Do You Need Prior Knowledge of Arabic to Come to Palestine? When interested in visiting the Excellence Center, a common question that some prospective volunteers, interns, and students have is, “Do I need to know Arabic to come to Palestine?” Being in an Arabic-speaking area, you may have worries about getting around and navigating your way through the West Bank with little or no Arabic. However, to answer the question, no. You do not need prior knowledge of Arabic to come to Palestine. Here is why:
As you walk the streets of Palestine, whether in Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, or any other area, you will find Arabic written and spoken all around you. But as you walk the streets of Palestine you will also find that several people know at least basic English. And if you meet someone who does not speak English, they are highly likely to know someone who does. That is why the language barrier does not need to be a concern when traveling to Palestine.
As you travel throughout the West Bank, finding your way is made rather easy. If you are ever lost or are in need of directions, simply ask. Someone around you will probably have a basic grasp of English and they will be able to help you. Plus, Palestinians are very friendly people who are always glad to lend a helping hand. Palestinians may even approach you first to ask you if you need help before you have the opportunity to ask them.
If coming to volunteer, intern, or study Arabic with the Excellence Center, no prior knowledge of Arabic is required. We have teachers who are capable of working with beginner level Arabic students all the way up to the advanced level. Therefore, if you come with no background in the Arabic language, you are more than welcome. Arabic may be primarily spoke in Palestine, but our volunteers and students have been able to manage just fine with little or no background in Arabic. In addition, if you are ever really stuck in terms of communication, you will be surprised how much you can communicate with gestures and translation apps.
To begin learning a foreign language or to continue on your journey towards mastering a foreign language, immersion is the greatest way to improve. When in Palestine where Arabic is the primary means of communication, you will be surprised how quickly you begin to grasp the language. That is why we are always glad to host new Arabic language students, interns, and volunteers. We know that the best way to improve language is through immersion. However, if you are only just beginning on your language learning journey, understand that you will be able to navigate your way around Palestine without prior knowledge of Arabic.