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Old 06-07-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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How long would it take to learn it? I plan to take a few college classes and then spend a year abroad. Which Gulf country would be best to study in?
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Spain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaliyahfan View Post
How long would it take to learn it? I plan to take a few college classes and then spend a year abroad. Which Gulf country would be best to study in?
I would not recommend studying in the Gulf. While there are many study abroad programs in the Gulf area where you can study Arabic formally, if you want to learn how to actually speak the language, the Gulf is not an ideal place because most everyone there speaks English flawlessly.

Countries where you would actually be forced to learn a modicum of Arabic to get around town would be Egypt, Jordan, and Syria for sure. But even there many people will speak at least some English.

I lived in Jordan for 8 months (got back to the U.S. last month) and I lived and got around comfortably with only taxi, food, and purchasing vocabulary. I am by no means fluent, but I can hold a simple conversation. Others who were more passionate and devoted to practicing their language skills learned more than I did. Again I pretty much stuck with my Western friends and didn't venture out all that much or care to make Arab friends (that's another story). If you are truly committed to learning the language and would make an effort to hang out with Arabs in Arab areas of town (most big Arab cities will have sections that Western expats tend to congregate in - avoid these areas or you won't learn anything!) and refuse to speak English, you will learn.

As per your original question, it depends. You could have a good grasp on MSA grammar in 2, maybe 3 years if you study hard and have good formal instruction. But its not nearly as easy as Spanish or French - you are learning an entirely new alphabet and language structure.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
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The problem with Arabic isn't exactly learning arabic, but dealing with all the different dialects. You could learn standard arabic, but then go to any arabic country and realize no one is even speaking standard arabic and find out that you have to learn that dialect and that it is very different.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Also depends on if you already have learned a foreign language, if you have, it will be easier, and how much language learning aptitude you have.It seems to me some people have an easier time with some languages, as if they spoke it in a past life or something. Not to get all alternative on you, just an observation, and one that I don't know the reason for, OK? You could go somehere like Detroit, there are plenty of Arabic speaking communities there. My own experience with Russian is that a co-tutoring arrangement, where you find an Arabic speaker who wants to work on their English, works well. Immersion is nice once you reach a certain level of proficiency, but aggravating until then (but it's motivating, after the fashion of a beat-down on an aspiring martial artist)
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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It's always easier to learn, at least at first, languages that use the Roman alphabet, because you can study and learn the vocabulary by sight a lot easier, and you can practice the grammar and syntax by reading.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:25 AM
 
13,507 posts, read 16,795,163 times
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Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
The problem with Arabic isn't exactly learning arabic, but dealing with all the different dialects. You could learn standard arabic, but then go to any arabic country and realize no one is even speaking standard arabic and find out that you have to learn that dialect and that it is very different.
An English speaker could find the same situation just going to Yorkshire, or Enlish-speaking African and Asian countries. This is nothing unique to Arabic.
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