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Arabic Resources

Easy Languages
4.3 
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Easy Languages gets people involved from all around the globe —from Brazil to Mongolia — to film authentic interviews about everyday life with locals on the street.

A typical episode format starts with the interviewer (or interviewers) introducing the topic and location for the day. Then, they will approach various locals to ask their opinion or test their knowledge. Only a handful of languages, like Hindi, and Swahili, don’t follow this format — these are also typically the languages with fewer videos.

Easy Languages invites co-producers to join their channel, which means that anyone can apply to create videos, as long as they are filmed according to the Easy Languages guidelines. These co-producers receive multimedia training if they don’t already have experience in the field, so the videos typically have a baseline quality standard (although sometimes the filming can be a bit shaky).

Most of the interviewers have a bubbly personality, and some of them appear in multiple language interviews within Easy Languages. Overall, the interviews are enjoyable and will train your ear to understand a range of voices and accents. Also, for anyone who uses Seedlang for German, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see Cari’s friendly face in the Easy German episodes!

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

 

Language Transfer
4.3 
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The Language Transfer’s courses approach language learning with what has been coined as “The Thinking Method’. These audio courses serve as a great introduction to the nine languages currently available. They go into lots of depth on how each language works, teaching you all of the main grammar points and giving you the tools needed to learn independently and intuitively. For beginners looking to learn a language, these free courses are an effective and efficient way to start your journey.

Arabic Quick!
4.3 
Price: Free
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Arabic Quick! Is a website dedicated to teaching you the Arabic alphabet. Although it has an attractive interface and is quite thorough, it doesn’t have much audio support to help you learn pronunciation — but, with Madinah Arabic as pronunciation support, Arabic Quick! is an excellent guide for your first steps in Arabic.

The first page of the guide has an overview of the entire alphabet. Then, each letter is broken down by how it is written at the start, middle, and end of a word. There are sample words with explanations of different pronunciations, mnemonic devices to remember how each letter is written, and a visual comparison between other letters that look similar.

After learning the alphabet, you can practice reading a series of essential Arabic words with audio pronunciation by native speakers. This section is more like phrasebook, so if that’s what you’re looking for you can also download SimplyLearn or go to LingoHut for lots of pronunciation by Native Speakers. Otherwise, we recommend you check out Madinah Arabic, Arabicpod101, or Arabic in 60 steps for structured lessons for beginners.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Beelinguapp
4.3 
Price: Freemium, $29.99/year
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Beelinguapp makes it easier to read and listen to interesting content in a number of languages. You’ll find short stories, news, fairy tales, music, and more. Their side-by-side reading functionality highlights the sentence in the language you’re learning, as well as in a language you’re familiar with. The karaoke feature makes it easy to follow the audio with the written text. Some of the content and features are available for free, but there are also premium plans to unlock more.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Arabic in 60 Steps
4.3 
Price: Freemium, Free trial, £19/mo for self-guided study, £197 for full program
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Arabic in 60 Steps is a podcast, Youtube Channel, and premium course created by Sam Burr to make Arabic more accessible for beginners.

Sam’s free course, The Best of Stories, is for anyone, even if you don’t speak a word of Arabic. Signing up also gives you access to his free course on reading and writing Arabic (although this is still under development). In the Best of Stories, Sam has six videos that introduce you to a short vocabulary list, a grammar concept, and examples. He breaks down Arabic grammar from an English Speaker’s point of view and even provides an accompanying workbook with translation exercises.

In his program, Arabic in 60 steps, you pay a one-time fee to receive about sixty hours of video lessons, a hard-copy of the accompanying workbook, a mentor for six months, and access to Sam’s live questions every week. Near the end of the program, everything you read and hear will be in Arabic. You will want to have a basic foundation of the Arabic alphabet before starting, so check out Arabic Quick! or see if the Arabic script course with Sam is complete.

Finally, My Arabic World is a supplementary platform that gives you transcripts, vocabulary breakdowns, and useful phrases from various Arabic videos.

Overall, Arabic in 60 steps seems like a comprehensive program for beginners to dive into the Arabic language.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

DLI Courses
4.3 
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The DLI and FSI language courses are still some of the most comprehensive resources for language learning today, and probably the most comprehensive free resources you will find. 

Although the DLI and FSI courses are comparable in quality, DLI courses focus more on military terminology in the later lessons, while FSI courses focus on everyday communication and communication for diplomats. Another key difference between them is that the DLI courses may go into more depth, and also seem to provide a more comprehensive guide to the study of each language; the FSI courses either have briefer explanations or dive straight into the content. Both of them have outdated content, which is understandable considering that they were developed in the mid-1900s and have scarcely been updated since then.

Often the DLI courses outline clear practice strategies to reproduce your target language’s sounds. Also, depending on the language, literal translations are sometimes used so that you get accustomed to each language’s grammar structure.

All the PDFs and audio files are available for download on various sites, although Live Lingua has made navigating between the material quite intuitive. If you can’t find your desired language in the DLI courses, check out the FSI courses for different options.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

FSI Courses
4.3 
Price: Free
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The Foreign Services Institute developed their language courses to help diplomats quickly reach professional working proficiency in a language. They would attend 5 hours of language instruction per day, plus homework, for 24-88 weeks (depending on the language). The table at the bottom of this page indicates the average time it would take for a student to reach professional working proficiency.

The FSI program places a strong focus on listening comprehension, in addition to extensive exercises for grammar and vocabulary. If you follow along with the audio and respond to the prompts in each drill, you will also develop confidence in speaking the language.

With hundreds of pages of text, dozens of hours of audio, and several levels in many languages, the FSI courses are still probably the most comprehensive, free courses you can follow. Just remember that they are decades old, so the audio is not very clear and the vocabulary often includes both sexist and obsolete language. Also, some of the topics will not be relevant to your everyday life.

Several sites host these free, open-source courses, but the site linked below is  easy to navigate. Beware of any site selling courses “originally made for diplomats,” as these are probably free FSI courses with a price tag. You can also check out the DLI courses, which are equally as comprehensive (and free!).

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

My Language Exchange
4.2 
Price: Freemium, Gold Memberships start at $6/mo
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My Language Exchange has been growing since 2000. Although the website seems out of date, it still has an active community of millions of language-learners who speak almost 200 native languages (including less commonly studied languages).

You can choose a pen pal by reading their bios, or there is a chat room available for you to instantly connect with a language exchange partner — note that if you create a Gold account, you can initiate chats with other users, but as a regular user, you will have to wait to be contacted.

Using the Cormier Method, the website provides tools to help intermediate speakers effectively practice with other learners. It advertises a Chat Companion with lesson plans to accompany your exchange, or lesson plans developed by teachers (although the quality of these resources varies drastically). 

You can also find language teachers on the site, but given that the transactions take place directly between you and the teacher, you may feel safer using a 3rd party platform like italki or Verbling

Although there are outlines on how to participate in language exchanges, how these outlines are followed depends entirely on you and your partner(s). My Language Exchange will help you build connections with other learners, but it’s up to you to plan how to practice. The concepts can also be used with any language exchange platform, such as Lingbe, italki, Tandem, and Amikumu.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

ArabicPod101
4.2 
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ArabicPod101 has loads of audio and video lessons that cater to students learning their first few words in Arabic right up to advanced learners. Covering a wide range of subjects, the lessons explore anything from Arab culture and particular grammar points to specific scenarios and essential vocabulary.

The lessons progress in difficulty and are perfect for beginner and intermediate learners although not much focus is placed on learning how to speak and write. While the lessons are generally very good, learners need to pay attention as some of them are in Modern Standard Arabic while others are in the Egyptian and Moroccan dialects.

Clozemaster
4.2 
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Ideal for people who are already at an upper beginner/intermediate level, Clozemaster will help you build your vocabulary and learn new words and sentences in context. While you won’t learn much grammar or improve your speaking and writing much, it is great at what it does and the videogame aspect makes it fun and addictive to work though. Although the exercises are all pretty much identical, there are various ways in which you can increase the difficulty and Clozemaster’s free account is almost as good as the Pro User one.