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Rosetta Stone Review

Saturday, June 25th

2022 Arabic Lesson Reviews

Rosetta Stone Review 3.5 Star Rating

Rosetta Stone

3.5 Star Rating
  • Free trial for three days
  • Teaches Arabic through immersion
  • Voice recognition tool helps you practice your accent
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

For many years, Rosetta Stone was the only name that came to mind when thinking of independent-study options for learning languages - but its hefty price tag put it out of reach for many people. Fortunately, the company has changed a lot: not just eliminating their clunky CD-ROM delivery system in favor of online lessons, but also bringing their prices down to fit most budgets. Their Arabic lessons cost just $35.97 for three months or $95.88 for a full year; you also have the option of a lifetime all-access pass to their entire language library for under $300.

Learn Arabic through immersion

The best-known feature of Rosetta Stone's approach to teaching languages is total immersion: you won't see any explanations in English! How does that work, exactly? Your first lesson will consist of basic words like "girl" , "boy" , "eats" , "drinks" , and the simple sentences you can make with them. You'll match the pictures with the audio, mimic the audio clips as closely as you can, and try to recognize the script that matches the words and phrases you hear. Even the lessons that are categorized as Grammar or Pronunciation are structured this way; there's never an overt explanation of word order, how the script in Arabic is read, and so on. (We're not even sure it ever demonstrated that Arabic is read from right to left!)


  • $35.97 for 3 months of Arabic lessons
  • $95.88 for 12 months of Arabic lessons
  • $299 ($179 with promo pricing) for lifetime access to all languages

Better use that three-day trial

We always recommend that students sign up for Rosetta Stone's complimentary three-day trial. These Arabic lessons are structured so differently from most programs that it's absolutely essential you "try before you buy" . And, don't assume that because you've used this company to learn one language, it'll be the same in Arabic. For example, in some target languages that don't use the Romanized alphabet we know from English, Rosetta Stone has a little button in the bottom right-hand corner that gives you the option to see different scripts. That usually includes a way to see the transliteration: how it would be pronounced (approximately) with English characters. The Arabic lessons here don't give you that capability, much to our disappointment. As we worked through the first lesson, we were really aggravated trying to mimic what we thought we were hearing and to match the totally foreign-to-us Arabic script with what we were hearing. It's okay for language lessons to be challenging, but these just made us want to give up.

Best Arabic Lessons

Extra content isn't much of a value-add

In your student dashboard, you'll see an option to Explore All Content at the top of the page. That takes you to some extras like interactive stories, downloadable audio files, or an alphabet tool. We didn't find anything that greatly enhanced our learning here, just more "features" that left us confused.

Room to improve

We'll give Rosetta Stone credit where it's due: the lessons are much more affordable now, and they're easily accessed via desktop or mobile app. That's a huge improvement over CD-ROMs (does anyone even have a way to use those now?). And, some students really enjoy learning by immersion. However, that tends to come most easily when it's a language that shares the Roman alphabet and/or has words that are already familiar to us (such as Spanish, French, or German). In order to learn a language like Arabic, most students will make more progress with some explanation in English; otherwise, their experience will too often consist of asking "But why?!"

Where Can You Get the Best 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.

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Arabic Lesson FAQ

It is estimated that there are over 420 million speakers of Arabic worldwide, making it one of the five most commonly-spoken languages around the globe. This includes both native and non-native speakers.
Generally speaking, there are two basic forms of Arabic: standard and colloquial. The former is used by the media and in universities, literature and formal writing. If you take Arabic lessons from a Western school, this is probably the form you'll get. But, this isn't the way Arabic speakers use the language in their day-to-day lives! If you know that you'll be using Arabic mainly in one particular location (e.g. Egypt vs. Persian Gulf nations vs. Lebanon), it might be worth looking for an Arabic course that at least introduces the dialect of that area. On the other hand, of all of the Arabic dialects, Egyptian is the most widely-understood by all speakers (largely due to the nation's popular music, film and TV industry), so learning the Egyptian dialect is a safe bet too.
If your first language is English, be prepared for your Arabic studies to require some work! Ranked as a Category IV language by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute, Arabic is "exceptionally difficult" on par with Japanese, Korean and Chinese. But, if you're willing to put in the time and effort, it's definitely doable!
Your first step should be to learn the Arabic alphabet, so that you don't have to depend on transliteration into English. Arabic experts also recommend that you memorize the plural forms of every noun you learn, because they can be very different (no tacking on an "s" like we do in English!), as well as the verb forms and any prepositions that go along with them. Finally, as with learning any language, give yourself plenty of time to study regularly; a few minutes here and there won't get you speaking Arabic fluently!
Availability, affordability and access: for those three reasons alone, you should consider studying Arabic online. Many colleges and universities don't offer courses in the language, and there's no guarantee you can secure one of the coveted seats in the class if your school does. Studying Arabic online can be done according to your preferred schedule, and at a fraction of the cost you'd pay per credit hour at a local school.
If you're studying Arabic online, you will probably need to take a few extra steps to enable the language on your computer. The steps depend on whether you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, so search for the instructions according to your operating system. There are also online Arabic keyboards you can use without changing your computer settings.
No! They're definitely less costly than taking in-person courses. Some programs charge a one-time fee, while others use a month-to-month subscription format. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a one-off software purchase, or between $10 and $30 per month for an online course that lasts up to two years. You've got lots of options!
That depends on the provider you choose. Some offer satisfaction guarantees ranging from 30-60 days from the date of purchase or start of the subscription plan, while others only allow you to cancel future months without refunding past payments. We recommend that you use any free materials offered by the Arabic lessons platform prior to making your choice: you can often take full sample lessons or watch a demo of how the program works, which will help you get a feel for which Arabic lessons are the best fit for your preferences and learning style.
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Continued from above...

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:

  • Arabic Dialect: Arabic varies greatly depending on where it's used. Modern Standard Arabic, or MSA, is what's typically taught in schools. But did you know it's not used as spoken Arabic...anywhere? Consider how you plan on using the language and choose the dialect that makes the most sense. Not sure? Then Egyptian might be the most logical choice: you'll find it in a lot of the TV shows and movies you might wind up watching later on!
  • Teaching Methods. How do you learn best? Do you need in-depth explanations of grammar and pronunciation, or would an app you can use from day-to-day for quick vocabulary practice be enough? How important is it to you to speak fluently and not just read/write in Arabic?
  • Value. What does the program offer? Can you get a free trial or sample lessons to try before you buy? If you choose a paid subscription or make a one-time purchase, what's included? Will your Arabic lessons last long enough to keep you progressing?
  • Refund Policy. If you pay for a membership or language program, can you get your money back if the lessons don't live up to your expectations?

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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