When trying to learn Arabic, are you bored with the same old routine of textbooks, lectures and homework? Do you feel like you need a little boost – a little something different – that will help break you out of this routine? Well, have we got good news for you! Today we are going to offer you some unique (some may say strange) ways that you can learn Arabic that maybe you haven’t thought of until now. So without further ado, here are five unique ways for you to try that may break you out of that cycle. And who knows? You might just have a little bit of fun while you’re learning.
1. Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Study in the Tub (or Shower)!
Maybe you never thought of this, but sometimes before I have to give a lecture, I practice what I want to say while I’m in the shower. There’s something about it that just wakes me up and helps me think better. And you can do the same thing. Practice your Arabic phrases and have a conversation with yourself. (Don’t worry; nobody is going to think you’re crazy talking to yourself. They probably won’t even hear you above the din of the shower, anyway!) Try to learn basic Arabic words for things you see around you (e.g. صابون / saboon (soap), شامبو. shanbu (shampoo), or كريم الحلاقة /kareem alhalaqa (shaving cream). And if you’re a shower singer, learn some Arabic songs that you can belt out while you lather up.
2. What the @#&*?
This is a take on the old swear jar that we had as kids, where if anybody said a bad word, then they had to put a quarter in the jar. At the end of the week, whoever said the least amount of swear words gets the money. However, this one comes with a little twist, and works best with a group of others that also are learning Arabic, like say in your classroom. It works like this:
Grab a big glass jar, and while you’re in class, choose to speak only Arabic. Anytime someone speaks a language other than Arabic, they have to put a dollar in the jar. After a month, the person who speaks only Arabic (or speaks more Arabic than their native tongue) gets all of those dollars.
3. Look for Foreign Language Recipes
The first thing I learned about Arabic pronunciation was how to pronounce the names of food. First, it kept me from starving because I could go into any supermarket and buy exactly what I needed. Second, when I think of traveling anywhere, the first thing I think about is trying out all of that different food from different cultures.
I learned to cook from an early age, but if I asked for a recipe from someone who cooked a delicious platter of magluba, I usually just got invited back instead of the recipe I so desired. Then one day I was surfing the internet for a recipe for mulukiah, but it was in Arabic, so I translated the ingredients that I needed along with different words for things like boil and stir, and made it myself. So if you’re hankering for some Arabic food but can only find the recipes for it online in Arabic, this is a great way to start learning. After awhile you will start to recognize more and more words that you’ve learned through cooking, and your food will be so delicious, the just might consider putting you on the Arabic version of The Iron Chef. But before you start cooking, you have to go grocery shopping for the ingredients, which brings us to the next unique tip…
4. Shop ‘Til You Drop
After you’ve found your foreign language recipe, you probably also have to buy at least some of it, so create a grocery list in Arabic. This will not only help you build your vocabulary, but it will also allow you speak Arabic to the grocer for an item you can’t find. If you don’t know the word in Arabic, look it up before you leave to go shopping or enter the list into your mobile This way, no matter where you are, you can find exactly what you need to do Tip #3 above.
5. Scavenger Hunts
Much like your grocery list you can create a list of things that you can hide all around the class or school and start your own scavenger hunt. Divide your class into pairs and give them your list of treasures (make sure they can read your Arabic writing!). First pair to find all of the items written in Arabic on the list wins! It’s a great way to practice.
These are just a few unique ways that you can practice your Arabic language skills. Can you think of anymore?
Wait! I just did. You can go over to kaleela.com to learn more about the Arabic language and Arab culture, and while you’re there, be sure to look for our soon-to-be-released Arabic language learning app, available for both Android and i-phone. It certainly is a unique and fun way to learn Arabic outside of the classroom.