Learning Arabic: Where Is Best?

It’s been a while since the last poll and with my choice of Tunis as the source of summer Arabic learning cast into doubt – am I merely playing it safe? –Β I ask you:

8 comments on “Learning Arabic: Where Is Best?

  1. melicieuse
    May 13, 2010

    none of the above

    • Layla
      May 13, 2010

      Really? Where would you recommend, Melicieuse?

      • melicieuse
        May 14, 2010

        i disagree with loolt, Syria has it’s own accent and actually even it’s own words. Syrian Arabic has been very affected by Turkish (they have a few similar words) and also by some French so you would def get away with inserting the odd French word.
        I would recommend going to the least safe countries of the Arab world: Yemen, Libya or Iraq I think their local accents are from the least difficult to understand and their accent is actually pretty similar to classical/literature Arabic….but then again all 3 have been affected by various influences of either English, French or Italian……………………but because you could be risking your life (or your sanity in the case of Libya) for the sake of learning a language I would start by learning Arabic where you are in Europe, they all have not so bad language classes and the good thing is that the teaching staff are usually multicultural so you might have the chance to be exposed to more than one accent which would only make the experience richer

      • bambam
        May 16, 2010

        Hmm I have to disagree. Most of those learning the language care about communicating with the largest group of people and being able to understand media reports…
        The problem with Yemen, Libya and Iraq is that the language they speak is riddled with many archaic terms, their accents are too strong and even as an arab i have a lot of issues dealing with Yemenis and especially the libyan accents because of the words they use.
        So when it comes to accents to learn the Levant accent tend to be very accessible since its softer and its the language of media.

  2. loolt
    May 14, 2010

    I voted for syria and for the record I am not syrian πŸ™‚ Their accent is clear and closest to the pure arabic, also they are less affected by anglisation (if that is even a word), so you wont be able to get away with inserting the odd english word.

  3. bambam
    May 16, 2010

    Well based on what my friends say it seems like Jordan is not bad at all, although a bit expensive. The schools here is pretty good according to him and it is a strong program. The ones i met in Syria and Yemen had a good education there, but it took too long for them to learn it from what i heard in their experience.

  4. Layla
    May 16, 2010

    Thank you, all! It’s interesting that Egypt has not come up yet, as that is usually a top destination for Arabic learning. Though I do agree that the Levant dialect is the best: it is softer and most importantly the language of the media, as Bambam notes.

    Arabic is so fantastically diverse (think of the different meanings of ‘zayed’ between North Africa and the Middle East) that one can expect to learn fusha whether the classroom is in Tunis or Damascus.

    So many choices, and so many wonderful countries. Tough call πŸ™‚

  5. gazelledusahara
    May 17, 2010

    hey, Egypt, I think is overrated.

    The issue is more about the quality of the program than the country, I think, although a place like Syria or Yemen would probably give you more chances to speak outside of class, but eh, it’s up to you.

    Are you studying at the Bourgouiba institute? it’s supposed to be one the best places to learn Arabic in North Africa. At any rate good luck!

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This entry was posted on May 13, 2010 by in Africa, Culture, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Middle East and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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