Learn Arabic In Palestine

The Arab world is extremely wide: it ranges from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabic peninsula, and includes many countries, and each of these countries is different from the other for several factors. Then why should someone learn Arabic in Palestine?IMG_6635

Arabic can be a challenging language to learn, and that is because its complex linguistic system, which is very different from other Indo-European languages, and the situation of diglossia found in many Arab countries. Diglossia means that a codified variety (namely, Modern Standard Arabic) is used in formal contexts, newspapers, and TV news, and that a more colloquial variety is employed in the daily life: these are the so-called dialects. Each dialect has its peculiarities, but Palestinian colloquial is widely agreed to be a variety that is closer than other ones to Modern Standard Arabic – also known as fuṣḥà.IMG_6641

Lebanese and Jordanian varieties are quite similar to Palestinian Arabic, and close enough to Modern Stand Arabic as well. Then why should someone decide to travel to Palestine rather than a more stable country, such as Lebanon or Jordan? Not considering reason concerning history and politics – which might be one’s motivation to go to Palestine as well – Palestine makes a very good place to practise Arabic since Palestinians are not very fluent in English. In Lebanon, everyone speaks at least English or French, and Jordanians know English: it is very likely to switch very often to one of these languages in those countries. Instead, in Palestine speaking Arabic becomes a need and you will be learning Arabic every time you walk in the streets, ask for directions, go shopping to the supermarket or simply relax in a coffee shop.IMG_6864

Another factor that you may want to take into account when deciding a country to learn Arabic in Palestine is that Palestinians are a very outgoing people. You are not going to fall short on opportunities to speak Arabic outside the Center: even just asking for directions can lead to having a long conversation about who you are, where you are from, what you do here, and so on. People here are very curious and appreciate every single effort foreigners make to learn their beautifully complex language, no matter whether it is fuṣḥà or their dialect. Emil, 25 years old from Sweden, says: “People here are so welcoming! Even if I only know a few words and I am now learning the alphabet, when I speak to people in the streets they are always trying to correct my pronunciation and teach me more useful words and expressions. It is so different compared to Sweden, where people are not as warm as Palestinians.”IMG_6823

To sum up, for the above-mentioned reasons Palestine is a place where learning Arabic is going to be very fruitful and satisfying. The teachers are well-trained and competent, and the whole experience will be completely involving: learning does not happen just in class, but in every moment of daily life.IMG_6834

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