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Sunday, January 17th
If you want to study a new language, you've probably heard of Rosetta Stone. Through a process they call "Dynamic Immersion" - trying to teach you Arabic the same way you learned your first language naturally - Rosetta Stone introduces new vocabulary, phrases, and sentences without constantly translating between English and Arabic.
You can get a basic idea of how this works by selecting the "Try a Free Demo" button near the top of the main Arabic product page. You'll be shown several pictures, which will be labeled in Arabic and accompanied by the matching pronunciation of the word. You match the sound and the written word with the correct image, which will then be paired with two verbs (for example, boy, girl, the boy eats, the girl drinks). Unfortunately, that's the extent of the free demo for Arabic; you can get a free 3-day trial for Spanish, English, French, German, or Italian, but that won't give you an idea of how Rosetta Stone teaches Arabic script, for example. However, even if you're not interested in those languages, using the free trial will still give you hands-on experience with Rosetta Stone's overall approach to teaching languages, so that you can decide if it's a style that works for you.
One positive is that Rosetta Stone's newer pricing is now more competitive when looking at Arabic lessons from a variety of providers. Previously, their language lessons sold for $400 or more, which was often much more money than students could afford. But, at the time of our review, Rosetta Stone's Arabic program was listed at $199 for a two-year online subscription and $179 for access via CD-ROM or download.
Also, their satisfaction guarantee/return policy has improved - 30-day, no risk, money back guarantee on all products, not just their CD-ROMs as the policy had been in the past.
Students' experiences with Rosetta Stone vary quite a bit. Some complain that their resulting level of fluency was much lower than they had expected, and that the program did not deliver a genuinely immersive experience as promised. No language program can deliver a completely immersive experience, short of flying you to an Arabic-speaking nation, so it may be helpful to know that there are hundreds of reviews from students who did gain valuable knowledge by using Rosetta Stone's programs.
Given the complexities of learning Arabic, we would like to see it included in the available languages for Rosetta Stone's free three-day trial. This would help students know which form of Arabic is being used (though we imagine it is Modern Standard Arabic and not the spoken dialect of Egypt, for example) and how Rosetta teaches Arabic script. Overall, we award Rosetta Stone's Arabic lessons high marks for their new and improved pricing and satisfaction guarantee, and we think that their reputation as a provider of language instruction will translate into solid results when studying Arabic.
As we move towards a genuinely global society, the ability to speak a language other than English can increase your chances in the employment marketplace as well as allow you to better understand people you encounter on a daily basis. If you are one of the nation's students or adults who choose to learn Arabic as your second language, you'll find yourself in very high demand for positions in education, state and federal governments, social work, and much more.
With more than 300 million native speakers, Arabic can be heard in more than 20 countries. Whether your plans include travel to Arabic-speaking nations or doing business with native speakers in your own country, modern technology will enable you to study the language according to your own schedule and even on-the-go, as most providers of Arabic lessons have easy-to-use mobile apps and audio files that can be used at your convenience.
As you decide which program will best help you advance your fluency in Arabic, keep in mind what your preferred learning style is. For example, if you find that you remember what you hear, select a program that delivers your Arabic lessons primarily in an audio format, such as MP3 or CD-based lessons that you can listen to while you drive, commute, or relax at home. On the other hand, if you need to see your lessons to learn best, you'll want to make sure your instruction program of choice gives you ample opportunities to read, watch, and see the lessons you're studying.
One critical consideration as you compare Arabic lesson programs is the written component. Will you need to be able to read and write in Arabic as well as understand and speak it? If so, it is important that your Arabic lessons include detailed instructions for how to understand the written Arabic language, as it is very different from the Roman alphabet you already know. For instance, Arabic is written from right to left in a cursive style and contains 29 letters; however, there are different letter variations depending on where the language is being used, and the best Arabic language programs will help you recognize the difference.
There are three key factors to consider as you choose the Arabic lessons that will be the best match for your learning style and goals. These include:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Arabic lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right Arabic lessons to quickly learn this language right away!
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