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Saturday, June 25th
Memrise has helped more than 60 million people worldwide to acquire new language fluency. While we regularly give this service our highest recommendation, their Arabic lessons don't quite measure up.
Native speaker video clips... missing
We've evaluated Memrise for many different languages, and one of the program's biggest features is the native speaker video clips. There's no better way to see and hear exactly how someone uses the language in authentic settings: you can start to incorporate real gestures and mannerisms that come with the language (and perhaps avoid some of the faux pas English speakers are famous for making in other cultures!). But, this hallmark feature is completely absent with Memrise's Arabic lessons.
Crack the code
Instead, you'll begin with something they call "Code Cracker" . That's no exaggeration: you'll get little segments of Arabic script that, in theory, correspond with letters, but there's no explanation. We found ourselves muttering under our breath, "Okay, the characters to write "l' seem to say "la la la" , now how do we put that together?" We hoped that there'd be more explanation as we went along, or that we'd eventually see Memrise's famous native speaker video clips. We were disappointed.
Use the free account first
If you want to see for yourself, you can create a no-cost Memrise account and try any one of their many lesson choices. Not only does it include seven levels of Arabic, but it also gives you access to user-created content across a variety of topics. Algerian Words and Phrases, How to Type with Arabic Keyboard, and Yemeni Arabic Vocabulary were just a few of the extra courses we found.
More review options with paid subscription
Your free Memrise access lasts forever. However, if you want to use all of the review features and study tools the program offers, you'll need to pay for a membership. It costs $8.99/month, $90/year, or $139.99 for a lifetime plan. You might get a discount if you look around or wait long enough: we spotted 50% savings on the yearly plan on the Memrise website and in emails we received on more than one occasion. All subscriptions are backed by a 30-day refund policy if you try these Arabic lessons for a while and decide to use something else instead.
Disappointing by comparison
Typically, Memrise is one of our favorite language learning platforms. Unfortunately, when it comes to Arabic, this service is a let-down. It's mostly a glorified set of flashcards, with no context at all. You could use your free Memrise account for vocabulary review to complement another program, but we don't think most students will choose it as their main way of getting well-rounded Arabic lessons.
If you've tried to find classes near you, you already know that it's a challenge. Without a university or an Arabic-speaking community nearby, your opportunities to learn the language might seem pretty slim. Fortunately, there's no shortage of ways to study Arabic from home - or from anywhere you've got your phone or tablet!
We also congratulate you on your interest, because Arabic speakers are in high demand. As one of the official working languages of the United Nations and spoken by over 400 million people, Arabic can open doors to business, travel, or intercultural friendships.
Learning Arabic has other advantages. Mastering it lets you quickly grasp related languages like Hebrew, Urdu, Turkish or Farsi. Fluency in Arabic can help you understand Islam, read the Qur'an, or delve into the history of the Middle East. And, don't overlook how the work required to comprehend a different writing system from English can benefit your mental agility!
Now that you're even more convinced that it's the right time to take Arabic lessons online, where should you start? That's the perfect question! One size does not fit all, so here are some factors to bear in mind as you sort through the options and choose the ideal path for your studies:
To help you with your language goals, TopConsumerReviews.com has tested, evaluated, and ranked the top Arabic lessons available today. Your journey can start today as you find the program that's right for you!
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