Friday, May 15, 2015

Simple Steps to Learn Arabic Quickly and Boost Your Career Opportunities

People across the world learn Arabic for various reasons- work, family, friendship, or travel. I chose to learn Arabic due to my hobby to understand different languages (I know French and Mandarin) and most importantly, I had a plan to work there (now it’s been 3 years working in Saudi Arabia). I believe that for every expat job seeker, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the foreign language to fit in the corporate culture of the country.
Here I’ll highlight a few important points to help those who share the similar dream of living and working in Arab countries.

Understand the Language Types

Arabic is an Afro-Asiatic language, which is spoken by millions in the Arab and other parts of the world. It is the official language of around 26 Middle Eastern & North African (MENA) countries. Before planning to learn the language, understand and decide which kind of Arabic is your requirement. The regional dialects and accents differ significantly, with each sub-dialect as per the country- Egyptian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Levantine Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic, and Mesopotamian Arabic. 

When you are not sure about the region of your job, the safest option is to study Modern Arabic Standard, which is the classical or Qur’anic Arabic and mostly understood everywhere. It is widely used in literature, political speeches, television/radio, and formal writings. Standard Arabic is also used in the Qur’an. Moreover, it is the origin of all words used in different Arabic dialects.
Get an Idea about the Dialects
As said earlier, Arabic has several dialects. In every Arab country, you can see people using a certain dialect or in their daily life. Now the first question for a beginner would be, “Is this the right way to start learning Arabic with its dialects?” Learning a dialect includes earning vocabulary of a particular dictionary. Therefore, according to my experience, learning a dialect as the first step towards learning Arabic is a good idea.  

Learning the alphabets and dictionary

For many people, the Arabic script looks daunting in the beginning. They prefer to rely on transliterations of the Arabic words instead of trying to learn them. However, this often creates problems in the later stage of the learning. Therefore, the best you can do is, follow a systematic process to learn the alphabets. Read books. Using an Arabic dictionary can help you a great deal in the process. 

Understanding the Arabic Dictionary

The next vital step is to know how to use the dictionary. In Arabic dictionary, words are mostly listed under three-letter roots. For example, if you are looking for a word “istiqbaal” in the dictionary, it should be checked under “q” as its root letters are q-b-l. Obviously, learning the trick requires some practice. However, it is not that difficult as it follows a set pattern that needs to be understood by you.  

The Other Tips for Beginners

I followed them strictly, and continuing with the rulebook!

Learning words by using pictures is an easy way to learn and memorize the new words. 
It is important to make this learning process a fun experience and not for the sole purpose of finding a job. Remember, if you are not enjoying Arabic language, you can never learn it.
Make a proper plan and set a schedule for learning. If you think that, you can study anytime or only during your free hours, it will not give you the desired result.
Choose a mentor who can guide you throughout the process. Of course, he should also have knowledge of the language to give you a proper feedback. 
Learning any new language is not a child’s play. You can definitely try language classes for better results and learn quickly.
Practice is always required at your end. It is important that you learn at home, practice some language test papers, and read books.
Joining some Arabic speaking groups on various networking sites can also help you practice more with other Arabic learners. This also creates a great platform to share your doubts with other people.
Learning a new language is always a fun, especially when it relates to your career opportunities abroad.
All the best!

Author - Swati Srivastava is an avid writer with a keen interest on the extensive domain of job search and career counselling for job seekers in Saudi Arabia and the entire GCC region. Currently associated with, her articles are published on several reputed career sites. Follow her @Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+.


  1. My name is Raushanah Muhammad, I am an American, with 10 years experience in IT Technical Writing and I hold my Bachelors degree in English. I wish to pursue opportunity in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Please contact me at

  2. Its a wonderful post and very helpful, thanks for all this information. You are including better information regarding this topic in an effective way.Thank you so much.
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