Arabic is a Semitic language spoken by 150 million people worldwide. It is the official language of 25 countries with numerous dialects and is taught worldwide in several schools, colleges, and universities.
Even with millions of speakers globally, it can be challenging to find places to learn Arabic. Moreover, the language itself is quite a difficult one to read and speak.
However, learning Arabic can help people to understand the nuances of Arab culture and tradition.
In addition, several universities offer degrees in the Arabic language to students who want to pursue careers in Arabic.
Let's take a look at what all it takes to get a university degree in Arabic.
History Of Arabic
Arabic was initially known as 'Old Arabic,' which first emerged in Southern Arabia during the first century. Then, the language started spreading in congruence with Islam.
It gained its vocabulary from Turkish and Middle Persian. In addition, several terms from different languages started to be incorporated in Arabic through translations at Baghdad's House Of Wisdom.
During the 8th century, reading, speaking, and understanding Arabic became necessary to be part of the elite class.
During European hegemony, colonialism, and the industrial revolution, the production of Arabic presses such as the Amiri Press increased the consumption of Arabic literature and language tenfold.
Moreover, several Arabic academies were created during the Nahda cultural renaissance. Most Arabic academies have worked towards the Arabization of science, creating several vocabulary and terms in Arabic to explain new concepts.
This has helped develop Arabic as a world language and has given rise to modern standard Arabic. In the 1950s and onwards, Arabization became a post-colonial national policy in several countries like Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
Arab Writing Style And Culture
Unlike English, Arabic consists of 28 alphabets. In addition, it is written from right to left and has no upper and lower case letter formatting.
If you visit an Arab country, knowing about the culture and language beforehand will help you enjoy your traveling experience to its fullest.
In Arabic countries, tradition and cultural values hold a lot of importance. For example, women are expected to cover their heads out of respect, even in Western outfits.
Family is considered one of the most critical aspects of the Arabic culture.
Men are considered to be the heads of a family. Arabs follow the lunar calendar that consists of 12 months and approximately 354 days. Friday is considered to be a Holy day where Muslims are obliged to perform Friday prayers.
Since Islam and the Arab culture are interlinked, Arabs are forbidden to eat pork and several other animals that consume meat, e.g., carnivores like cats, dogs, etc.
Mutton is one of the most popular meats consumed in almost every Arab country. All animals are slaughtered according to Islamic rules.
Foods made of dough and rice are also very common among people in Arabic countries.
Alcohol is strictly banned in Arabic countries, and anyone caught possessing alcohol is punished.
How To Get A Degree In Arabic
After completing high school, you may have wished to opt for further studies. While some people prefer pursuing science and programming-related degrees, others might be interested in language and linguistics.
Students who wish to get a degree in Arabic often wonder, "is learning Arabic hard?". Well, Arabic can be pretty challenging initially, but once you get the hang of it, you can gain elementary-level proficiency quickly.
A degree in Arabic may not only include courses that solely focus on the language.
Students learn about other aspects of the language, including the history of Arab culture, how modern and contemporary Arabic emerged from old traditions, etc.
Learning different modules is as equally important as learning the language itself. In addition, understanding the Arabic culture can make it easier for people to learn the language.
Students interested in Arabic can apply to different Arabic courses at the university level. The universities will then review the applications they apply to.
However, since universities offer limited courses in the Arabic language, it is pretty hard to choose the best one for you. Therefore, when choosing a university is essential to consider several factors.
Below is a list of a few good US colleges that offer a degree in Arabic.
- American University
- University of Arizona
- Georgetown University
- Stanford University
Once you get a degree in Arabic, it is essential to take translation courses to grasp the language better. Make sure you decide whether you want to go to a university that offers courses in Arabic literature or more practical uses.
What Is Taught In Arabic Degree?
When students pursue a degree in Arabic, they are taught various aspects of the Arabic language instead of focusing on just the language part.
This means you will learn everything about the Arabic culture, tradition, language, food, people, etc. But, first, students will learn the primary Arabic language and different modules like Arabic culture, tradition, etc.
Next, students will be introduced to several Arabic dialects and texts in the second year. Then, in Junior year, students will build a solid understanding of the language.
Finally, in the Senior year, students will complete an independent thesis project. Please do keep in mind that universities take different approaches to teach Arabic to students.
While most universities solely teach the language, some focus on speaking it while giving cultural contexts.
What Jobs Can You Get With A Degree In Arabic
Learning, reading, writing, and speaking Arabic can open a world of great opportunities, especially in the United States. The career market for Arabic speakers is significantly increasing day by day.
Today, more jobs are available for an individual with a degree in Arabic than ever before. For example, you can quickly get a job as a foreign correspondent or a reporter in Arabic-speaking communities and countries.
Moreover, a degree in Arabic can also provide job opportunities as a translator for media companies, embassies, non-governmental organizations, and other international corporations.
Additionally, you can also become a successful international banker with a degree in Arabic. Finally, if you want to pursue teaching positions, learning Arabic can be a great choice.
Once you get the hang of the language, you can start working as a private tutor right away. Get certified and start teaching Arabic privately to middle and high school students.
If you want to teach Arabic at a university or college level, you might need a Ph.D. or a master's degree to do so.
Why Is It Important To Learn Arabic?
There are several benefits of learning Arabic. First, taking classes in Arabic can help you discover the culture and language in a way you have never experienced before.
If you are still wondering: why learn Arabic, consider that it can give you a leg up in business, medical, engineering, international relations, and several other industries.
People residing in Middle Eastern countries are wealthy and own plenty of businesses. Learning Arabic can help you build business relationships with several companies.
Moreover, there is a high demand for Arabic speakers in the United States. Therefore, American agencies with Arabic clients will hire you without a second thought if you have a degree in Arabic.
Islam is one of the largest religions globally, and learning Arabic can help you learn different aspects of the religion. In addition, you can learn about their lifestyle, culture, and tradition, which can be very helpful during travel.
Furthermore, if you can speak both English and Arabic, you can become an ambassador.
Speaking Arabic fluently allows you to enjoy your travel experiences to their fullest. Choose the dialect that is most commonly spoken and make learning Arabic even more fun.
Become An Arabic Degree Holder
Suppose you have completed high school and want to learn Arabic before applying for your Arabic degree program at a university.
In that case, you might need a private tutor to improve your language skills and help you achieve better grades.
However, since choosing a good tutor is difficult, students often search "How to learn Arabic" online.
Several platforms like Superprof have millions of private tutors that provide personalized lessons tailored to the type of skills you wish to learn.
To achieve excellent grades in your Arabic courses, private tutors can help you practice the language daily and give feedback regarding your progress.
Make sure your tutor is a native Arabic speaker and knows every nitty-gritty detail of the Arabic language.
The platform that connects tutors and students