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  1. #1
    TaherElmahdy's Avatar
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    Smile How hard is Arabic?

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    Non-native Arabic speakers find Arabic one of the most difficult languages ever, and Arabic is surrounded by myths. Here are just a few:
    “The script is impossibly difficult, like hieroglyphics.”
    Not true. Arabic has an alphabet of 28 letters. Letters are joined up. There are actually only 5 basic shapes. Writing goes clockwise (except for one letter – Hamza), from right to left, which for many people is easier than writing left to right as it involves pushing the pen, not pulling it.
    “Arabic has too many exotic sounds, impossible to learn for foreigners.”
    Not true. There are only two or three sounds which are not found in English and these can be learned easily through imitation.
    “Arabic has an enormous vocabulary: 400 words for a camel, 200 for a lion, etc.”
    Not true. Ancient poetry has a very complex and varied vocabulary. But the vocabulary of Modern Standard Arabic is no more complex than the vocabulary of any other modern language.
    “Arabic grammar is impossibly complicated.”
    Not true. Its verb system is quite easy. For example, there are just two tenses – past and non-past.
    Easy Verb conjugation

    If you’ve ever thinked (sorry, thought) about it, English and the other common European languages teached (sorry, taught) in school, are full of irregular verbs. That’s why really young kids will say things like “he hited me” – they haven’t got hold of the idea yet that in English, people don’t always form the past participle using the –ed ending. Arabic has nothing of the sort. The verb conjugation table is bigger than English (with singular, dual, plural, masculine and feminine categories), but once you’ve learned the table for only one verb, you’re done. There are indeed a category of verbs called “weak”, which are sometimes thought of as irregular, but in fact each group of weak verbs (e.g. hollow verbs, defective verbs) follow a completely regular pattern, which is tweaked slightly from the basic verb conjugation table.
    Learn one word, get dozens more free

    Being a Semitic language, Arabic has a derivation system, whereby from a single root (defined as a three-letter combination), you can derive a whole array of related meanings.

    So from the root ‘a-l-m we get the verbs ‘alima (to know), ‘allama(to teach),a’lama (to inform),ta’allama (to learn), ista’lama (to inquire). Furthermore, the way each of these verbs is related to the basic root ‘a-l-m also helps with vocabulary acquisition. So whereas ‘alima (to know) is the simple form verb, ‘allama (to teach) is a 2nd form verb (the middle root letter l is doubled), and we use the 2nd form for causation. So literally ‘allama means to cause someone to know, and therefore to teach. Similarly, ta’allama (to learn) is the 5th form, which is a reflexive of the 2nd form. So ta’allama literally means to cause yourself to know, and therefore to learn. And again ista’lama (to inquire) is the 10th form, which is used for requests. So ta’allama literally means to request to know, and therefore to inquire.
    Easy Pronunciation

    Although learning Arabic involves learning an entirely new alphabet, once learned, you can benefit from the fact that (1) Arabic is written phonetically, so every word is spelled exactly as it sounds, and (2) there is no correct intonation to learn in Arabic (which in English would have to be read “there is no correct intonation to learn in Arabic”), as all syllables are equally stressed.

    Arabic certainly has its fair share of challenges but you might find that it’s a whole lot easier to understand and get along with than you had thought.
    Choose your own word order

    The World Atlas of Language Structures estimates that around 35% of languages have a Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) word order, like English, (e.g. The dog chased the cat), 41% have an SOV order (The dog the cat chased), and only 7% have a VSO order (Chased the dog the cat).

    Although the standard word order in an Arabic verbal sentence is VSO, making it part of this minority, in fact word order in Arabic is very flexible. You can stick to VSO, or you can make it the same as English, SVO. Although this has subtle rhetorical differences in Classical Arabic, in Modern Standard Arabic the two word orders are equivalent.
    The European Influence

    Arabic is divided into Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA – used in the media, modern writing etc.) and the various geographical dialects (e.g. Egyptian Arabic). Most Arabic students start their Arabic education by learning MSA, and then expand to the other forms if necessary. Although the basic grammar of MSA is identical to Classical Arabic, it has been significantly influenced by translation works from European languages. As such, a number of phrases and connectors, not to mention vocabulary, have entered the language, making it significantly easier to communicate. For example, the verb to lie in Classical Arabic is transitive (so we get constructions like he lied his friend). In MSA, due to the influence of English and French, in both of which the verb to lie is intransitive (i.e. he lied to his friend), the verb is now used intransitively in MSA too. Although this has purists up in arms, if your goal is to learn MSA, this undoubtedly makes things easier.
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  3. #2
    noraina's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    Assalamu alaykum,

    As someone relatively new to studying Arabic, I will say I found it challenging - but not as challenging as I thought it would be.

    Once you've passed the basics, it's actually not half as difficult and you'll find that quite quickly you can understand a large range of vocabulary - after that it's focusing on the rules of grammar and accurate pronunciation.

    Altho yes I did go straight into studying Classical Arabic, which has a little more rules to take into account.
    | Likes TaherElmahdy liked this post
    How hard is Arabic?

    Ya Muqallib al-Quloob, Thabbit Qalbi Ala Deenik
    Oh turner of the Hearts make my heart firm on Your Deen







  4. #3
    Huzaifah ibn Adam's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    MSA basically anglicized Arabic. When you have studied the original Arabic, the pure Fus-haa, كلام العرب الفصيح, as is found in the دواوين العرب, like the Deewaan of al-Mutanabbi, etc. and the pure Arabic literary style as can be found in مقامات الحريري, etc. MSA becomes almost an insult, a slur against the name of Arabic. Nevertheless, MSA is necessary to learn in these times because the majority of those living in Arab countries are not fluent in Fus-haa, and are only accustomed to `Aamiyyah, but because MSA is taught in the schools, they know it. So, I am not saying that MSA must not be learnt, but it's obviously very important, but what I am talking about here is how the original Arabic has almost been lost. MSA removed the "Soul" of Arabic. Balaaghah, Fasaahah, Ma`aanee, Badee`, `Uroodh, Qaafiyah, Shi`r; none of that exists in MSA. Even many things of Sarf and Nahw don't exist in MSA.

    The MSA used in news reports is basically just English translated over into Arabic. The original Arabic used to be something the Arabs paid a lot of attention to. It was their art, you could say. Like ibn al-Wannaan says in his Qaafiyah, his القصيدة الشمقمقية:

    كم خامل سما به إلى العلى *** بيت مديح من بليغ ذلق
    مثل بني الأنف *** ومثل هرم وكالذي يعرف بالمحلّق

    وكم وكم حطّ الهجا من ماجد *** ذي رتبة قعسا وقدر سمق
    مثل الربيع وبني العجلان مع *** بني نمير جمرات الحدق

    لو لم يكن للشعر عند من مضى *** فضل على الكعبة لم يعلّق

    Learn MSA. Learn even `Aamiyyah as well (of whichever of the Arab countries you prefer, or even all of them). But don't learn only that and neglect the original Arabic, the classical Arabic, الكلام الفصيح.
    How hard is Arabic?

    اللي مالوش حد له ربّنا

  5. #4
    Nur80's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    Like learning anything new, you just need to practice and emerge yourself into it. That' what I've tried to do with learning Arabic (both MSA and fus-haa) for the past few years and now everything seems to be falling into place alhamdulillah Just practice and practice more
    | Likes TaherElmahdy, Omar IL liked this post

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    Omar IL's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    All you need is this :

    Say I WANT Learn Arabic then DO what you want to do!
    How ? If you realy want learn it, you will find how to do that

  8. #6
    Huzzy_786's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    https://siblingsofilm.com/the-15-thi...-in-15-months/

    The 15 Things I did To Learn Arabic in 15 Months - Siblings Of Ilm
    I’ll be straight forward and honest here – when you ask “Is it easy?” – well, it depends on your concept of “easy.”- If it were “easy” like the way that shopping for handbags at Dubai Mall is easy, everyone would be fluent in no time at all. Learning a language quickly is “easy” compared…...
    | Likes Abz2000 liked this post
    How hard is Arabic?

    www.dawahsolutions.co.uk

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  9. #7
    Abz2000's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Huzaifah ibn Adam View Post
    MSA basically anglicized Arabic. When you have studied the original Arabic, the pure Fus-haa, كلام العرب الفصيح, as is found in the دواوين العرب, like the Deewaan of al-Mutanabbi, etc. and the pure Arabic literary style as can be found in مقامات الحريري, etc. MSA becomes almost an insult, a slur against the name of Arabic. Nevertheless, MSA is necessary to learn in these times because the majority of those living in Arab countries are not fluent in Fus-haa, and are only accustomed to `Aamiyyah, but because MSA is taught in the schools, they know it. So, I am not saying that MSA must not be learnt, but it's obviously very important, but what I am talking about here is how the original Arabic has almost been lost. MSA removed the "Soul" of Arabic. Balaaghah, Fasaahah, Ma`aanee, Badee`, `Uroodh, Qaafiyah, Shi`r; none of that exists in MSA. Even many things of Sarf and Nahw don't exist in MSA.

    The MSA used in news reports is basically just English translated over into Arabic. The original Arabic used to be something the Arabs paid a lot of attention to. It was their art, you could say. Like ibn al-Wannaan says in his Qaafiyah, his القصيدة الشمقمقية:

    كم خامل سما به إلى العلى *** بيت مديح من بليغ ذلق
    مثل بني الأنف *** ومثل هرم وكالذي يعرف بالمحلّق

    وكم وكم حطّ الهجا من ماجد *** ذي رتبة قعسا وقدر سمق
    مثل الربيع وبني العجلان مع *** بني نمير جمرات الحدق

    لو لم يكن للشعر عند من مضى *** فضل على الكعبة لم يعلّق

    Learn MSA. Learn even `Aamiyyah as well (of whichever of the Arab countries you prefer, or even all of them). But don't learn only that and neglect the original Arabic, the classical Arabic, الكلام الفصيح.
    I recall last time i was performing 'Umrah and i was speaking with the Arab taxi driver with what bits and bobs i knew from the Quran and he suddenly exclaims "enta Qur-aan haafuidh" i replied "shuya shuya" he's grinning like he's sussed it "ana a'raf anta qur-aan haafuidh..." - that's when i realised that there must be a big gulf between Quranic Arabic and Saudi Arabic - when until then i'd just assumed it was their speed and accent that made it difficult for me to catch a lot of what they said.
    I don't get it though, Quranic Arabic is so clear and simple - why would they trade it for incoherent slang?
    | Likes Alamgir, Pure Purple liked this post
    How hard is Arabic?













  10. #8
    MazharShafiq's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    I agree with you exactly the fact that the Quranic Arabic is much easier and Saudi Arabia has ruined the original Quranic Arabi
    How hard is Arabic?


  11. #9
    OLFocus's Avatar
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    Re: How hard is Arabic?

    it depends on your will and effort


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