Category Archives: Education

Pimsleur English For Arabic Speakers

Arabs have always been the richest traders as before. They are also associated with the oil rich nations. Unfortunately, oftentimes they are also mistaken as terrorists. However, they own one of the most eloquent languages of all time, a language that has inspired many writers and artists in general to come up with their masterpieces: the Arabic language.

It is said that Arabic is spoken by about 280 million people as their first language and the language has many different varieties spoken around the world from the Middle East to North Africa. This language is also the largest member of a family of Semitic languages and its varieties around different geographic regions are mutually intelligible.

Arabic is influential and powerful in its own right as it has lent many words to other Islamic languages and it has once been an influential force in the European culture as well, particularly when it comes to mathematics, science, and philosophy. Hence, even European languages were able to borrow words from the Arabic language. There are also several words that are clearly influential on Mediterranean languages such as Portuguese, Sicilian, and Spanish.

With all these information about the Arabic language, you wouldn’t think that any race who speaks the language as its mother tongue would still need to learn English. But they still have to. Here are several reasons:

English would even broaden their chances for doing business with other countries. Given that many countries are in need of many business ventures, these Arabic-speaking people would easily find many projects and business expansion opportunities if they learn how to deal and negotiate in English, which by the way is the universal language.

Now that peace and security is a primary concern among many countries, any Arab-speaking country would be able to reach a diplomatic arrangement with any country to help defend the countries in the Middle East against terrorist acts and other threats on security. It is easier for any Arab-speaking country to reach an agreement with other nations in treaties if they speak, discuss, and negotiate in the same language.

The Arabs have yet to harness the benefits of online technology and might be surprised how India and Singapore fared well in the information technology industry. It can provide them better opportunities for business and trade as well if they make use of this technology. But the language used generally online is English. There are only a few sites that have translations to the Arabic language so for a more fun and easier way of learning English, any Arabic speaker must make use of a Pimsleur language learning audio course which would make you learn the language at your own pace and anywhere you may be. You can get a copy from the Talking Bookstore now.

Learn to Speak Languages the Easy Way

What is Rocket Languages?

Rocket Languages is one of the top language software developers in the world. They market a complete range of language courses including Rocket Spanish, Rocket Arabic, Rocket Chinese, Rocket French, Rocket German, Rocket Japanese, Rocket Italian and even Rocket American Sign Language. Each language course was developed by a specialist team of native language speakers.

Rocket Languages has taught thousands of people from all across the world how to quickly learn languages, in as little as 3 months, and the “secret to their success” lies in the way they teach the language.

Rocket Languages emphasizes developing the ability to speak the language and understand what you’re saying in context before you learn the details of grammar. Unlike comparable Language courses, Rocket Languages is all about interactivity and ease of use.

Probably the best thing about this course is that you’ll actually be able to speak a language properly. In high school or college, most language courses devote the majority of your time to learning grammar and vocabulary, while neglecting the speaking and listening aspects. The product comes packed with 31 interactive audio lessons to help you develop those critical skills. If you want to speak and understand a language in addition to knowing the grammar and vocabulary you need, this is the course for you.

The product also includes 31 grammar lessons across over 300 pages and hundreds of exercises and activities, and even interactive games that are designed to help you improve your vocabulary, pronunciation, and knowledge of verbs. If you need help on something that isn’t covered as well as you’d like, there is also access to a private team of native speakers who can answer your questions, as well as a forum where other foreign language users can post their questions and thoughts.

While most other language courses are designed for the beginner, Rocket Languages is a great starting point for beginners, but also features lessons for intermediate and advanced students.

Thousands of people from all over the world have discovered that learning a language can be fun, easy, and enjoyable when you have the right training. Whether you want to learn a language for a job opportunity, holiday, or simply to expand your cultural horizons, do yourself the favour of choosing the award winning Rocket Languages and learn quickly and easily.

About Rocket Languages Institute

About Rocket Languages

The Rocket language institute was founded by Jason Oxenham and Mark Ling in 2004 and it’s also known as Libros Media. In time, the institute not only expanded the number of languages courses it offers, but it has also managed to structure the information in a way that is easily understood and absorbed by learners.

Regardless of which language you want to learn, each of the courses will feature a unique, clear and well-ordered teaching style that will make it very simple for you to learn the language of your choice. You can start immediately and will be very impressed on how fast you can progress.

Below you can find some more facts about what to expect when studying a language at Rocket Languages.

Offline or online: It’s your choice

The interactive audio lessons are very witty and fun and you can choose whether you want to listen to the lessons while being online or just download them to your computer and then transfer them on your MP3 player. Jogging, eating breakfast or even commuting to work or school will give you the time and space in order to delve more into the language and develop your skills. To make lessons even more effective for you, every audio lesson will include a transcript of the conversation in the language you chose to learn, but also in English.

The Rocket language institute also offers lessons that help you learn more about the culture and the language structure, so that when you have the chance to speak with native speakers, you will have no problems understanding what they’re saying

Romanized alphabet

There are quite a few languages that don’t use the Roman alphabet, like Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Korean). When you study one of those languages, it will be displayed in the Romanized version and in the characters of the respected language. For every beginner this is one of the best ways through which they will be able to learn a foreign language.

Motivational resources

The Rocket language institute has introduced a series of motivation resources which aim at helping you stay motivated while learning the language of your choice. You don’t have to feel scared and worried about having tons of books on your shelf like you used to in the past, as these language courses and motivational resources offer you everything you need to stay on track with language games, progress tracking and the ‘my Motivation’ area in the members section.

Forum support

Maybe you have some questions or would like to have some of your queries explained in more detail. In that case then you should know that the forum support the Rocket language institute created can help you with that. There is a possibility to ask questions to your teacher or discuss problems with other students on the student forum. There are also plenty of quizzes you can take, progress tracking tools to see how much you managed to learn the language and of course, software learning games which can be played on both Macs and PCs.

Language courses

The number of languages offered by Rocket Languages is ever increasing, most recent addition being Portuguese. Other languages offered at the moment are: Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, German, French, Chinese, Arabic and American Sign Language.

The majority of the new advanced interactive program features have been introduced during 2009. The language courses the institute offers are affordable and you will love the fact that compared to other language learning courses out there, you will not be required to pay any monthly fees. 97 percent of the more than 800,000 students have said to find the program value for money. You will also receive membership free of charge for life.

Learn Arabic Effectively and Easily

Learning a foreign language has benefits of all sorts. Whether we are going to be a visitor in a foreign country or on business, we need to learn their language in order to interact well and blend in. Also, people from foreign nations might be visitors to our lands and we would like to be good hosts. We need to learn the language and sometimes we need to learn it more rapidly than what tutorials or lessons with a native speaker can teach us.

Traditional Techniques

Beginners who want to learn a language like Arabic very often rely on tutors, language lessons or sometimes even foreign travel to learn the particular language they are interested in. However, there is an easier way to accomplish it.

By listening and practicing speech in Arabic each day and using authentic native speakers, we can pick up the language more rapidly than we could in any class. Studies reveal that we use only about 2000 separate words and phrases on a day to day basis. Several methods of learning languages focus on this aspect to teach those particular words and phrases first. When we do acquire these basics, the rest seems to follow a lot more easily.

Interact in Arabic

The basic syntax needs to be understood prior to making the attempt of understanding the rest of the Arabic language. Once you have that down, the rest will flow quite easily. Moving to interaction, pay attention and listen closely to Arabic speakers as they talk. Visit an Arab restaurant and listen as they order; watch what appears when they do. This will give some ideas about the words as they were said and what they imply. Activities such as ordering a meal, reading the news or watching it in another language are more likely to help us learn to speak the language more rapidly.

By listening others speak Arabic, we will begin to pick up a word here or there. When all of this adds together, it begins to make sense far more rapidly. Teaching ourselves to think in another language is the real key to learning a language rapidly. Finding that single word or phrase that you understand and adding one or more to it each day just as a child learns to speak from his parents helps a great deal.

Factually, we will learn more rapidly if we have some level of interaction with the Arab speaking community. If you have any Arab friends, ask them to help you to learn. If you don’t have Arab friends, one method might be to go to an online forum and ask someone if they would be willing to write to you in email so that you can practice you language skills.

In most cases, people love to share their culture and their language with an outsider, and to be given the opportunity to be able to do that is something most people will respond to. We all love to teach what we know. If you pay close attention, it won’t be long before you are speaking Arabic like a native.

Learning Arabic Online Can Be Fun and Exciting

Learning a new language is like learning to play a musical instrument. IT does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process wherein frustration may creep in easily. However you need to keep your spirits up and keep going. Learning Arabic is not like learning just another language. It is tougher and takes more time to get a complete grasp of the language than as compared to the time required to learn some other language.

The process of learning this language is a new experience altogether and it might take months of reading and learning to read and write the language without mistakes but once you are through with it, you would confront with one of the most rewarding feeling and perhaps you would want to go out their and tell people that you can speak and write Arabic. It is something to be proud of.

There are various techniques to learn the language. First up you need to come to terms with the fact that the language is written from right to left unlike any other language. Then you need to understand the way words are pronounced in Arabic. To learn any language it is important to get the ‘feel’ of it and it is not different with Arabic. Interacting with the people who speak this language is the best possible way to learn. You may take lessons initially but you need to expose yourself to an Arabic environment where Arabic is the first language. This does not suggest that this is the only way to learn it but is definitely the most effective and that too once you are through with the basics.

In order to start your Arabic learning stint, you can consult some books on the subject or perhaps get hold of a tutor. Books would teach you to learn the Arabic alphabets and the various phrases that are used often while speaking Arabic. A tutor would perhaps help you understand the pronunciation in a better way. However there are audio CDs available with the books that help you learn easily. Similarly there are a number of websites on the internet that help you with pronunciations and spellings or words and phrases associated with the language.

Arabic is one of the oldest languages known to man. The Quran was originally written in Arabic and if you wish to read the Quran and capture its essence to the core, this is perhaps the right language you ought to learn. Similarly various historical and mythological epic collections and ballads have been written in Arabic.

If you are an avid reader of spirituality then perhaps it would do a whole world of good to you if you get your hands on some of the ancient Arabic books. These books are said to define spirituality to the core and reading these books fills one with immense knowledge.

The language presents you with various opportunities to read stuff that you wouldn’t have ever read before. Similarly in case you plan to go to the Middle East, you would understand the history of the various places in a better way. Communicating with Arabs would be easy and it would perhaps be a wonderful experience if you know how to speak Arabic.

Learning Arabic Alphabets

If you are interested in learning Arabic, there are many online correspondence courses that help you to learn Arabic or you can start taking home tuitions. No matter what you do, learning of Arabic alphabets is how you get started with. Arabic alphabets are very different when compared to English alphabets and may look like some erratically written script.

The first alphabet in Arabic is ‘Alef’ and the symbol for this letter somewhat looks like ‘T’ in English language. It has a ‘S’ like symbol over it which tells how to pronounce the alphabet. The ‘S’ shape is known as ‘hamzeh’ and is an accent mark. Sometimes the hamzeh appears beneath the alphabet that apprises you to pronounce it differently.

The second letter of the Arabic alphabet is called baa. The symbol for the alphabet differs according to the positioning of the alphabet in the word. Baa is one of the joined letters in the Arabic language. Baa has two forms- a short form and a long form. The long form of the alphabet is used when the word ends with baa and the short form is used when the word starts with baa or it comes in between two letters.

In the initial stages you are only required to start with learning and mugging up the shapes and sounds of the alphabet. You may not worry about writing the alphabet till you have mastered the shapes and sounds of all the alphabets and some typical words that are often used in the language. As in English language Arabic also has a song that can be used to learn the alphabets easily. Even though this seems to be a childish method of learning the language, you have to start in a way akin to children when they first learn their mother tongue. There are no vowels in Arabic language but analogous to English vowels there are alphabets in Arabic that serves similar purpose and helps in determining the pronunciation of different words in Arabic.

Mentioned earlier, the symbols that are placed above and below the character act as the vowel and determine how the word or the alphabet is suppose to sound. Kasr-aa is one of these symbols that is notated as slanted lines beneath some letters. Fat-haa is another such symbol that is placed above a letter. When these symbols are encountered a sound is added to the letter.

Learning Arabic: The Classroom and The Text

Based on your unique situation, the Palestinian dialect is the Arabic you desire to learn. Your maternal grandmother is Palestinian and you want to travel to the old country to explore your roots. But where to begin? What’s the next move? The biggest determiner, of course, is money. Nothing is free! Well, not so fast! Due to the Internet and modern technology, there’s been a phenomenal rise in free or reasonably priced resources tailored to language learners on a budget. For now, lets focus on traditional “IRL” options like the classroom, tutoring, and textbooks, and figure out how to keep these costs down.

If you have the funds – or are currently enrolled as a student – you can take Arabic courses at a local college or university. The bigger the college, the more likely their foreign language department offers Arabic; and because of the increasing demand and relevancy of this language, more and more community colleges are starting to offer it. A cheaper classroom option is the non-credit “continuing education” or “community education” courses offered to the wider community by many community colleges. For example, Portland Community College offers a six-week Arabic course for under a hundred bucks! Even more incredible, they offer both MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) and the Egyptian dialect.

Non-credit community education classes are a fine introduction to the language, but they will only take you so far. This leaves many folks in a pinch because they can’t afford to keep the momentum going by attending courses at the university level. And believe me, they are no small expense. With fees factored in, a single five credit course at Portland State University cost almost $1,000! A third option is attending an independent language institute like Berlitz. Ironically, language institutes are more accessible abroad because they are cheaper. If you have the freedom to do so, I highly recommend studying abroad in an Arabic speaking country where you’ll find no shortage of affordable private language institutes and happy people willing to help you learn.

If you don’t have the good fortune of gallivanting around the globe, don’t be deterred! You can seek out help closer to home and find a native (or non-native) speaker to tutor you. And the best part? You can often swap English lessons for Arabic lessons as payment if your tutor is still struggling to achieve that perfect English. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to find an interested native speaker who is just as enthusiastic to share their language as you are to learn it. Start asking around! Surely someone you know has an Arabic speaking friend, colleague or acquaintance. This is also a great way to further intercultural understanding and strengthen bonds between communities. It’s really a win-win situation.

If that seems too intimidating or simply not feasible for your particular situation, just pick up a book and start hammering away! There’s a large assortment of high quality texts on the market geared to the autodidactic learner. My best advice is to read the consumer reviews to get a feel for how the book actually works in the hands of the learner. These assessments can be very helpful and have served me well in the past.

Remember though: MSA or a dialect? That is the question I can’t emphasis enough; your answer will change the parameters of your search entirely. There’s an excess of books out there teaching MSA, in contrast to a general shortage for the dialects. But the more popularized and widely spoken a dialect is, the easier it is to locate the right text. For instance, Egyptian Arabic is relatively easy to find books for. There’s a great series put out by The American University in Cairo Press called Kallimni ‘Arabi, by Samia Louis. In regard to MSA, the most well-known and oft-used classroom text is the Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-‘Arabiyya series, by Kristen Brustad, Abbas Al-Tonsi and Mahmoud Al-Batal.

There’s just one problem: both these texts are written in the Arabic script, which means you must already possess a solid grasp of the script in order to utilize them (the Al-Kitaab MSA series does include an “introduction to Arabic letters and sounds” that could successfully instruct a beginner on the script without the aid of a teacher). The truth is, if MSA is your focus it helps to have guidance in learning the script before working independently. Because mastering the script is so central, you’ll want to build a firm foundation. Having a mentor will help you build confidence when confronting what is arguably the most difficult aspect of the language.

On the other hand, if your passion is the dialects – what’s spoken by natives in everyday life – then you have the option of dispensing with the script altogether and diving straight into transliterated textbooks. Transliterated means that the Arabic script has been converted into the Latin script, a process resulting in an endless variety of spellings (something you’ll have to see to believe but we’ll save that for another day!). With a transliterated text you will be able to read what you see: qul-li, il-maktabe maftuha yom s-sabt?, even if you don’t know what it means.

Two examples of transliterated texts that come to mind are Kullu Tamam, An Introduction to Egyptian Colloquial Arabic and Spoken Arabic for Foreigners, An Introduction to the Palestinian Dialect. A few differences between the two: the first text is grammatically intricate, can be easily ordered online from Amazon, and includes an audio CD, while the second text keeps grammatical explanations to a minimum, must be ordered from the author in Palestine, and does not include an audio CD — a major drawback that I advise against if you are learning without guidance from an expert. Hearing the language is key to successful acquisition.