The Arabic language has three main forms: Modern Standard Arabic, Colloquial Arabic and Classical Arabic. Colloquial Arabic is Arabic that is specific to one particular region. Saudi Arabian Arabic falls within the "Gulf Arabic" colloquial group. Learning Colloquial Gulf Saudi Arabian Arabic is challenging, but you will find it rewarding if you set goals and a schedule for yourself and maintain it at least one hour a day, three to four hours a week for at least six months.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Gulf Arabic-English Dictionary
- Arabic study books and CDs
- Recipe cards
Select and purchase some Gulf Arabic colloquial home study books and cassettes by searching online or by using some of the recommended materials provided in the Resources section. Plan to spend at least £65, as of the date of publication.
Schedule a formal schedule for yourself to study Saudi Arabian-style Arabic at least one hour a day, three to four days a week.
Look online for local community groups or clubs that study Saudi Arabian style Arabic. There may also be local community college courses or classes to take. Set and keep regular schedules each week with people you meet online to study Saudi Arabian Arabic.
Purchase additional Arabic language textbooks and CDs as you go along. Flash cards might also be helpful. Mentally prepare yourself for the seriousness of learning Saudi Arabian-style Arabic. Learning how to speak Arabic is a separate task from learning how to write Arabic, and how to read Arabic.
Listen to the tapes or CDs that come with the Colloquial Arabic Language Course that you purchased.
Repeat the Arabic words and phrases that you hear on the cassette out loud to yourself.
Meet with the study partners and community group and practice speaking Saudi Arabian style Arabic with one another.
Make flash card notes of the Saudi Arabian-style Arabic letters of the alphabet, one on each card. Also, make flash card notes of the Arabic numbers. Add in some basic Arabic words for colours, and basic words such as "yes," "no," "who," "what," "where," "when," "why," "toilet," "phone" and so forth.
Practice the flash cards weekly by yourself or with a study partner. Purchase additional flash cards online, and take your own time reading them and looking up each Arabic word. You may also purchase additional Arabic dictionaries, which may be more complete or have more words in them.
Practice writing each Arabic letter of the alphabet in each one of its forms: initial, medial and final. Then, practice writing short, common Arabic words the correct way and join each letter together. This will help you to recognise how to write Saudi Arabian-style Arabic, as well as recognise that Arabic words are generally composed of three phonetic letters as a basic root system.
Reading and Writing
Tips and warnings
- Purchase some Arabic music CDs or movies. Those will also help you learn about Saudi Arabian and Arabic culture and music. Purchase a Saudi Arabian or other Arabic cookbook and prepare some of the meals at home or for your friends.
- For information on the language levels and test specifications for Arabic reading, writing and speaking, visit the Foreign Service Language Institute website.
- Set limits for how much time and money you are going to spend on learning Saudi Arabian-style Arabic. If you are only learning Arabic for fun, it may not be beneficial for you to delve into it beyond a first- or second-year level.
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