For many English speakers, Arabic is one of the most difficult languages to learn. While there are certainly valid reasons for this perception, there are just as many valid reasons why learning Arabic isn’t as hard as some may think. We’ve highlighted below some common reasons for the difficulty in learning Arabic, and reasons why learning Arabic is more accessible than you think.

guide to arabic writing

Source: languages

“Arabic grammar is too complicated to learn”

A common struggle for many is learning how to read Arabic, as it is mostly written using consonants whilst leaving out short vowels. While this may seem complex and may be a challenge to grasp in the beginning, Arabic has a very logical and systematic grammar and morphology. If you take your time to learn the ‘10 forms’ (10 main word patterns), learning how to read Arabic and distinguish meanings from vocabulary words will get much easier.

The concept of roots (generally three-letter consonants) is a brilliant system and can learners in two main ways. Firstly, identifying the root in a word can help learners derive an array of words with related meaning. Secondly, by memorizing the root and making a logical connection to the concept that is derived from this root can help you guess the meaning of an unfamiliar word based on the context.

“Arabic has a pretty complicated writing system”

learn arabic writing system


Arabic script is certainly beautiful, however, the language has a pretty complicated writing system, with 28 letters which have different forms depending on their position in the word (beginning, middle, end, and alone). It is not true that learning Arabic script is an impossible task. While the alphabet may have a few more letters than English, most letter shapes join up to others and there are only 5 basic shapes. Have a read of British Council’s article: 'Arabic: more accessible than you thinkto find out how the Arabic alphabet is easier to learn than some may think.

“There are too many spoken varieties of Arabic language”

There are multiple regional variations of Arabic language, yet it is not the only language where language-learners face the difficult task of choosing between regional variations or dialects. Rather the main difficulty people perceive is the radical difference between the various spoken varieties such as colloquial Arabic Levant and the written language known as Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).

One could argue (and many have) that this difference doesn’t make language learning itself difficult; it merely requires more effort and commitment. Undoubtedly, given the intense broadcast for Arabic, language learners who choose to learn Arabic over most European languages will benefit more professionally and career wise.

In terms of choosing a spoken variation, the reality is that, with few exceptions, most people all over the Arabic world will understand you regardless of the dialect you speak.

Persistence is the key to getting a handle on the alphabet and training yourself to read right to left. It is important to make practical goals to keep yourself motivated while you learn. In addition, these are just a few examples of how perceived difficulties in learning Arabic is not as difficult as some may think.

Why should I learn it?

Learning Arabic doesn’t have to be stigmatised as the most difficult language to learn; rather the complexity of learning Arabic (or any language) first and foremost comes from a student’s motivation, passion and determination to learn the language. If you lack the motivation and cannot see the benefit of learning Arabic, undoubtedly you will have more trouble. No matter how “easy” the language you’re studying is, you just won’t make progress if you aren’t properly motivated. 

How to learn Arabic

Like any skill it requires practice, and having a good teacher helps. Investing time in Arabic classes with a qualified instructor, even for a short period of time, can make a huge difference in your ability to pick up and retain Arabic language. For professionals wanting to upskill it is always best to learn in an environment which can set you up on the right way to approach Arabic language learning.

Get started today. Speak Arabic with Confidence with Berlitz Jordan through a range of language program solutions that suit your lifestyle, language level and goal.