As explained in the Arabic language section there is no such a thing as a uniform Arabic language but it varies from country to country in the form of dialects. Before undertaking a course you should make sure what kind of Arabic is the most appropriate for you.
You should learn:
Modern Standard Arabic – if you want to be able to read state documents, books, newspapers and sound cool when you ask questions while travelling.
Egyptian Arabic – it is the most widely spread dialect in the Arab world, used by a great number of Arab TV channels as well as in various songs and books.
Bahraini dialect - If you plan on staying in Bahrain and not travelling much then you should learn a local dialect. It can be helpful when dealing with locals, bartering etc.
Difficulties in learning Arabic
Arabic may appear to be a difficult language to master when you see Arabic script. However, once you master the alphabet, the writing and pronunciation, you will see that the language's structure follows a fairly logical pattern.
Vocabulary is quite difficult since it is very unlikely you will find words similar to ones in your native language. When you study Arabic you will need to already know a word or the family it belongs to to be able to understand it.
Some sounds are really different from other languages too, and you may need some time to get used to them.
Tips for Arabic language learning success
You can find a language exchange partner in our Classifieds.
It is possible that there are native speakers in your community. You can approach such groups to practice what you learn and also to get familiar with the peculiarities of the different dialects since they are more widely used in everyday communication.
Also, you can watch Arabic films, listen to Arabic music or read books or magazines in Arabic.
Nowadays there are numerous Arabic newspapers and TV channels that are accessible online.
Joining or starting an Arabic conversation group and visiting Arabic chat rooms will also help you improve your language skills.
Learning Arabic Online
www.gulfarabic.com/ - On this website you can learn Gulf Arabic through grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation lessons for free. By paying a subscription fee you will have the access to the full text, audio & exercises.
www.madinaharabic.com - This portal is aimed at people who want to learn Arabic online with lessons, tuition, vocabulary, downloadable e-books, user forums, etc.
http://arabic.desert-sky.net/links.html - A web page that features various links to websites with free information on Arabic language and also media sources with free content that can help you practice Arabic.
www.arabic-studio.com/index.html - This web site provides online courses, Arabic language articles, as well as links to books and other resources.
http://bahrain.embassyhomepage.com/bahraini_language_learn_bahraini_language_schools_bahraini_dictionary_online_holiday_phrases_in_bahraini_embassy_london_uk.htm - Web page of the Bahrain embassy in the United Kingdom, which provides links to Arabic language schools in Bahrain and abroad.
Arabic Language Proficiency Test (ALPT)
The global standard for measuring student proficiency levels in Arabic is the Arab Academy’s Arabic Language Proficiency Test (ALPT). The test has the following modules: listening comprehension, reading, structure, writing, and speaking. Testing with ALPT started in 2002 and exams are held four time a year, available both online and in paper format.
For more information about the test you can visit www.arabacademy.com/alpt