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Learning Arabic - 4 reasons to take on the challenge

Many people make the mistake of learning a particular language simply because they like it or the culture associated with it. Tastes and preferences differ greatly from one person to another and personal motivations can be the main reason we gravitate towards a specific language. I am sure you have heard of someone learning Italian because it sounds beautiful or Japanese because they find the characters to be amusing. The problem with this approach is that 'liking' the language will not be enough for you to commit to learning it. I think everyone is well aware of the devotion learning Arabic would require. Anyone can learn to say "hello", "goodbye" and count to 10 in a language, but are you willing to read historical novels in this language? I think not.

What are the most popular languages in the EU?

According to the statistical office of the European Union ( Eurostat), English was by far the most popular language at lower secondary level, studied by nearly 17 million pupils (97.3%), followed by French (5 million or 33.8%), then German (3 million or 23.1%) and finally Spanish (2 million or 13.6%).

How do you decide which languages you should learn?

It is very common to learn a foreign language in the European Union. For those who are passionate about languages or whose career depends on their languages, we have to be very wise with our choices! Not only does the importance of the language on an international level determine whether or not we should learn it, but we also have to evaluate its suitability for our native language. For example, if you are a native Russian speaker, you might find it much more useful to learn English than to learn Turkish! Which brings me to our topic - I have a few reasons to convince you to learn Arabic. Arabic is a Semitic language that dates back to the 6th century CE and belongs to the same family as Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. But I am not here to talk to you about history. On the contrary, I am here to talk to you about the future.

Why should you learn Arabic?

I am not sure if you have noticed, but Arabic was not among the languages frequently learned at school within the European Union. This will precisely be your gateway to a world of opportunities. Here are a few facts to back up my argument.
  1. Learning Arabic as a second language will make you stand out.
The Arabic language has a very high demand, yet a massively short supply in the Western world. Government departments and agencies are in a desperate need for Arabic speakers.
  1. Learning Arabic will benefit you economically.
The Middle East is full of natural resources. Someone who speaks Arabic will be in an extremely advantageous position for employment in fields such as oil, energy and travel.
  1. Learning Arabic will open the door to many other languages.
You might be able to understand some words in Hebrew, Farsi and Turkish as a result to learning Arabic. Even though Farsi and Turkish come from different language families, you will find some similarities due to the region and religion.
  1. Learning Arabic will develop your mind and language skills.
It will be a completely different experience for your brain. If you've never read from right to left, you will. If you've never attempted to pronounce exotic letters, you will. And if you've never learned tens of different words for "love" in one language, you will. You can read more about brain activity when learning Arabic here:

Which variety of Arabic should you learn?

If you are not afraid of challenges and want to explore a world of opportunities, learning Arabic might be the right decision for you. Here is an overview of Arabic dialects to help you understand more: