Is Arabic Hard to Learn?

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  • Post last modified:September 3, 2023
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“Seventy percent of Americans who haven’t learned a second language regret
allowing their foreign language skills to wane,” as reported by Gitnux.
Questions like, “I want to learn Arabic, but I’m not sure I have enough time. Is
Arabic hard to learn?” are common, and we aim to provide some clarity on the
The time required to learn Arabic is a variable that lacks a definitive answer,
contingent upon your objectives. Are you aiming to engage in basic Arabic
conversations, attain fluency in speaking, reading, and writing, or delve into
Quranic Arabic? The latter presents unique challenges, as we’ll explain later.

Is Arabic Difficult to Learn?
The US Foreign Service Institute (FSI) categorizes Arabic as a “group 4” language
for native English speakers, implying its complexity. Achieving general professional
proficiency in a “group 4” language typically necessitates 88 weeks, equivalent to
2200 class hours, or approximately 6.72 hours of daily study, seven days a week.
While this might sound daunting, it’s essential to remember that this represents
less than a year of intense study. Most individuals, however, plan to allocate less
time daily. To break it down further, dividing the same total within two years
equates to 3.97 hours per day, and in three years, it reduces to just one hour a day
to attain professional proficiency. This is a manageable timeframe, far from a
lifelong endeavor, although it’s an estimate and individual progress may vary.
Is Learning Quranic Arabic Difficult?
Is Arabic hard to learn? It depends on the context. Learning Arabic to read the
Quran is a different endeavor. The Quran itself emphasizes its accessibility for
remembrance in Surah Al-Qamar (54:40). Proficiency in Quranic Arabic can be
challenging, even a basic grasp enhances the understanding of daily worship.
Benefits of Learning Arabic
Many Americans recognize the advantages of bilingualism and later regret not
seizing the opportunity to learn a second language. In fact, 21% of individuals
have missed career opportunities due to their lack of a second language,
according to Gitnux.
Learning Arabic offers several benefits, explaining why many regret not learning a
second language later in life. Here are the top three:
The Quran
Understanding the Quran stands as the foremost reason for learning Arabic. The
Quran holds profound wisdom, accessible fully only to those who understand the
language. While Quranic Arabic can be challenging, even a basic grasp enhances
the understanding of daily worship.
Learning Arabic facilitates communication with a vast number of people. Arabic
ranks as the fifth most spoken language globally, with 400 million speakers. It
enables you to explore new cultures, access ancient wisdom, or simply ask for
directions. Language serves as a bridge to communication, fostering knowledge
Job Opportunities
Some may underestimate language as a skill, but proficiency in a major world
language is highly advantageous. It opens doors to careers in fields that serve
diverse immigrant populations, including government positions. Beyond
communication roles, opportunities in Arabic writing, such as blogging and digital
translation, are on the rise.

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