Learning Arabic: Rosetta Stone

One of the greatest challenges for the Western convert to Islam is learning Arabic. I only know my basic prayers (and I have no idea if I’m saying them right) and a few phrases. Plus I’m somewhat familiar with the alphabet. I was blessed with a wonderful teacher for awhile, but we didn’t meet consistently and I’m not the best student in the world. I keep thinking there ought to be an easier way to learn Arabic, but somehow I don’t think there are any shortcuts!

Still, I keep on looking for learning aids and one I’d heard about was Rosetta Stone. I haven’t tried it because it’s so expensive. But I found a detailed (and humorous) review on the blog “Hijabman” which helped me to decide whether or not to try it.  Here is an excerpt from the review:

Rosetta Stone uses the immersion method, which means that aside from the instruction booklet that comes with the CD, there is no English anywhere. Not even a glossary. People who are excited about this method inevitably argue that that’s how babies learn languages. Infants don’t have dictionaries! They don’t study grammar! They don’t need to know what “of” means! This is true, and would be relevant if only Rosetta Stone constituted a true immersion environment and the people who used it were infants. It would also be helpful if you, the learner, were content to study the language all day every day for seven years and end up with a second-grade vocabulary and second-grade reading skills. You know, like you did in your first language. Unfortunately most people have more ambitious goals, and less time to meet them.

Read the entire review here.

Maybe someday if I can get the program for free I’ll give it a try. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking.

Does anyone have any suggestions for learning Arabic besides moving to an Arabic country?

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Ellen

Editor and chief writer at I, Muslimah and Femagination. Ellen also contributes regularly to Elevate Difference. She is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with two cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

One thought on “Learning Arabic: Rosetta Stone”

  1. Try looking at universities in your area, many offer Arabic as a foreign language requirement. Also, the masjid may have classes. Lastly, I have found the Arabic for dummies book to be helpful. But for me i learned the most by taking the class at my university. Good luck!

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