Many people are wondering what they should expect if they start to learn Arabic. How important is it? How hard or easy is it? Whether it has different rules from English (concerning Arabic Grammar, Arabic Vocabulary …)
First let’s talk about how important Arabic is, Today Arabic is spoken throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Mauritania, and Chad. It is the mother tongue of over 225 million people in Africa and Asia. And since the Qur’an is written in Arabic, people in other Muslim countries have from basic to advanced knowledge of Arabic like in Indonesia (largest Muslim population), Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Israel, India also has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations, although Islam is not the principal religion there. Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania (Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim), Nigeria …and in many places where Islam is the dominant religion, or even among small Muslim communities, since Arabic is related directly to the Qur’an, the holy book of Muslims.
Arabic is like any other language, easy in some aspects and hard in some others, depending on the learner’s background, and ability to adapt to new rules. A person whose mother tongue is Hebrew will find it easier than a person whose mother tongue is Spanish or English, because of the similarities, also a person who speaks more than one language is more likely to learn it easier, because his/her brain is already trained to deal with more than one language and adapt with new rules, new vocabulary…
Arabic has 28 consonantal phonemes (including two semi-vowels). Arabic is different than English when it comes to the way it’s written (right to left) and some sounds don’t exist in English like the glottal stop, usually transliterated by (‘) like in the word علم ‘elm (science). Also the consonants (q) and (gh) are the sounds produced the farthest back in the mouth in English (called ‘velars’ because the tongue touches the soft palate or velum), like in قلم qalam (pen), and لغة lughah (language). (kh) which sounds like the Scottish ch as in (Loch Ness lake).
Like many other languages, Arabic has a different grammar than English, that doesn’t make it hard, but makes it only distinctiv’, because having different rules doesn’t mean that they’re hard to learn, besides all the fun is in learning different things , some grammatical rules are easier than the ones existing in English, all you need is patience and practice! And now you can learn Arabic free of charge.