Why You Should Learn Arabic

Arabic is a difficult language. I will say that off the bat. It is rated by the CIA as one of the most difficult languages to learn as a native English speaker. Its seemingly unapproachable grammar and complex writing script definitely make the subject look daunting, though the number of cognates with English, French, and the Iberian languages definitely helps (and any language can be easy it if is fun, right?).

However, any language can be just as difficult as you make it! After all, Portuguese was super difficult to approach for me, personally. I had no idea what I was supposed to do in order to learn a language, and my motivations, starting out, were weak at best. While Spanish and Portuguese come from the same branch of the language family tree, there were very large differences, and, even to this day, I still make mistakes in the language, and I absolute love mixing up the two. Best feeling in the world.

If your motivations are weak when first starting out, you will have a difficult time, regardless! If you have been considering learning the Arabic language, let me bolster your confidence! Here is a small list of reasons why you should learn the Arabic language!

Inclusivity

All hands being held.  Languages are inclusive and beautiful.
Language is both inclusive and beautiful.

Here in the United States, we have a fairly large immigrant population. We have always been an immigrant population with people coming here for economic, political, and religious freedom. We have been a bastion for a very long time (despite xenophobia since the very beginning). Every immigration wave has come with a new specific demographic. I believe we are on our fourth major wave with a large number coming from the Middle East.

Imagine this: you come from a country where freedom is restricted in certain ways, and you now arrive in a new country that is openly tolerant of you. The Turkish and Arab populations have exploded in Sweden and Germany, for instance. In Sweden, Swedish is actually the number one language studied on Duolingo due to this latest wave.

Some people feel that anyone who comes to a new country should have to learn that country’s language. While that is important to an extent, I think it equally important that we also learn their languages as well so we can be more inclusive towards them, so then they don’t feel left out of the national scene and then we can begin to be more openly communicative with them.

I work in retail and use Spanish often to communicate with newer customers who don’t speak English well because they are new here. If a recent immigrant comes here and they don’t yet speak our language, how will they receive an opportunity to start speaking with new people if no one is interested in reaching out to them first?

The Challenge

God, help this poor student, struggling with Arabic.

As I said before, and I hate sugarcoating, Arabic is definitely a difficult language. For me, Portuguese was also difficult. I remember first starting out and knowing so very little. The pronunciation was not easy to get used to, and those various accents were mindboggling (here’s looking at you, diametrical differences between Brazilizan and Portugal Portuguese grammar). However, now, I can speak the language decently and feel a lot more confident.

Every single milestone in the language was gratifying and awesome! When I realized I understood an entire Facebook timeline of a Brazilian friend, I felt elated! Many people feel this way when it comes to any number of difficult tasks. The pure rush when you graduate from college, or the first time you ask out a crush and they say yes. Yes, it is difficult. Of course, it is difficult! But that is where we as polyglots are happiest in life, when we succeed at a mindboggling or difficult task.

Starting Arabic or figuring out how to start Arabic is definitely not for everyone, but, for those willing to take on the challenge, I can assure you, as you take on the individual milestones for fluency, you are definitely going to feel a lot better about yourself.

Economic Reasons

A man standing there looking at the camera after closing the businessdeal of a lifetime.

I am a pragmatist. I love learning or doing things that will benefit me in the long run. When I figured out how to fix a clog in the kitchen sink by myself, it was gratifying AND USEFUL. You may not see an immediate job opportunity right away from learning Arabic. After all, you don’t know the future. I can assure you, though, that learning a language is a key to opportunity.

Knowing Spanish and Portuguese has opened up multiple economic opportunities online. The more I learn, the better. The same goes with Arabic. If I learn Arabic now, and become fluent, I could go and work over there. Many firms in the United States have connections with Middle Eastern contracts. Who do they hire in order to talk to them for negotiations? They hire people fluent in the language.

I once saw a commercial for Rosetta Stone about a man who wanted to learn Mandarin to negotiate a deal with a Chinese firm, and, accidentally, called the elderly businessman “Stinky Fish Face.” While it was a clever marketing ploy on their part, it definitely shows how important a language could be for someone at a business firm. Opening up economic opportunities will let your wallet expand in the future.

Not convinced? Watch this video by LangFocus on the Arabic language for more background so you can feel a lot more comfortable on the subject, and be sure to subscribe to our Patreon magazine for more great content!

Ever need motivation when it comes to learning a language? LangFocus has your back! 🙂
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