It’s been 5 months since I made the move to Amman and I’m still not enrolled in proper Arabic classes. I’m definitely not OK with this because one of the reasons I moved to Jordan was to learn a new language. My excuses? You know…the normal ones… a lack of time to sign-up for a school and my failure to find a professional Arabic tutor that would come to me.
With these two excuses in hand, it means the only Arabic I know are the basics that you hear on a day to day basis. Realizing that only being able to say marhaba, kef halak and khobiz taza wasn’t going to get me to my goal of being a fluent Arabic speaker in 500 days meant I needed to find an option that didn’t include going to a school or finding a tutor. So what would any 21st century millennial do? Search on Google of course. My “Learn Levantine Arabic Online” search results brought me to a site called TalkinArabic.com.
Here’s my experience with them…
TalkinArabic requires a paid subscription, but they were kind enough to allow me to try the site out for a few weeks as a free trial. The importance of this free trial for me was not only to see if I liked it, but if I would actually make use of it. I have my doubts about online courses as I’ve always preferred face-to-face classes as it forces me to actually invest my time and concentrate. When you’re in a classroom with other students you can’t exactly find the 1,001 distractions that you do at home, but since I’m procrastinating immensely on finding a school to attend, I have to give online a try.
Why I Chose TalkinArabic.com
One of the reasons I chose TalkinArabic.com was that they teach the Levantine dialect. As I am living in Jordan, it would be of no use to me on a conversational basis if I learned to speak al-fuṣḥá, the Classical Arabic.
They also offer Egyptian, Saudi, Iraqi, Sudanese, Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian dialects.
I have absolutely no background in Arabic which means I of course do not know how to read or write. So for me to learn Levantine, it needs to be using the Latin alphabet characters and not the Arabic. Not knowing the Arabic alphabet is no issue on TalkinArabic.com as it is more about learning conversational Arabic rather than reading and writing.
Levels & Content
As I began to navigate the site, I chose the “Beginner Level” category (there are also intermediate and advanced levels) which is broken down into:
I started with “essentials”, which includes content like “this and that”, prepositions, well wishes, polite requests, household vocabulary, basic greetings, adjectives and so forth.
Each lesson includes a short recording or video of a Levantine speaker explaining the topic and it’s paired with a PDF you can download to read as you follow along. I found this way very manageable and the perfect combination as my short attention span would never get through a long recording and to learn I need to see things written down.
I still haven’t gotten through the whole site, but all in all, I would recommend TalkinArabic.com to anyone living in an Arabic-speaking country that is looking to enhance what they learn on their own on a day-to-day basis by just being out and about and interacting with people who don’t ti7ki ingliizi.
For more info, check out the Talk In Arabic Facebook Page.