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, 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. It teaches the reading and writing system of Standard Arabic, along with a smidgen of vocabulary and …

beginning

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, general interest, intermediate, reviews

Duolingo Arabic is coming: What should we expect?

Duolingo is a wildly popular website and app for learning foreign foreign languages. English-speakers are currently able to learn over 25 languages on the platform, ranging from the tried-and-true French and Spanish to the more adventurous Ukrainian, Swahili, Vietnamese, and Esperanto. Spanish-speakers can even take a stab at Catalan or Guaraní. Although there has been …

beginning

Learn colors in Arabic with a children’s song

Would you like to learn or practice some basic words for colors in Arabic? In this post I’ll guide you through a very simple children’s song that presents the basic (masculine singular) form of eight different colors, plus words for 16 different basic objects that exemplify these colors. Here is the video: The most basic …

beginning

Learn the days of the week with a children’s video

On the “Learn with Zakaria – تَعَلَّمْ مَعَ زَكَرِيّا” channel on YouTube there are quite a few short instructional videos for children that can teach you some basic vocabulary. In this post I’ll talk a bit about the video about the days of the week. This video is very simple and straightforward. First, the days …

beginning, intermediate

“Seven Brothers” song: Learn ordinal numbers and professions

In this post we will look at a children’s song خالي عنده سبع أولاد (pronounced khaalii ʕind-uh sabʕ ’awlaad in Standard Arabic) ‘My Uncle Has Seven Sons’, sung to the tune of ‘Skip To My Lou’. This song will help you learn the first seven ordinal numbers (i.e., ‘first’, ‘second’, … ‘seventh’), as well as …

advanced, beginning, intermediate

Learn 10 professions with a Zakaria children’s video

On the “Learn with Zakaria – تَعَلَّمْ مَعَ زَكَرِيّا” channel on YouTube there are quite a few short instructional videos for children that can teach you some basic vocabulary. In this post I’ll talk a bit about the video about professions. If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably just want to do the first part of …

advanced, beginning, intermediate

Online Arabic dictionaries

I am often asked what Arabic dictionaries I can recommend. In this article I will discuss four Arabic–English and/or English–Arabic online dictionaries, highlighting their advantages and drawbacks. Oxford Dictionaries Premium This is by far my fav♥rite online bilingual dictionary for Arabic and English. It is a paid subscription, but it only costs about $20 per …