Arabic is a beautiful language, but its lingual reputation tends to be that it is very difficult for native English speakers.
For example, the 27 letters of its alphabet move around the word in order to attribute it a new meaning. The language is read from right to left and the quasi disappearance of its vowels also make it very difficult to learn Arabic.
This means that learning even basic Arabic can be tricky.
Luckily, there are many place to learn Arabic in the U.S.A which can help to make the process slightly easier. Particularly in San Francisco, there exists an array of places where you can study the language that is the origin of so many civilizations.
Here is a "hit list" we have composed of where to discover Arabic in San Francisco.
Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Learn Arabic
Did you know that Arabic is an official language in 26 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, and that over 400 million people speak the Arabic language across the world?
This means that Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world, behind only Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English, and Hindi.
As a language learner, the question is not whether it is difficult to learn Arabic, but whether it's worth it. The answer is a definite yes.
Today, speaking a "rare" or difficult language such as Arabic or Korean or Mandarin is very appreciated, especially by recruiters and companies seeking new employees.
Here are 3 reasons that will convince you to learn Arabic in New York City, San Francisco, L.A, or any other part of the U.S.A.
Because of the differences between the Arabic language and Latin languages or Indo-European languages, Arabic learning can seem like a big challenge. Some websites offer the chance to learn Arabic online--it can serve as an introduction and may give you a taste of what Arabic has to offer linguistically.
But to take your understanding of more complex parts, such as Arabic grammar, onto the next level, you will more than likely need to find an Arabic course.
The important thing then is to find the right class to help your development, likewise if you decide that classes are the best way for you to learn as a complete beginner.
It doesn't matter if you learn Modern Standard Arabic (Msa), or one of the regional dialects. The end result will be a great addition to your resumé and the ability to show any potential employer that you have the will to succeed.
Why should you learn Arabic for work? Whether you are a journalist, diplomat, translator, professor, or teacher, whether you work in the aviation sector of the Army, whether you are in finance, the stock market, or in the petrol industry, most international careers intersect with the Arabic language and cultural prism at some level.
The more you master the language the more you can connect with events going on around the world.
The Arabic language is strategically important: it brings us closer to cultures and civilizations that are far away geographically speaking while allowing us to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings commercially and industrially speaking.
A Historical and Cultural Language
Not only is Arabic the dominant language in the Arab world, it is also the most important language in the Islamic faith.
This is because, according to the history of Islam, when God sent his message to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Jibreel, the Prophet recited God's word in Arabic, and it was therefore subsequently recorded in this language in the Muslim holy book of the Quran.
Therefore Arabic script is of great importance to Muslims around the world. But the Arabic language also has cultural significance outside of religion.
Arabic is the basis for many fairy tales such as "A Thousand and One Nights" or "Sinbad the Sailor."
If you decide to learn the Arabic language, you will be opening the door onto an exciting cultural universe containing 2000 years of history and culture.
Traveling Around the World
While English is often considered to be the language of business, Arabic is also often used in certain professional realms, such as in industrial sectors and international trade.
If you like to travel, discover new cultures, learn new ways of living; if you've always wanted to discover new countries like Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, or Yemen, speaking Arabic will be a great advantage to you.
Of course you will not always understand dialectical Arabic--the language spoken in the streets--but you will be able to read the newspapers, understand the news, and decrypt daily indications, as well as, of course, be understood by Arab natives in their mother tongue.
Learning this language is not necessarily easy, and it takes time. It also requires a personal investment, being organized, and above all a lot of motivation: it is estimated that it takes around 2200 hours of Arabic language courses in order to entirely master oral and written Arabic, whereas only 600 or 700 hours are needed to learn the English language.
But where should one learn Arabic in San Francisco? This beautiful city has many different places offering Arabic as a language course.
Learning Arabic through Private Tutoring and After School Help
It is more and more natural to seek a second language tutor.
Whether you are a student, a retiree, a hard-working employee, or someone looking for a job, there is always a solution when wanting to take Arabic classes in San Francisco.
Whether you use online tutoring platforms such as Superprof, Homework Tutoring, Aim-for-A Tutoring, My Tutor 24, or EduwizardS, there are many different opportunities to learn the language with a native teacher, extremely motivated to have you advance in Arabic.
When you sign up to these platforms, have a look at how they work, and how the relationship between tutor and student develops, who sets the fixed rate, etc...
The advantage of tutoring is that a tutor will adapt his or her teaching to your needs and all this in the comfort of your own home: most usually, the Arab tutor is an arabophone, his native language Arabic, and he speaks it on a regular basis.
The first time you meet, the Arabic professor will test the waters and see what you need and what you have to improve. Maybe you will only focus on the Arabic alphabet. Or perhaps Arabic calligraphy is what interests you most.
Once you've first made contact, that is, after your first free lesson, the tutor will set up a teaching plan suited to those needs. This will allow you access to the Arabic language and its incredible culture!
And this option is not just available to San Francisco. You can take Arabic classes in Chicago, as well as many other American cities.
Arabic Courses at University
San Francisco State University offers an Arabic language program with spectacular Arabic courses in language and culture. It also offers more traditional routes such as French and German, but its Arabic program is renowned.
Students are expected to learn the language if they undertake the Arabic degree.
You will be using several learning resources, and will work in groups of students also wanting to learn vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. You will also participate in didactic exercises.
Emphasis is placed on oral interactions in order to raise your proficiency in Arabic speaking.
Finally, in order to see how you are progressing, activities and testing will take place periodically.
Linguistic study trips to Arabic countries can also be a part of the curriculum.
At the University of San Francisco, you can both major and minor in the Arabic language. You can contact the Middle Eastern Studies department for more information, but at USF you will find a wide array of classes such as: First Semester Arabic, Second Semester Arabic, Third Semester Arabic, Directed Reading, and classes touching on grammar, syntax, politics, culture, and pronunciation.
Once again, it is not just universities in San Francisco that offer you the chance to learn Arabic. It is possible elsewhere in California, such as by studying in Los Angeles.
Arabic Classes at Lingual Institutes and Centers
There are two major institutes offering Arabic language classes for children, teenagers, and adults alike.
Pacific Arabic Language School
This is a secular, apolitical language school serving the community who may be interested in the Arabic language.
With the help of this language school, you will be able to tackle any linguistic work problem!
The instruction and unique curriculum at Pacific Arabic Language School make it possible for everyone to achieve their goals in a stimulating and supportive environment.
The wide range of classes to match your interests, goals, and prior language experience. The Arabic lessons at PALS go something like this: learning to write Arabic, learning syntactical structures, memorizing texts, studying vowels, learning Arabic grammar rules, and acquiring a professional vocabulary suitable for work conversations.
This is close to some of the institutes one can find when looking for places to learn Arabic in Miami, for example.
ABC Languages in San Francisco is located in the Embarcadero Center, which is downtown and easy to access for all. The language school offers many other languages such as European languages and some dialects. It is also located in NYC and New Jersey.
Its objective is to swiftly and effectively teach Arabic and other languages to its students. The students come from all walks of life: different jobs, different skills, different ages, and different reasons for wanting to learn Arabic.
It offers language classes in Persi, and is also specialized in a few other Arabic dialects. It offers group lessons, corporate lessons, and one-on-one individual tutoring. Another bonus: if you're an actor with an upcoming role in Arabic, they are specialized in teaching languages for actors who have just gotten a part in a foreign film!
ABC Languages offers:
- Video projection devices,
- Target learning devices,
- Computer labs,
- Language labs,
- and many different language rooms as they teach over 20 languages!
It is an example of a very apt language learning center similar to other founds elsewhere in the country such as the language learning centers in Boston!
So, what are you waiting for? Whether you are most interested in Arabic vocabulary, grammatical structures, or communicative language training, there are a flurry of options available to you if you are a foreign language student dying to learn Arabic!