12
Jan
2015

HOW TO LEARN MODERN STANDARD ARABIC (MSA)

12th January 2015
Arabic is the 6th most famously known language throughout the world. It has Semitic origin, and is spoken in three main versions: Classical, the one used in The Holy Quran; Modern Standard Arabic, which is spoken through the world and Colloquial Arabic, which is used in some niches, and is spoken in different dialects. It is quite astonishing how a language that was initially spoken and understood in a small area became the official language of many countries, including USA, all of which is down to Quran.

Just like English, which originated from French, and now considered as a universal mode of speech worldwide, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) has developed from traditional Arabic to accommodate many of the contemporary words and terminologies due to technological advancements, and is taken as a customary tongue instead of its predecessor. All the news reporting, TV programs and newspapers etc. use it as a regular form of communication. Most of us read and listen to Quranic recitation only, and do not know its meaning. This problem could be solved by learning MSA, which has solely evolved from Quranic wordings.

Following are some of the possible techniques to learn and master Modern Standard Arabic:

Joining some Arabic learning course

The very first step to learning a foreign language is to know about its basics first. By opting for any nearby or an online Arabic course, one can make command on its fundamentals like grammar, vocabulary, and most importantly meanings of different signs, which change meanings of similar words. One can take reading, writing, speaking and listening exercises to grab the essentials of MSA. This would help in understanding of the basics of Quran as MSA shares the same alphabets, vocabulary, pronunciations, grammar, and structures of sentences as used in the Holy Book.

There are online academies such as Quran Reading, Arab Academy, and Understand Quran from where one cannot only learn the basics of Arabic, but also carry with advanced Quran learning courses to be able to learn Quran in Arabic with meanings.

Through regular listening

If you ask someone, “how can I become skilled at understanding French in the best way”? As French is a very strange language whose words are mostly written and spoken differently, so, the general reply would be to learn it by listening to it from common speakers. In the same way, Arabic is a very difficult tongue to study, where a minute difference of single grammatical signs can change the meaning of the whole word, e.g. the word “الكلب” could mean both “dog” and “child” with a little variation in its pronunciation. MSA is used as a universal mode for Arabic speakers itself to remove the differences and problems of dialect and make a uniform level of understanding.

Most of people who spend time in taking linguistic courses end up learning about just the basics of that linguistics, and being able to speak more than two or three sentences like in the case of French. So, the best method to be aware of much of the MSA is through listening to it, which either could be in the form of Television news and dramas, operas, movies and other shows etc. Since, verbal communication in this language mostly involves Colloquial Arabic, which has various dialects, so, care should be taken to avoid mixing up with people of different dialects as Egyptian version is different from Libyan one.

Writing and speaking regularly

After having the necessary idea about MSA, the most important and last step is to write own sentences in it following a famous notion “practice makes a man perfect”. One of the main problems with new learners of a language is that they only use it when it`s required. Instead, one should constantly use it to have a firm hold on it. Then, one also needs to speak it occasionally, which would in turn be useful in understanding the recitation of the Holy Quran. Last but not the least, to serve the actual objective of comprehending Quranic verses; one should recite it without first looking for its translation to derive its possible meaning itself, till one master this language or identify itself with completely.

Besides these, there are some smartphone applications that can be used to learn the basics of Arabic those are: Learn Arabic, Learn Arabic Phrase & Words, and Learn Arabic Language Guide. All of these are for android phone users.

These are some of the best ways to study and learn Modern Standard Arabic, if one wants to recognize the Holy Quran in Arabic itself.
posted by MomenaMinhas on 12th January 2015 - 0 comments

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