Winning at Arabic (pt. 1)

The school year has started. Beginning Arabic classes are brimming with students while advanced Arabic classes are struggling to stay afloat.

Or maybe they’re not. The point is: TONS of students start Arabic. Very few finish.

Arabic can be overwhelming, and especially in the first year, the discouragement and confusion can get you down. My best advice? Study.*

Arabic is difficult and complex. Its complexity derives in large part from the rules of the language.
You will have to learn lots of rules, and their exceptions, and when and how to apply each one.
You will have to learn to use your throat muscles in completely new and foreign ways.
You will have to learn to read and interpret a whole new set of symbols (the Arabic alphabet).

And that’s the thing about Arabic: it is totally learnable.

The first year is confusing because everything about the language is new to you and none of it really makes sense, and it is so deeply uncomfortable. You’ll feel awkward. You’ll feel like you’re drowning. This is good. It means you’re learning.

Stick it through. It takes at least until the second year before first year makes sense.

*Actually my best advice is to do your first year as a summer intensive program, then do your second year, then do another intensive program for your third year.

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