Category: beginning

The beginning category is for learners who have only a very basic vocabulary. Beginners may not have learned to read Arabic script yet, but they may be able to read simple sentences.

beginning, Duolingo

Duolingo Arabic: Alphabet 1, 2, 3, and 4

I have just (July 2, 2019) worked through level 1 of the first four skills of the Duolingo Arabic course: Alphabet 1, 2, 3, and 4. These four skills teach you eleven letters of the Arabic alphabet (about a third of them), a few diacritical marks, and about twelve words, most of them proper names …

beginning, general interest

I want to learn Arabic. How should I start?

As a teacher of Arabic, I am sometimes asked what the best way is to start learning the language. In this article I’ll give some tips and things to consider. What kind of Arabic? The language normally used in newspapers, books, and scripted material is usually known as Modern Standard Arabic, abbreviated as MSA. MSA …

beginning, reviews

Bite-Size Arabic: A review

Bite-Size Arabic: Learn to Read and Write Arabic Using the Tiniest Bit of Vocabulary and Grammar by Leston Chandler Buell (that is, by me, Dr. Bulbul) is a new textbook designed for both classroom use and independent learners. The book has been included as one of the five best books in Tutorful’s 2018 Expert Guide …


Alif Baa: A review

In this review I will give my perspective on Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds (ألف باء: مدخل إلى حروف العربية وأصواتها), a popular textbook by Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi. The book comes with a CD full of audio material. Access to a companion website with video material can be …

beginning, intermediate

The principal moods of the Arabic verb: Indicative, subjunctive, jussive, and imperative

In this article we will take a short look at the main moods of the Standard Arabic verb: indicative, subjunctive, jussive, and imperative. We won’t go into excessive detail, just the contexts that beginning and intermediate learners of Arabic are likely to encounter. This is also the reason we won’t discuss the short and long …

beginning, Duolingo, general interest, intermediate, reviews

Duolingo Arabic is coming: What should we expect?

Update! The beta version of the Duolingo Arabic course was released the last week of June 2019. At this stage, the course is only available on the Duolingo website, not in the app.  I hope to post a complete review sometime before the end of August 2019. So, watch this space! Duolingo is a wildly …