Learning the Arabic alphabet
January 19, 2013 16 Comments
For my first Arabic lesson, I sat with my Rosetta Stone computer software and repeated the “core lesson” three or four times. As a true beginner, I needed to practice the lesson again and again just to get a sense of what the language sounds like and begin to pick out individual words. But the language-learning software does have other components, and after finishing the core lesson multiple times (and raising my score by… two percent) I finally moved on to pronunciation, reading, and writing. I like the reading and writing lessons because, at the beginning level, they focus on individual characters in the Arabic alphabet and the sounds they make. The sentences above the pictures in Rosetta Stone started to look like more than meaningless squiggles as I was able to pick out individual sounds.
This is still my favorite letter:
And now I know what sound it makes. Depending on the little mark above it, this character can make a tu or a tah sound. That’s what I have learned so far.
This is one of the letters that Rosetta Stone focuses on in the first lesson for pronunciation, reading, and writing.
Besides Rosetta Stone, my other Arabic teacher is Maha, of the YouTube chanel LearnArabicWithMaha. I am watching a series of videos she created with (her Italian husband?) Luca in which she attempts to teach him Arabic. Luca seems bemused by the whole thing but he’s an obedient student.
In this second video, Maha teaches Luca how to write five alphabet letters. I decided to emulate Luca and practice the letters in my own Arabic practice notebook. I like doing this because it takes me back to kindergarten (or was it preschool?) when life was simpler and I did a lot of practicing letters. Even though I am an adult now, and in theory past my language-learning prime, I can already read English (and Spanish… and music!). So I think that learning the Arabic letters may not take much longer than it took me to learn the Latin alphabet when I was three feet tall. Famous last words, right?
If you already speak Arabic, how long did it take you to learn to read and write? Do you think it takes longer for a child or an adult?
Find out how I decided to learn Arabic and how it all got started:
- How to learn to speak Arabic in just one year (In which I think I am *not* getting working knowledge of Arabic for Christmas.)
- My first Arabic lesson EVER (I stop procrastinating, crack out the Rosetta Stone and get started.)
- A true beginner’s first language lesson (Video proof of my [atrocious?] accent)