Crazy fun Arabic courses in Egypt & Morocco
Learning Arabic is a fun but some days were crazy strange fun —I studied Arabic for 5 weeks in Cairo Egypt and then headed off to Morocco for 2 weeks surfing to practice my new found language skills and to pick up some local dialect.
I started Arabic lessons as a beginner, not a complete beginner as I’d learnt the alphabet (essential and takes about a week of intense concentration!) and had a few Arabic lessons back in the UK (3 months at night school) but it was only when I got to Egypt that my Arabic really started to accelerate at a pace that surprised me as I didn’t realise just how much you pick up when studying in a country where Arabic is spoken as you really do practice each day outside of the classroom.
Even if my confidence wasn’t that high to start with, by the end of week 3 I felt that elementary level of Arabic was in reach as I’d been immersed in the language, I’d read signs, ordered in smoky cafes with the locals, even tried to barter for a T shirt from a stall holder and heard nothing but Arabic for the whole week and something was starting to click – the feeling was fantastic and a great confidence booster. I no longer cared about looking silly when I got things wrong, I just had a go at speaking Arabic and you know what – most of the time I was understood even if I did get a few odd looks to start with but the people are so friendly it didn’t matter!
If you learn Arabic you have a chance to get a more intimate look at Egypt. Taking a Arabic course in Egypt opens up a world of opportunities and promises to get you off the tourist trail where you can immerse yourself in the culture in a way that’s just not possible if you don’t speak Arabic.
I lived with a Arabic host family which was great, I didn’t feel ‘mothered’ at all and was free to come & go as I pleased and my Arabic vocabulary improved no end as you are forced to speak daily and ask for even just the basics like towels and ‘pass the salt’ – practical Arabic all the way not to mention the amazing insight you have into life and culture living as a local. Full Arabic immersion courses are also available where you live in with your teacher and can be a great way to learn Arabic very quickly.
Accents change as does dialect from country to country but all Arabic language schools in Egypt teach Modern Standard Arabic so you don’t have to worry about where you learn Arabic in Egypt (or for that matter Morocco) although it can be fun to split your Arabic courses across different locations and countries to experience life and different accents which will really help improve your Arabic. You can even do a colloquial Arabic course if you wanted to live in a country where they have a different dialect like Morocco for example.
Rest assured, Arabic courses are suitable for beginners to advanced Arabic learners. Everyone is tested (don’t worry, there’s no gold stars or dunce hats here) on the first day before Arabic lessons start so they can be placed in the right group for their level and will then progress rapidly but safe in the knowledge that their fellow classmates are at a similar Arabic level to them.
Levels are generally as follows:
• Complete beginner Arabic courses (spend the first week learning the characters)
• Beginner Arabic courses
• Elementary Arabic lessons (split into lower & upper)
• Intermediate Arabic lessons (split into lower & upper)
• Advanced Arabic courses (suitable for advanced levels of Arabic up to fluency level)
In a month, I felt like I’d progressed my Arabic from a beginner to upper elementary and was raring to go on my travels, confident I would be able to get by in day to day situations as well as being able to read and write Arabic at a reasonable level if I ever needed to.
My confidence soared, I fell in love with learning the Arabic language and soaked up new words and phrases every day without trying as my brain was now switched into ‘learn Arabic’ mode. Learning Arabic is liberating, I felt like I was invited into the culture and countries I visited and no longer did I feel like ‘just a tourist’ and that can’t be bad.