Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple answer to this question?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say something like: “It will take you one year to master the beginner’s course and one year to deal with the intermediate classes, and you’ll be fluent by the time you spend a year and a half on the advance program.”?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question.
Everyone has different learning styles, and everyone learns a new language at a different pace.
Learning Arabic may be more difficult for some people since it doesn’t use the Roman alphabet that they’re used to. For others, this may actually make it easier to assimilate the new words and grammatical structures.
Does it make a difference if you’re studying online or in a classroom? Maybe.
Does it change things if you’re studying the language in an Arabic-speaking country? Definitely.
So, how long does it take to learn Arabic?
We can make some estimates on that, and there will always be some clear signs you’re mastering the language, but it may be more effective to change that question up a little bit.
It All Depends on You
This is probably the least appealing answer to the question at hand, but there’s no getting around it.
How long it takes to learn Arabic is entirely dependent on you – on how much time you put into it, on how seriously you take your coursework, and on how often you try to put the language to use.
If you make the decision right now to dedicate your time and effort to learning Arabic, the total time between the introductory courses and the ability to have a conversation with a native speaker will be greatly reduced.
The Benefits of Learning Arabic Online
Online learning has changed the way we approach a new language.
Now, it is possible to learn a language completely at your own pace. So, if you happen to be a pro at memorization, you can move through your lessons as quickly as you want.
On the other hand, if you require a little more time to really master the differences between Arabic and English, you can take that time and really build a strong foundation.
This ability to learn at different speeds is incredibly important. It may feel like you’re going too slow at first, but that strong foundation may make it much easier to master the language a little further down the road.
The Real Question Is: How Can I Speed the Process?
There are, of course, several options you can explore to expedite the process.
- 1-on-1 Lessons with Native Speakers – A language is learned through the speaking of it, and even simple conversations with a native Arabic speaker can help you progress by leaps and bounds.
- Language Immersion – There are several simple things you can do to immerse yourself in the language. Whether you listen to shows, read books, or enjoy some music in the language, you can immerse yourself in Arabic in your own home.
- Set Measurable Goals – How do you measure how well you’re really doing with a language? You could set goals to memorize a certain number of vocabulary words ever week. You could set a goal to read a number of stories every week, or to complete all your coursework by a certain date.
The Other Real Question Is: How Good are You at Arabic Right Now?
At what point can you actually say that you have actually learned Arabic?
If you want to know how long it takes to master the language, you have to have a clear idea of what that actually means.
Is it enough to learn a thousand vocabulary words? Is it enough to be able read a full novel in Arabic?
The Arabic Language Proficiency Test is a great way to assess your proficiency in the language (and is used by many organizations to do just that). When you’re ready to take this test, it will show you how well you’ve learned the language and where you could use some improvement.
This is an objective way to determine if you’ve really learned the language. More than that, it shows your current level of fluency, so you can say for sure how far you’ve progressed.
You Never Stop Learning a Language
The title of this article was something of a trick question.
The simple fact is that you never stop learning a language – not if you want to remain fluent.
There are always new words, new phrases, new idioms and slang that you can learn. You should take every chance to surround yourself with the Arabic language and speak it whenever possible.
This really is a learning process that doesn’t end.
And that’s a good thing.