7 Tips on How to Learn Arabic Before You Travel

7 Tips on How to Learn Arabic Before You Travel

Any jetsetter worth their salt has at some point considered visiting an Arabic country. And as a result, you’ve more than likely considered learning Arabic online.

There’s an immeasurable amount of beauty and intrigue just waiting to be soaked up!

But If you truly want to experience these hidden gems, you’ll have to have some understanding of the Arabic language.

So, here are some tips and tricks to get you well on your way.

Learn the Arabic Alphabet

If you’re looking for a little youthful rejuvenation in your life, what better way to feel like a kid again than to learn the alphabet — the Arabic alphabet, that is!

Unlike English, Spanish or French, the Arabic language does not use the Latin alphabet.

Naturally, one of the most basic and rudimentary things you can do to help build the foundation for a new language you want to speak is to learn the alphabet. Arabic is no exception.

Plus, if you really do have your heart set on visiting an Arabic country at some point, you’ll want to know the alphabet for the sole purpose of reading signs and getting around. Not all places will have signs in English and you better be prepared to deal with that reality.

So, make like a preschooler and get to learning that alphabet!

7 Tips on How to Learn Arabic Before You Travel

Pony Up and Take Some Arabic Lessons!

Like with anything, as soon as you make the decision to invest your own hard-earned cash you’ll find that you’re a lot more committed to that cause than you would have been otherwise. If you’re as frugal as me, you’ll know what it’s like to realize you’ve frivolously spent your money on something you don’t need.

But you can use this fear to your advantage. If you truly want to learn Arabic online, the best way to do it would be to invest in your new endeavour.

Invest in your future

Putting up your own money will give you an economic incentive to keep at it and not give up. You’ll want to ensure that the money you put into won’t go to waste, which means you’ll be driven to accomplish your goals.

Taking Arabic classes online is the perfect way to solidify your desire to learn the language. If you’re interested, you can find online Arabic tutors at Preply — finding yourself a teacher in Arabic will mean that you’re not taking on this behemoth of a task on your own.

Learn Modern Standard Arabic First

Arabic isn’t just one unified language. Conversing in Arabic is different in each country depending on where you go.

Fortunately for you, the written form of Arabic is universal throughout the Arab world. This version of Arabic is simply known as Modern Standard Arabic, or MSA.

In addition to MSA, there are two other versions of Arabic: Qur’anic or classical Arabic and Colloquial Arabic. Now, if that’s not confusing enough for you, there’s also a multitude of Arabic dialects from each region of the Arab-speaking world.

Some of these Dialects include:

  • Egyptian
  • Gulf
  • Hassaniya
  • Levantine
  • Maghrebi
  • Mesopotamian/Iraqi
  • Sudanese
  • Yemini

If you’re wondering about how to learn Arabic and you’re keen to start picking away at the fundamentals of it, you’ll first need to ground yourself in MSA. This will serve as a jumping point for you to eventually move on to learning a specific dialect of your choice — one which you should ultimately stick to.

7 Tips on How to Learn Arabic Before You Travel

Watch Movies and TV Shows in Arabic

The most basic way to learn any language is to hear others speak it. Learning the Arabic language is no exception.

Now, unless you want to lurk around and eavesdrop on some poor unknowing souls (which we would definitely not advise you to do), the only way to hear other people speak Arabic is to watch it.

I won’t really go into what shows or movies you should watch, because tastes are subjective and I wouldn’t want to presume what kind of stuff you’d be into. But a simple Google or IMDB search should help yield some contenders.

So get comfortable, grab your favourite snack, and find yourself a good movie or TV show to binge!

Get Duolingo

Duolingo is a staple of language-learning software. On top of that, it’s free and available on both Android and IOS.

The reason for its popularity lies in its intuitive teaching mechanics, which will have you writing, reading, and even speaking in the language of your choice. This app is one of the most popular language-learning apps out there and it’s really no surprise.

Its gamification of the language-learning process (mini-games and quizzes) goes a long way in helping to make the process of learning a new language fun for everyone.

So, get your hands on Duolingo! It’s a great way to kick off the preliminary stages of your journey to learning the Arabic language.

Want to Learn Arabic Travel Phrases? Google Translate is your Friend

Google Translate is a nifty little tool if you’re ever looking to find some workable phrases on-the-go.

Sometimes there’s something you really have to say, whether it’s asking a question or just paying someone a compliment, and Google translate will give you a word-for-word translation of anything you input in English.

Not only that, but it’ll also allow you to translate from Arabic to English. That’ll come in handy if you’re ever trying to figure out if what someone just said to you was flattering or something you wish you’d never translated.

Google Translate’s text-to-speech feature, albeit quite robotic, is also a decent way to gauge how certain words and phrases are correctly pronounced, which will come in handy if you really want to impress your hosts.

Get Memrise

Memrise is another great app that’ll have you well on your way to learning a language. The app is especially useful if you’re someone who really needs a little extra help associating the things you’ve learned with something else.

Memrise is made specifically for people like you. It’s built with the purpose of helping you to reinforce the words and phrases you’ve learned by giving you clear-cut associations that will help you to remember them.

It’s fun, easy to pick up, and it’ll have you speaking Arabic in no time!


Enough prognosticating already!

To quote a certain world-renowned shoe brand: “just do it.”

Look, I know it can seem intimidating to thrust yourself into something so new and out there. But there’s a reason you clicked on this link, right?

Something made you come here — some deep curiosity.

If you really want to learn a language, you’ve got to immerse yourself entirely. The tips for learning Arabic that I’ve laid out here for you are only just the groundwork; they’re enough for you to be able to get yourself started on the right path.

But like anything, in order to truly learn something you’ve got to dive into it headfirst. Don’t wait around for months or years until you’ve perfected Arabic, go and travel while you can!

Use what you’ve gained when you decided to learn Arabic online. Put it into practice.


Award-winning writer and solo female travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper travel. Lover of fun, adventure, food, Harry Potter, hiking, beaches, and chatting about the weather. Can be bought with cake.

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