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Why You Should Learn Arabic

Thinking of learning Arabic?

Not sure where to start?

Confused about what dialect to learn?

Let me save you some ALOT of time.  I’ve traveled  extensively in the Arab world and learned several versions of the language through immersion and university, from Egyptian to Levantine to Modern Standard—so listen up. But first, let me give you….

 5 REASONS why you should take up Arabic

  1. It’s extremely useful. Nearly 300 million people speak Arabic as their native language! Furthermore, there are 25 countries that have Arabic as their official language, making it the third most widely spoken language (by number of countries), just behind English and French. 
  2. Arab women are sexy! Arabic women come in all shapes and shades, but nearly all are vastly more feminine than their Western counterparts. Whether you’re looking for an exotic fling or a virgin bride who is wholly focused on taking care herself and her family—Arabia has it all on offer. From mixed French-Moroccans, to liberal Lebanese, to Haleeji princesses, you have quite a bit of variety.
  3. It’s f**king cool. Every player is learning a Latin language, be it Spanish or Portuguese. Even Russian and Mandarian are en vogue these days—but nobody is learning Arabic. Quite Bondesque, I may say. I’m not saying you should learn it just for props, but when girls hear me spittin’ Arabic, it gets a far more powerful response that the others linguas mentioned.  Plus, Arabic feels great to speak. It’s masculine like German, expressive like Spanish, and can sound as sexy as French.
  4. It’s not as difficult as you think. It’s a little tougher than Russian but easier than Chinese. Arabic script is actually pretty easy to get your head around AND it’s phonetic! Many of the sounds like the rolling ‘rrr’ and the guttural “huh” are the same as in Spanish.
  5. Because…why not? How much time are you wasting everyday… playing video games, browsing SHIT online, or sitting on your arse. What if I told that just 30 minutes a day could have you conserving comfortably in Arabic in 12 weeks? YEAH!

Pumped yet?

OK, now before you start Goggling Arabic lessons, let me stop you right there! There is one very important thing you need to know.

ARABIC IS NOT A LANGUAGE. 

HOLD UP! Yep, you read that correctly. Arabic is more akin to a proto-language group rather that a homogeneous entity, much like ‘Latin’ is to French or Italian. Forget the difference between Saudi and Moroccan Arabic, even when I went to learn Levantine Arabic after  Egyptian (neighboring regions)— I couldn’t BELIEVE the differences. I might as well have started from scratch. To call them ‘dialects’ is a stretch. But thankfully, certain variants are universally understood. Here’s the score:

Arab Dialects

Broadly speaking, there are roughly five major regional strains of Arabic:

  • Maghreb (North African)
  • Egyptian
  • Levantine (Lebanon, Syrian, Jordan, Palestine)
  • Khaliji (Persian Gulf)
  • Mesopotamian (Iraq)
  • ‘Modern Standard’ (Classical / Koranic / Academic)

So which Arabic should you choose?

First of all, let’s start with what NOT to choose.

DON’T LEARN Modern Standard Arabic

Let’s start with Modern Standard Arabic—or MSA for short. When academics or constitutions refer to ‘Arabic’, they’re usually referring to Classic Arabic or MSA. They are the same thing.  There is nothing ‘modern’ about MSA. The ONLY time you will hear MSA is in mosques, in pan-Arab news, or in stupid university courses teaching Arabic as a foreign language. It’s useless. I did a year of MSA with my Masters last year and my Arabic actually got worse.

Nobody speaks it. You are FAR better off learning a colloquial version.

DON’T LEARN Mesopotamian or Maghreb

There are too few Mesopotamian speakers to warrant learning it. Outside Iraq, it’s just not very useful.

Maghreb is also the most bastardized form of Arabic as it borrowed from Berber. Moroccan Arabic, for example, is the hardest Arabic for other speakers to understand. There is also a wide variance between Libya, Tunisia and Algeria (plus these countries aren’t much craic). You’ll get more millage out of learning French for this region instead.

MAYBE LEARN KHALIJI

Khaliji (or Gulf) Arabic may be the ‘purest’ Arabic, but it’s not the most widely understood. Romanian is the ‘purest’ Latin language, but so what? Khaliji is a better  option than learning MSA or Magreb—and you’ll get serious respect for it ( it’s more ‘upper class’)—but there are a few other reasons I wouldn’t recommend Gulf Arabic over the alternatives.

  1. English is quite prevalent in the Gulf. Apart from Saudi (the world’s least fun country), the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain are all easily navigable with English. If you really wanted to converse with a local, they’ll all understand Levantine or Egyptian Arabic anyway.
  2. The women are the least sexual. Especially the ones that don’t speak English. The Gulf has the highest rate of virginity before marriage than anywhere in the world— and the one’s that do shag are the one’s that speak English!
  3. There is a lack of Khaliji Arabic learning material. Nearly all the material online for learning Arabic online is dedicated to either Egyptian, Levantine, or MSA.

So now the big question:

EGYPTIAN or LEVANTINE? 

Before I give my opinion, I’ll tell why either one of these is a good choice.

  1. Egyptian and Lebanese TV and movies are the Arab world’s most popular. As a result, both Levantine and Egyptian are the most understood. 
  2. Products like Pimsleur offer decent courses in both versions.
  3. 20% of all Arab speakers live in Egypt (80 million) and there are  35 million Levantine speakers—compared with 22 million Khaliji.

And the winner is…

If you are a man, go with Levantine Arabic.

It’s tough to come to this conclusion, as I personally prefer Egyptian. I find it more enjoyable to speak, it’s easier and flows better. However, there are a few reasons why I’m jumping ship to Levantine.

  1. Egyptian media is declining in popularity. More Arabs are tuning into Lebanese channels.
  2. Egypt sucks. While I’m willing to give the country a second chance, my experiences in the country ranked it among my least favorite countries.
  3. Levantine women are better looking, more open minded, and more sexual.
  4. Arab women find Levantine Arabic way sexier than Egyptian. I’ve talked to a lot of Arabs chicks about this. Egyptian is often described as ‘funny’ or ‘common’, whereas Lebanese makes their vaginas tingle.
  5. Levantine also comes in handy travelling — from Europe to Colombia to Hong Kong  or anywhere else you find Lebanese diaspora. They’re are 14 million diaspora scattered throughout the globe, opening restaurants in your local town to sheesha cafés in deepest Africa.

What Next?

Download Pimsleur Eastern Arabic (it’s actually Syrian), learn the language, and check out my city guides below to plan your next trip.

Beirut City Guide

Damascus City Guide

Amman City Guide

😉

If there are ANY ARAB speakers out there please express YOUR view in the comment section!!!

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37 Responses to Why You Should Learn Arabic

  1. JJ Roberts June 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I know how to say salam aleikum and ka alaikum salam if that counts

  2. Hugo Chavez June 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    where do you get these Pimsleur downloads for free?

    • Naughty Nomad June 13, 2013 at 12:38 am #

      Maybe a certain *pirate* bay may tell you.

  3. bobt June 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Good article for those wishing to learn, but personally it’s the last language on Earth I would learn.

    First of all it’s a disgusting excuse for a language
    Secondly Arabs are disgusting excuses for human beings
    Thirdly, I don’t want to unwittingly contribute to the Islamisation of Europe.
    Fourthly where I come from women hates Turks and Arabs(deservedly so), and it would do me no favors whatsoever.

    Allah Akhbar

    • Mike June 30, 2014 at 3:29 am #

      Agreed, why would anyone in the USA learn Arabic?
      1. Exciting well paying Government Job? learn Farsi, Urdu or Turkish all are much easier and each pretty much Mutually Intelligible with itself and other languages “Turkic Languages” …
      2. Meet Women: Another poor reason and Spanish, French, Portuguese, even Russian Maybe less “Unique” will give you far more bang for your buck.
      French sounds a lot nicer then Arabic, a much better choice for PUA’s.
      3. Learning a 2nd language is a lot of work you should enjoy the culture and have a passion for the language you choose.
      4. Almost all Lebanon expats are fluent in their adopted countries language.
      5. Arabic is way too much of investment for so little return.

    • RK July 9, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

      “Arabs are disgusting excuses for human beings”

      Wow of all stupid ignorant things I’ve heard, this one takes the take bobt.

      But not shocking, since you probably represent the status quo of Americans and their low IQ and idiocy.

      It’s morons like you that need to do more traveling (which I believe should be a requirement for ALL Americans especially). Your views will change, trust me.

      And this even stupider actually –> “I don’t want to unwittingly contribute to the Islamisation of Europe”.

      Hilarious.

      Being an American myself, totally not proud of this and thanks for giving us a bad name.

  4. JJ Roberts June 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    PS, if getting a book translated into Arabic, which would be the best one if you wanted to maximise sales

    • Naughty Nomad June 13, 2013 at 12:41 am #

      @JJ: Probably MSA, as it’s the written standard for newspapers.

  5. dannyfrom504 June 13, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    i’d say it’ll be useful to know when the war breaks out.

    but i plan on learning it once i retire. just don’t know whether to go rosetta stone version. i’ll have to research.

    already speak spanish and my italian is rusty.

  6. gabriel June 13, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    Do u have some tips for spanish ? I want to go learn the levantine arabic but the war is coming to Lebanon so i cant go there for a long time… My other choice is to go to colombia or somewhere to learn spanish.. Any tips ?

    • Naughty Nomad June 13, 2013 at 2:11 am #

      There is no war in Lebanon. The media is selling a story for minor spats at border. Beirut is as safe as Paris atm.

  7. perry June 14, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    Hey Mark. Do you think Amharic Arabic is necessary for traveling to ethiopia. I’ve tried researching learning materials but i got limited results. I think to game in most middle eastern countries would be difficult since they’re predominately muslim..

  8. Ali S June 14, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    So you gamed all your Arab chicks in Arabic or English?

  9. Her Wanderin' Feet June 14, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I tried learning Arabic at 16 when I dated an Egyptian. Later at 20 when I dated a Moroccan. And just last year when I dated a Tunisian and failed every time. I actually do not like the way it sounds outside of being sung.

    South Asian languages are so much more appealing.

    But Arabs are a very good looking people, that is for sure.

  10. k1 June 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    well, it’s nice to write about it how usefull it is, but I would be surprised if you will ever have conversational skills yourself.

    I have been living in an arab country, after learning the alfabet and a five lessons I gave up because it was too much effort, because there isn’t any relation with a roman or german language.

    also I kew other people who have been living in an Magreb country for 15 years and still don’t speak arabic.

    The key is motivation

  11. Toghril June 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Nice article, though I wouldn’t be so quick to put down MSA. While the vocab isn’t so useful conversationally, knowing it will help you pick up different dialects more quickly and understand how the grammar works even in dialect. Definitely agree Levantine the way to go, though the problem is Beirut is so anglophone anyway that you’re unlikely to get far before people reply in English; your exotic capital will take you much further in Egypt or Jordan (can’t speak for the Gulf). Would like to believe you that you can be conversational in 12 weeks but it took me a year of living in an Arab country to really be fluent…immersion is the way forward

  12. Lamachus June 16, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Pimsleur’s Levantine Arabic version is more comprehensive than its Egyptian Arabic one.

    It’ll be interesting if the war eventually spills over from Syria into Lebanon. Even if it does, a fellow can always try his Levantine Arabic language skills in Jordan and Israel.

  13. John Doe June 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    Now I don’t understand where this direction this blog is going now. Since you got a girlfriend, which I am presuming you have since all the articles are watered down and you going gym etc, the quality of the articles has suffered. Please dump your girlfriend and get back on the horse, as your articles use to provide some valuable laughs previously. I feel cheated coming on this site to read articles about learning languages.

    • Naughty Nomad June 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      @John: Girlfriendzzzz. I take your point. More humour is a good suggestion.

  14. Bruce June 18, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    Excellent post NN

  15. Peregrine John June 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Been trying to find my way through the maze of Arabic languages to figure out which to go with. Perfect timing, and great info.

  16. Patrick June 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    I’m an American who is fluent in Arabic, both the Egyptian and “modern standard” varieties. I agree with most of what’s here, particularly the uselessness of “modern standard” outside of reading and watching ALJaazeera. NN is right on target when he calls it “classical” because MSA is really just an adapted form of medieval Arabic, which begins with the Quran. I’ve been studying classical Arabic for most of a decade, but any dialect can be learned in a few weeks if you are good at languages.

    And yup, Levantine is better than Egyptian. Lebanese girls are hot, Egyptian girls not so much. Plus Syrians and Lebanese are occasionally less conservative.

    The problem here is that even Lebanese Christian girls are pretty conservative, and the less conservative types will speak English or French. So I don’t see any reason to learn Arabic unless you are interested in politics/history/religion.

    I definitely think Marc should learn Arabic, though, because we need a true Bond who can crack the code on Arabic girls. Can we get someone to write ‘Bang Arabia’? For most guys looking to date foreign hotties, though, it’s all about Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, etc. Girls in those countries also don’t speak much English too, unlike Middle Eastern girls.

    I know Marc will tell I’m disillusioned by Egypt, but I’ve also lived Jordan and speak Turkish. The Middle East is not much fun place for dating /flagging unless you’re really hardcore. In Egypt, I dated foreign women.

  17. vivasalt June 19, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    Wow …. looks like im the only arab who reads ur blog … yes arabic is my mother language and im from JORDAN, nice article , the only real arabic to learn is khaliiji , Egyptian or jordanian arabic , to be honest with u Lebanese arabic is considered somehow for faggots , yes its sexy on girls but on guys its not so good , u can perfectly understand Egyptian , Jordanian , Lebanese , khaliji and syrian Arabic as they are just different accent variations , the rest is completely far from the original arabic , i think im totally qualified to write Bang Arabia considering the fact that im a commit reader of the manosphere blogs and had an outstanding success in jordan , so any questions i would be happy to answer , and manosphere guys should really do more articles about the middle east to take people out of the fucked up things that the news channels have hypnotized ppl into believing and so we would have less ” arabs discusting human beings ” kinda commenters here , and i would really like to join in an article about middle east to post in this awsome awsome blog , and thanks for such an article .

  18. Valentin June 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Why 2 designs ? The old one is so cool 😉

  19. muzzy June 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/4495188/Rabia/
    update…more than 60% of saudi women are obese

    female obeisty in 2008 n growing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_map_of_Female_Obesity,_2008.svg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_obesity
    even sexy persian girls are getting mcdonalded….more than 40% are overweight(keep in mind 67% are under 30…n young girls are gettin bigger than their mothers)

    mid east is losing its sexiness….then again fat is ideal with most arabs unless shes from the rich upper class whom have european influence but need money to role in theri area.

    hot middle easterners look southern euro or latin anyways so may as well go there.(hell even some arabs an many westereners go to brazil for fun)

    plus dont pump n dump good virgin girls in conservative countrys(unless they slut) cuz theyd be ruined and more difficult to find good women.
    dont treat them like western women or theyll become like western women through the experiance and friends influence(the bitch vibe will spread form gf 2 gf )….american media is bad enuff as it is.

    these conservative areas should be protected.dont bring our western feminzied adapted values there
    .dont convert them to our ways….we tryin to get away from that…women be women…men b men

    when it comes to arabic totally agree lebanese would be the best since they are the most open in the region(isrealis too)
    lebanon is like the vegas of the middle east rest is just not worth it. but itll take plenty of money and game in the area.

    but all in all think if youre just lookin to get laid just use english cuz the ones that can speak it are DTF.(like u said) makes learning the language almost pointless

  20. Socialkenny the pickup artist June 29, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    I’d say Khaleeji is worth learning.

    But Magreb is mixed with too much French.

    Levantine is my favorite since I have a thing for Lebanese and Syrian HB’s.

    Great article though. I’m well versed in Arabic (Levantine Syrian dialect mainly). Egyptian most widely used as you eluded to. I’m a strong advocate of learning new languages.

  21. spunky July 1, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4987573/Brit-tourist-stabbed-in-Turkey-for-kissing-a-local-girl.html

    cockblockin middle east style…an this happened in the most liberal nation of the middl east…turkey. Zolo u totalky live up to the luck of the irish.most would not be able to pull those flags.but dont push ur luck. These guys r hella alpha aggressive.

    @bobt
    where u from
    @her wanderin feet
    south asian languages are difficult plus each language is spoken in different states…think europe.besides any chick that knows english is the more liberal high class girl likly to dtf. But need status to get in.

  22. spunky July 1, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    @patrick
    how can we crack arab girls when havent cracked girls in argentina or the caucaus for that matter
    datin in middle east is hard mode. Gotta build up n beat the easier levels an figure them out first…othereise itll be our last

  23. ya habibi July 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    THANKS a lot for your detailed update about arabic language and its various versions. I learnt arabic Colloquial spoken in saudi arabia where I was working. Then worked in other parts of the gulf. I always had this problem. Why is arabic so different? In gulf (dubai-muscat) I understand almost 90% of what is said. The saudi/ yemeni/sudani brand of arabic I understand between 40-60%. The levantine brand of arabic, I understand barely 20%. Egyptian arabic, I understand 0 , yes zero percent. Why the difference? Because if the reception(listening) is good, then my transmission (spoken) also improves. I dont know much about the maghreb brand of arabic. Tried talking to some maghrabi(moroccon) chicks, they didnt understand what I was saying.

    Anyway, youo can just forget about gaming arab chicks, atlest in the middle east. Maybe you can in europe or usa, not here, you will get your head chopped off. Well, one friend of mine did have a local arab girlfriend,(watani) helluva chick absolute stunner, elite family, because he had, ummmm………wonderful eyes. And speaking only english. So, no need to learn arabic, get your eyes fixed.

  24. theXtremist July 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Yes..Arabic is badass. I can think of just one lenguage that I’d prefer to it: Parsi. It sounds spectacular and moreover Iranian girls are pretty hot, besides the beauty of the country itself.

  25. Socialkenny PUA July 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    @Xtremist- Why would you want to learn Farsi where it’s only spoken in Iran? I don’t see the point and rationality unless you’re gonna live there.

    • Ibrahim March 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Farsi is actually spoken in Afghanistan, Balochistan (Pakistan region), Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Parts of Armenian, Parts of Iraq and of course Iran! It is a rich language and a lot of poets were of Persian descent.

  26. theXtremist July 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    @socialkenny Yes you’re right it’s not rational, but if we have to behave rationally we will learn chinese before arabic. I was talking more about my personal preference on the language itself than on its utility.

  27. Socialkenny July 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    @Ya Habibi- How can you understand 90% of Saudi but only 20% Levantine? That’s strange. The dialects aren’t that far apart to begin with besides a few key nuances. But I’m basically fluent in Levantine Arabic of Syria and Palestine, yet I can understand pretty much everything in Gulf Arabic. It’s just a word or 2 which is radically different. For example: shloonitch (how are you) used in the Gulf, while Shloonik used in Syria (Levant). Not much of a difference.

  28. splooge August 3, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    ya heard about lebanese being smooth. asked 1 iraqi girl about it. she said the girls speakin it sounds nice but the lebanese guys sound alil gay…that true?

  29. Mark November 24, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    Hey Mark
    How good is your Russian and do you think it is an essential language?

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