speakers, there are a lot of things that they need to understand about the Arabic language to rightfully judge whether it is actually difficult or not.

Speaking the Vowels

In Arabic, the sound of vowels is of two types; there are short vowels and there are long vowels, which need to be spelled out differently. You have to sharpen your skills in order to identify and differentiate these different types of vowel sounds from each other. Long vowels are usually pronounced for a much longer time than the short vowels. Unless you learn to identify these vowels, you will continue to face problems in speaking, reading and spelling Arabic words.

Sound of Heavy Letters

A number of Arabic letters are pronounced from the deep glottal area of the throat; these are called heavy letters. In English, there are no heavy letters, just light sounds. Therefore, speaking these heavy words can be a challenge initially for all of those learning Arabic language. First, you have to realize that you are actually capable of producing coherent sound from the deep part of your throat. Only with a lot of practice can you get flawless in speaking Arabic language effortlessly.

The Writing Pattern

When considering learning Arabic writing, the most difficult roadblock to overcome is to get accustomed to the right-to-left script style that is the opposite of English language. While it is easier to write individual letters, it takes time to get used to writing complete sentences right-to-left after you have done the opposite all your life. While practicing writing, you can take help of online videos at the same time, learning the right way to move your hands and form the words.

Getting Used To the Diacritics

Another thing about learning Arabic language that English speakers find hard to adjust to is the use of diacritics used with Arabic words for the purpose of pronunciation. You can say that these diacritics actually play the role of vowels in Arabic language. In the English language, the script flows left to right in a straight horizontal orientation and is easier to read. For learning Arabic, you are required to read not only horizontally but vertically as well.

You have to shift your focus constantly between the horizontal letters and vertical diacritics, which require a lot of concentration. The rapid and repeated eye movement can be confusing at the start, but you can get used to it with time. The thing to remember here is that these diacritics are highly important and you cannot get inconsistent in reading them if you count on learning Arabic the right way.

So what do you think?

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