4 Reasons Why Arabic Should Be Your Next Language
To most people, Arabic seems to be a mysterious and exotic language. With its melodic, guttural speech and artistic-looking script, Arabic can appear to be outside of the average English speaker’s reach. Furthermore, many potential learners are often put off by the fact that Arabic is touted to be one of the most complex languages in the world. While the demand for Arabic-speaking Westerners has grown exponentially in recent years (which should be a huge motivation in and of itself), we’re here to offer you four other reasons why Arabic should be your next language to learn.
1. Bridge the gap
Trump’s recent Muslim ban may have people up in arms protesting, but to a huge demographic in the U.S. it has served as a go ahead to discriminate against those from Middle-Eastern nations. It’s human nature to fear what we don’t understand, and when our leader points the finger and accuses the general Arab population of being terrorists, some Americans are bound to think it must be the truth. A 2010 poll revealed that over 50 percent of Arab-Americans have experience some sort of discrimination based on race or religion, and you can only imagine how those numbers have soared—especially in the last few years. When you study a language, you gain a more nuanced view of a particular culture, and studying Arabic will definitely open your eyes to a wider world-view than what you see in the news or read about online. Even better, it will help you to reach out to your fellow Americans as well as share a more balanced perspective with your friends, peers, and family. Rome wasn’t built day, and if you can help influence at least one person to think differently, you are already winning!
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2. Relevance matters
Arabic is one of the top five most spoken languages in the world and is used by more than 280 million people as a native tongue. With all the political changes that have happened in Africa and the Middle East, Arabic has become a critical language which is vital for on the ground work in countries around the globe. Governments in Europe and the U.S. are in desperate need of Arabic-speakers and many times the compensation is huge if you really know your stuff. If you’re not interested in working for the government, Arabic is just as vital when it comes to business. Due to the rapid success of Gulf countries like the UAE, business is booming and companies all over the world are looking to cash in. Knowing how to speak Arabic will put you ahead of your peers when landing a job, and will give you opportunities to travel overseas to conduct business!
3. It’s not that tough
True, Arabic is supposed to be hard, but there are many aspects to the language which are much easier to learn than you would think. Compared to most European languages, Arabic grammar can be very straight-forward. For example, in the present tense the verb ‘to be’ is omitted in Arabic which simplifies phrases like ‘You are funny’ to ‘You funny’. There’s also no neuter in Arabic, so everything is either masculine or feminine. Most Arabic words are also derived from similar roots according to their meaning. So, for example, words that are connected to ‘writing’ will have comparable derivations such as: ‘katab’ (he wrote), ‘kitab’ (book), and ‘kaatib’ (writer). This makes it incredibly simple to pick up huge swaths of vocabulary when you’re learning the language!
4. Study and live abroad
Because Arabic is in such high demand, there is an overabundance of scholarships out there which will allow you to study the language at little to no cost. Adding Arabic to your university curriculum isn’t a bad idea, whether your major is fine arts or business. Either way, studying this language will offer you a myriad of opportunities both in school and long after. Even if your school days are behind you, that doesn’t mean the chance to study Arabic has passed you by. Many companies will sponsor language lessons in order to have more employees with the capacity for multiple languages. Or take the initiative and sign up for some language lessons. You may fund it yourself, but the benefits will pay you back in huge ways. Doors to live abroad in Arabic-speaking countries will be open to you, and job opportunities you never imagined will suddenly be easily available. Studying Arabic is easily a win-win decision!
What are some of the reasons you’d like to study Arabic?