Learning Arabic

How to master the local language effectively

Learning Arabic

It is not vital to speak Arabic in Kuwait if you are an English-speaking expat, but some familiarity with Arabic will play to your advantage in work as in your social life. Our tips will help you to learn more effectively.

What kind of Arabic should I learn?

Keep in mind as motivation that it doesn't matter what your level of Arabic is, locals in Kuwait will take your attempt to speak their language as a sign of respect. 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 read the Qur’an, be able to read state documents, books and sound cool when you ask questions while travelling
  • Egyptian Arabic – if you want to be mostly understood in the Arab world and be able to watch Arab TV, understand the lyrics in their music and so on
  • Some specific dialect of Arabic like the Gulf Arabic – if you know specifically where you will be living

Some characteristics of the Arabic language

Arabic as with other Semitic languages is written from right to left. The alphabet consists of 28 letters which are mostly consonants. It has no capital letters. Most of the letters have four different forms, depending on whether they stand alone or come at the beginning, middle, or end of a word. In Arabic people don't include most vowels when writing - maktab (office) is just written mktb. Some Arabic letters are very difficult to pronounce, like the hh, the q or the g.

Further reading

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