Tips And Resources For Improving Modern Standard Arabic

edited December 1969 in Random Issues
I am (half) Egyptian by ancestry, and I live in the U.S.A. Throughout my entire life I have been fascinated by Egyptian culture and history. Growing up, my father taught me Egyptian Arabic and made it a rule that my siblings and I only speak to each other in Arabic. I worked hard to actually be able to speak Egyptian colloquial Arabic at a respectable level. And in the summer of 2008, I taught myself (Yes, I taught myself. I am more intelligent than I feign to be sometimes ) the Arabic alphabet and how to read Arabic on a basic level. What I would like to do now is build upon the foundation which I have formed for myself. I would like to learn Modern Standard Arabic enough to understand it, read some simple books, and perhaps later move on to Patristic and liturgical literature. If Arabic speakers could just provide me with some tips and resources for me to improve my MS Arabic, I would appreciate it. I am young and have the time, so I think I can do it if I commit myself.

And sorry if I rambled on too much about myself in the beginning.


  • I taught myself Arabic as well and someone told me about this website: and choose the Free Arabic Course.

    I think its a very good and helpful tool for learning how to read and for grammar as well. Although some of the vocabulary refers to mosques, Islamic vocabulary is unavoidable when learning Arabic. So it's a great resource and will definitely help you learn.

    Good luck!
  • Severian, have you tried Rosetta Stone?
    I hear it's one of the most successful teaching tools for languages, although it can be pricey, depending on your budget.
  • You really need to start listening to some audio and that will help you in gaining access to you ancestral dialects.MSA Is just a formal version of the language and you want to learn how to apeak arabic as they do in Egypt.And do learn some of the phrases they use and vocabulary.
  • I think Severian is good with speaking/understanding Arabic, but wants to get better at reading...

    I'm in the same boat! I learned to read Arabic about 5 years ago (my mom wrote the alphabet in a notebook for me, what sound each letter makes, and all the ways that letter can appear, and I took it from there).

    I found that the best way to improve on my Arabic is to learn the Praises in Arabic. We say them in alternating Arabic/English at our church, so I started trying to sing along with the Arabic just by reading.

    Eventually, I got to the stage where I can read some things pretty quickly (i.e. Albair's Khidmet El Shammas has pretty basic Arabic for the rites (yaqool el kahen xyz w ya rod el shammas abc"). Reading through that book also helped. I also read from HGB Mettaous' Khidmet el Shamas which has some basic Arabic as well.

    Of course, practice makes perfect and practice takes time! Good luck Severian!
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