Can You Learn Arabic for Free?

If you’re reading this, you are interested in learning the Arabic language. I commend you for this decision! Stick with it, and before long, you’ll be able to count yourself among the hundreds of millions of Arabic speakers and better able to appreciate the culture of the Middle East. Before you get to that point, though, you’ll need to decide how to go about learning the language. There are lots of fantastic Arabic schools, but they also charge fantastic prices for admission. How do you know which one is right for you? It would be awful if the course isn’t working for you but you’re still on the hook for three months of tuition. How far can you get if you want to learn Arabic for free?

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Lucky for you, there are lots of free ways to learn Arabic. I encourage you to look at the many free options available to you. That way, you can figure out if you’re willing to study Arabic long-term before you whip out your credit card and start scheduling lessons.

You’re probably already aware of some of the free options available: for example, DuoLingo is a household name thanks to its free, gamified language instruction. Many online schools offer free trials, letting prospective students test the waters before laying down cash. This is true here at Nasma: you can sign up for a 14-day free trial of our Levantine masterclass right now if you wish, but we also have several other options for learning Arabic online. Read on and see what we have to offer to those wanting to learn Arabic online.

Word of the Day on Instagram

Instagram Word of the dayWhen you are learning a new language—any language, really, but especially one with an unfamiliar alphabet—it can be daunting. Think of how easy it is to express yourself in your native tongue: you never have to ransack your memory for the word book or Monday or commute (notwithstanding those odd tip-of-your-tongue moments we all experience). When trying out a new language, you push your brain hard to recall the unfamiliar words, and then you have to shape your mouth in a new way to utter the strange sounds … and look at the many many many different things and experiences in our world that have their own words! How can you possibly learn these thousands of new words?

It’s okay. A journey begins with a single step, and you can learn a new vocabulary one step at a time. With our Daily Word on Instagram, you get one word each day, with a Romanized pronunciation guide to help you learn. And with each Arabic word you learn, you form another stitch in the grand tapestry of the language, bringing you one tiny step closer to fluency.

Weekly Tips on YouTube

Weekly Arabic TipsEach Thursday, we upload a short instructional video on YouTube. The first videos we uploaded were aimed at helping absolute beginners learn Levantine Arabic, but our more recent videos cover slightly more advanced topics. Start with Episode 1 (how to say “hello” in Arabic) or Episode 3 (how to say “how are you”) and work your way up to Episode 24 (genitive constructions) and Episode 25 (pseudo verbs in Arabic). Videos come with Romanized pronunciation guides if you’re more of a visual learner, but be sure to check out Episode 4 to learn what sounds the numbers 2, 3, and 7 make.

Each video ranges in length from thirty seconds to seven and a half minutes, so it doesn’t take long to brush up on your Arabic grammar.

Podcast Tuesdays

Learners who have already achieved some competence in Levantine Arabic might be interested in Nasma’s weekly podcast. Join our founder, Carol Haidar, and her friends and students as they share bilingual stories on a wide variety of topics. Carol covers a wide ground in her podcast: if you’re interested in learning more about the Arabic language, try Episode 14 (10 Lebanese Proverbs) or Episode 15 (10 Useful/Funny Arabic Phrases). Those interested in Arab cultures might be interested in Episode 3 (Arab Weddings) or Episode 18 (Family & Family Members). And you can’t truly appreciate a culture if you ignore the food, so look at Episode 2 (Lebanese Breakfast) and Episode 5 (all about finding the taste of home away from home).

It’s a wonderfully broad slice of topics of conversation, and we’re sure that one podcast or another will interest you.

Levantine Masterclass

Levantine MasterclassWe save for last the best online Arabic course you’ll find anywhere: Nasma’s Levantine masterclass. Carol designed our curriculum after more than a decade of teaching Arabic as a second language, and it has been adapted and optimized to fit the needs of online learners.

Four videos each week provide most of the instruction.

  • Video 1: Explanation of the week’s lesson.
  • Video 2: Review of important rules.
  • Video 3: Explanation of the week’s homework.
  • Video 4: Homework solutions.

Three Arabic textbooks, also written by Carol, are the primary study guides for the course. But videos and textbooks are not the most responsive way to learn, so can join our weekly Zoom meetings to practice Arabic with your classmates and ask Carol whatever questions you may have. These meetings are recorded so you can review them at your leisure. Can’t wait for the weekly meeting? You’ll also have access to a private Facebook group where Carol will answer your questions promptly.

The course starts at $9.97 a month, with our most premium option being $24.97 a month. But this blog post is about how you can learn Arabic for free, so we must mention that we are offering a 14-day free trial of our Levantine Masterclass. You can sign up without risk, and for two weeks, experience all that Nasma has to offer.

There you have it. Whet your appetite for learning with our word of the day on Instagram, watch a YouTube video, and sample a podcast or two. If you like what you read/watch/hear, visit our Levantine Masterclass webpage, and consider signing up for a free trial.