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The Arabic alphabet is made up of 28 letters, all consonants. Just as in English, there are different styles to the formation of the letters, but the styling is generally consistent.
While it may look intimidating at first, getting a handle on Arabic letters is actually fairly simple, as there are many similarities to English letter forms. One of the trickier parts of learning the alphabet, however, is that these letters may change form depending upon their placement in the word. Generally, each letter in Arabic has four forms depending on the position of the letter in the word: final form, medial form, initial form, and detached form.
Arabic is a stressed language and, while there are a few diacritic marks to guide pronunciation, they aren’t used consistently. While Arabic does share similar sounds with English, there are also a few sounds in Arabic that don’t exist at all in other languages. Some hard consonants sound decidedly throatier or raspier than their English counterparts and vowel sounds may be held twice as long depending on their placement in the word being pronounced. There are also voiced and voiceless consonants, which may be tricky to get the hang of at first and involve whether or not you hold the sound in your throat or make it primarily in your mouth.
With Rosetta Stone’s immersive approach, you’ll learn the language, not just the words. What makes Rosetta Stone effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. That way, you’ll be ready to handle any situation with ease and confidence.
Like many languages, Arabic is considered to be quite difficult to learn by westerners. Although Modern Standard Arabic is in great demand, many have hesitated to learn it because of the perception that it is just too challenging for foreigners. We want you to know that this is not the case. With the right approach and a quality language learning program from Rosetta Stone, you can gain the confidence to learn and speak Arabic.
Because Arabic is used across the Middle East, learning to speak Arabic can be extremely important for those who work in government, business, and also for people who want to travel with confidence. But with so many different dialects and varieties of spoken Arabic, where do you begin? We can help.
First, you will need to learn some of the important nuances of Classical Arabic, like the abjad, which is a system in which the different letters, specifically consonants, represent numbers. Before the numerals of the modern standard version of Arabic were developed in the 19th century, the abjad system was used to represent numerals. Today, abjad is often used in outlines and lists, as a shorthand.
In addition to the nuances of individual letters and numbers, Arabic grammar has some curious quirks, such as dropping vowels from words. Further, the order of words is a bit more flexible than it is in other languages. That said, it is important to note that Arabic is a VSO language, which means that very often the verb (or a nominal element) proceeds the subject or object in a sentence. This is why it is important to learn phrases in context, anod not simply rely on strict grammatical rules to determine sentence order.
Rosetta Stone concentrates on teaching Modern Standard Arabic, which is the official written and spoken language in over 25 countries. And because pronunciation can be one of the most challenging aspects of learning Arabic, a patented speech-recognition engine called TruAccent is used in every Arabic language lesson. TruAccent compares your voice to that of native and non-native Arabic speakers, and provides feedback so you can quickly improve your ability to speak and understand Arabic. TruAccent can be a powerful tool in helping you learn to understand, as well as to be understood, in Arabic.
Once beginning learners have the basic building blocks of speaking Arabic, they can move on to the longer phrases that are the fundamentals of conversation. Rosetta Stone’s 10-minute lessons are built according to this approach, always structuring vocabulary acquisition in context with real-world situations and resulting in an ability to speak Arabic with confidence.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Arabic whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.