It’s one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages, but it’s still considered mysterious by many for its right-to-left script and unique looking characters. Discovering Arabic and developing an understanding in it can be as rewarding as it is intimidating, and there are many ways to go about it.
We’ve already compiled a list of the best online courses for learning Arabic as well as a list of the best podcasts for studying the language. This time, we’ll take a look at the best apps to help you with your language learning journey.
As this list only includes resources that are available as apps, it leaves out some quality options that simply lack mobile capability.
It’s also worth noting that this list doesn’t cover every app trying to teach the language. Instead, we’ve pulled from the great many we’ve tested ourselves, plus some that are commonly recommended, and grouped them into categories based on what they do best. Hopefully, it will help narrow the field a bit and point you in the right direction.
Best for Developing Communication Skills: Pimsleur
Best Podcast-Style Lessons: ArabicPod101
Best for Feedback on Writing: italki
Best Free Way to Get Started: Madinah Arabic
Most Fun Way to Learn Vocabulary: Memrise
Most Customizable Way to Practice Vocabulary: Anki
Best Way to Learn Vocabulary From Context: Clozemaster
Best Dictionary App: Hans Wehr
Best Reading Content: LingQ
Best for Reading Alongside Your Native Language: Beelinguapp
Best Radio App: Radio Arabic
Best for Learning the Arabic Alphabet: Arabic Alphabet
Best for Online Tutors: italki
Best for Help with Random Questions: HiNative
general courses as apps
Pimsleur has been producing language learning courses for over 50 years — they must be doing something right. Now available as an app for Android or iOS, Pimsleur offers an Arabic course that will get you speaking and listening to Arabic quicker than almost any other resource. The course gets users to speak almost immediately through participatory audio lessons, helping to build confidence and an ear for pronunciation right away.
The approach is especially good for those that are aural learners or are most interested in practicing the language as it is spoken. The tradeoff is that it isn’t a good option for anyone interested in developing their reading and writing skills or grammar explanations. Don’t let the brand’s age fool you, the app is refreshingly attractive and easy to use. Review.
The fact that the lessons are presented as a podcast lands this resource in the best apps for reading and listening category, but it actually provides quality practice in a variety of skills. The ArabicPod101 course manages to be entertaining while delivering valuable grammar, vocabulary, and cultural information via audio lessons.
The app covers a range of levels, from beginner to advanced, but really shines at the intermediate level. There’s a fair amount of English at the beginner level, but it’s replaced by more Arabic as you progress and the material becomes more challenging. There are also videos to keep things engaging and transcripts to maximize the learning potential. Review.
Save 25% with the coupon code ‘ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES‘
Similar to pronunciation, writing is a skill in which computers just aren’t that good at providing quality feedback. They can do things like check grammar and spelling, but they aren’t nearly as good as humans when it comes to understanding tone and context.
One great way to get free feedback on your writing from other humans is through the Exercise function in italki’s community features. It allows users to post pieces of writing on any subject that interests them with the goal of getting feedback from another user that’s proficient in the language. A good option for anyone looking for some Arabic-speaking penpals. Review. Right now get a $10 credit with your first purchase.