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Arabic for Beginners: Your First Steps in Learning

Arabic for beginners

The number of those who want to learn Arabic is rapidly increasing for many reasons. Therefore, it is normal to find people from all around the world planning to learn Arabic as a second language.

People of Arabic origins who have some knowledge of the basics of Arabic may find it easy to start learning. But as a language learner with no knowledge at all, it is a whole different story as you will have to learn Arabic from scratch without relying on any previous personal skill in this language.

So, the question here is: How to learn the Arabic language for beginners? What is the best way to start learning Arabic? And what should be the first step to learning Arabic?

Learning Arabic for beginners

Before you start learning Arabic, it is essential to know that it will not be easy. As a beginner of Arabic, you will have to deal with a new alphabet, learn new sounds, memorize new words and phrases, etc.

It may seem like an impossible mission to learn Arabic at the beginning. but when you realize that you do not have to process everything about the Arabic language at once, you will see that the process is easier than it looks.

The first step to learning Arabic

Before you start looking for ways to learn the alphabet or working to improve your language skill, there is an important step. Learning Arabic can be a hard and long process that can make you quit learning.

This is why you need to set your motivation before you start learning. When you have a goal, you will feel happy as you see the results of your work and will withstand the exhaustion. 

People learn Arabic for different reasons. Some do it to learn about Islam and read the Quran, while others do it to travel to the Arab world. When you have a reason to learn Arabic, you will learn Arabic faster and more effectively.

How to begin learning Arabic

Now that you have your motive, it is time for research on the Arabic language. It is necessary to know that there are a few different dialects of Arabic. There is a dialect for each country, a dialect for the Quran, and a dialect for the business. To begin walking on the right road you need to pick the dialect that you prefer.

After that, you will begin the learning process. Your best choice is to start with the basics of Arabic. This means that you start learning the Arabic letters and know how they sound in the words and how they are written, then learning words that are important for your daily life situations such as paying for the pill at the restaurant or asking for a drink at the café.

Later, you can learn more about the grammar rules you need to form correct sentences and write Arabic words without mistakes.

Another step that you need when you start learning Arabic is to use the dictionary. Looking a word up in an Arabic dictionary is tricky, as you do not use the word itself but the three-letter root. After you define the root, you will open the section of the first or the last letter of the root depending on the type of dictionary you are using.

How much do Arabic lessons for beginners cost?

There is not any international price for Arabic lessons for beginners. The price varies depending on the country the teacher lives in, how experienced the teacher is, etc. On average, it is estimated that it can cost you from 10 to 40 U.S. dollars per hour to have a private lesson online.

How to start reading, writing and speaking Arabic

When you begin learning Arabic, the Arabic words and letters will seem like meaningless symbols and drawings. You will not be able to read anything from an Arabic book, nor express any idea in Arabic.

So what should a beginner do to be able to practice these skills and be able to write, read, and speak Arabic?

The primary and key thing you need to read and write is to know the Arabic alphabet. When you learn the sounds of each letter in the Arabic alphabet, you will be able to know the correct pronunciation even for new words you have not heard of before.

After you know how each Arabic letter sounds, you should practice reading. The process should be gradual. Start by reading certain words and gradually move on to simple Arabic phrases. When you are ready to start reading larger text, try starting with kids’ books as they tend to have simple words that are easy to read.

How to start learning Arabic

Many people who want to learn the Arabic language find it difficult to start learning Arabic. Beginners may have the feeling that they have a variety of aspects of the Arabic language that they need to know more about, and as a result, they will not be able to determine where to start.

One of the basic and popular plans to learn Arabic is to start from the basics. This plan includes starting to learn the Arabic language with the Arabic alphabet and then learning new Arabic vocabulary and learning the grammar that you need as you go.

This learning plan is the one that most teachers use to teach Arabic as it has been proven beneficial. If you do not have a teacher to learn Arabic for any reason and want to learn Arabic by yourself, you can use learning apps and programs to learn.

AlifBee is one of the amazing apps to learn Arabic. It is specifically designed to teach Arabic students from all skill levels. You can use it to learn the Arabic alphabet and some examples for each one of them.

The other method to learn Arabic is a little bit different. Instead of starting from the basics, you will begin to read Arabic texts and focus on the basics later. If you want to use this method, it is preferred that you have an Arabic teacher along with special books and learning materials to help you with everything that you need.

Whether you choose the first or the second method, there are some ways to help you learn and memorize the basics of the Arabic language such as:

Using mobile apps and computer programs


Many available apps can be used to learn Arabic like AlifBee, and Duolingo. These apps are easy to use and suitable for people of all levels of experience. As for the cost, they come at a reasonable price.

Using learning apps to learn Arabic is a fun way to learn that lets you learn and practice all the language skills that you need at the time you choose.

Using flashcards


Many people use flashcards to help them remember new words when studying a new language. Flashcards can be used for people of all ages. If you want to use them for a child, you may use cards with drawings on them, which help the kids link the new word to the shape they already know.

It is possible to use old-fashioned flashcards or digital flashcards that can be created and customized through special applications. Either way, they will have great benefits to the learner.

Using videos

When you start learning Arabic, you might find the sounds of some letters confusingly similar like the letter “ذ” and the letter “ز”. To help you with the pronunciation and to make sure you are saying the words right, you can practice with the help of some Arabic videos posted by Arabic native speakers.

There are plenty of these videos on YouTube, and you can watch them and practice at any time you want.

Best book to start learning Arabic

When you go to a library or search on the internet for a book to study Arabic, you will find plenty of available books. From this vast collection, picking a book may be a hard choice, especially for a beginner learner who needs a book that can provide all the basics.

To help you we will tell you about some of the popular books from which you can learn Arabic.

1. Alif Baa

This is one of the best books for a beginner learner of Arabic. This book will teach you the alphabet, a list of new words, and vocabulary that you need in everyday life situations. This is a good book that teaches Modern Standard Arabic dialect.B

2. Al-Kitaab

When you want to learn Modern Standard Arabic, Al-Kitaab will be good for gaining and developing your language skills like listening, reading, and speaking. There are a series of these books to choose from based on your level of experience.For a beginner, your best choice will be Al-Kitaab part one. This part will help you learn the basics of Arabic and learn a little bit about other dialects and dialect regions like Levantine, and Egyptian Arabic. Just keep in mind that this is not for you if you know absolutely nothing of Arabic.

3. The Arabic Alphabet: How to Read and Write it

This is one of the great books for an absolute beginner to start with. As the name suggests, this book is going to help you learn the Arabic letters and how to pronounce and write them.

How long does it take to learn Arabic basics?

You achieve the beginner level when you learn the basics of the Arabic language including the grammar and the basic phrases that you need for communicating with others. The period of time you need to become a beginner at Arabic varies from one student to another based on several different factors such as how much time you spend studying, what is your mother language, and the method you choose to study Arabic.

If we want to estimate, we can say that you will need from 4 to 6 months to become a beginner in Arabic.

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