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What Pace Should I Set For Fluency In 3 Years?

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I'm a freshmen college student right now, in Arabic II. Arabic I discussed the sounds and letters of the Arabic language and now in Arabic II we're increasing our vocabulary and understanding of the grammar.


I have approximately 3 years until I graduate and I want to be fluent in Arabic by that time. I have a passion for the language and will do whatever it takes to master it.


My questions have to do with how many words should I set to memorize, and should it be on a weekly basis or monthly or what? All advice is appreciated. :sl:

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Assalaamu alaikum,

I would really appreciate an answer to this question as well. I heard somewhere that complete fluency in Arabic normally takes 7 years of studies (?!). I would love to hear about sisters´/brothers´experiences in learning Arabic and how they became fluent in it.

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Salam y'all,


Unless you're exceedingly talented, I fear that full fluency in three years will be very difficult, especially if you're studying at university in the US or Europe.


Based on how students in our U.S. programs perform, I'd say that the best one could hope to achieve in three years would be:


1. Reading. The ability to read a (simple) modern text slowly and with a dictionary.

2. Writing. The ability to write about very simple topics, with a minimun of error.

2. Speaking. Able to express yourself on simple topics and understand MSA conversations on the same topics. Probably, one would not be able to follow well, if at all, a conversation in colloquial. (No more than a speaker of Latin could follow a conversation in Italian.)


By the end of the third year, however, you'll be at a point where your level of knowledge will be just about ready to grow at a much faster rate.


All this assumes you're not going to immersed in Arabic for your three years of study. Normally, students get around three or four hours of practice per week, at best. If you can find a way to do two summers abroad and/or a semester, this will help immensely. If you are primarily interested in speaking, this is especially important.


Full immersion is by far the best -- in a place where you'll not be able to speak English. A backpack and a couple thousand dollars will keep you going for a long time in places like Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. If you're willing to forego a few comforts, two or three thousand dollars can easily last a year. I'll bet that's cheaper than your tuition!


As for total words to memorize, I'd humbly suggest that this is the wrong approach. All studies show that this is just about the worst way to learn vocab. Get your first 1,500 words, and then read, read, read. If you still wish to memorize, you'll do better to memorize Qur'an, hadith, proverbs, poems, etc.


I think Sr. Whitelily is correct. Seven years is reasonable, assuming you can spend a couple of those years in an Arabic-speaking country. But even then, you'll probably still have trouble with more complex modern and ancient texts and be able to work in only one or two closely related dialects.




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i think the practicing of the Arabic with native speakers good for you to be influent ..


may it take months only ..


there are lots of non-arabs who become advanced & understand most of our speech for months only when they practice it with us ..


hope you become the best

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