I recently started learning Arabic online and in school, but in-class lessons and textbook learning don’t always work for me. I prefer something more interactive, and even though I was (and still am) really excited to learn such a beautiful language like Arabic, I found myself to be struggling. I wasn’t sure what to do, and then my teacher recommended looking into language apps. It honestly never even occurred to me that those might be a thing, so I immediately took to the internet to see what I could find.
I found a website called AppGrooves – the link is above – and it had a list of the best 10 apps for learning the Arabic language – how convenient is that?! I tried a few of them out and, holy cow, I began to notice a difference right away. They made it so much easier to memorize key concepts and vocabulary – I even started speaking Arabic better than some of the top students in my class. I just knew that I needed to share these with others.
Below, I’ve included the three apps I’ve found to be most helpful plus a few pros and cons to help you choose which one of them might be right for you too.
FREE Arabic by Nemo – Rating: 4.6, Downloads: 100K
FREE Arabic by Nemo is on the more traditional language-learning side, but, in addition, it also has a translator and additional language resources that you don’t have to pay for like “If You Only Learn 10 Things,” “If You Only Learn 50 Things,” and “If You Only Learn 100 Things” lists. Then, once you’ve gotten started on the vocabulary, you can also use a tool called Speech Studio that lets you record yourself saying a phrase and then listen to a native Arabic speaker say it as well so you can match your accent. My teacher has complimented me on my Arabic pronunciation since I’ve been using this app, so it’s really paying off.
Though FREE Arabic is great for learning vocabulary and pronunciation, it doesn’t cover a lot of the basic lessons. Rather than being used as your main form of learning Arabic, it might be better to use FREE Arabic as a supplementary tool.
Pros: Learn key phrases and vocab, Speech Studio, it’s free
Cons: It doesn’t have actual lessons
Overall: Great for helping you memorize and pronounce a wide assortment of words and phrases, but it does not have lessons to help you learn from the beginning
Learn Arabic – Rating: 4.7, Downloads: 500K
Learn Arabic is really thorough and provides a lot of helpful feedback to help you learn the language with features like progress reports and trophies to make sure you’re on the right track. There is a wide library of words and phrases to learn and you can even complete daily lessons to improve your Arabic skills on the regular. Not to mention, there are also a lot of reading and listening exercises; simply listen and read a conversation to understand basic words. And, if you want to look up specific ords and phrases, there’s a dictionary you can use to do so.
In general, Learn Arabic does not emphasize grammar and language structure as much as it focuses on learning the basics of conversation in Arabic. While it does have several lessons on grammar, this is not the main focus. Just keep this in mind when thinking about what it is you want and need out of an app.
Pros: Lots of vocab and phrases, conversation practice, daily lessons
Cons: Not a lot of emphasis on grammar
Overall: Fantastic for improving your comfortability with speaking in Arabic, but the focus is less on grammar, so you may need to supplement that elsewhere
Mango Languages – Rating: 4.2, Downloads: 500K
Mango Languages is the best for providing cultural insights on what to say in a given situation. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to learn the basics of Arabic in a limited amount of time before you travel or have an important business meeting, etc. It offers helpful features like audio pronunciations so you can match your accent with the proper Arabic accent. It gives you the tools to hold conversations as well as teaching you additional cultural information about the words you are learning. Plus, you also have access to detailed explanations of grammar and tenses.
There were a couple of times when I felt that the multiple choice questions were not quite enough of a challenge; especially when I was repeating some of the materials I already learned in my Arabic class. That being said, I acknowledge that the app is designed for users of all levels so, since every user is at a different level, some questions might be easier than others.
Pros: Grammar & tense explanations, cultural insights, accent practice
Cons: Some quiz questions can be a bit simple if you’re not a beginner
Overall: A great app for prepping for a trip abroad, just know that higher-level Arabic speakers may find the quiz questions to be a bit simplistic at the beginning
I am so, so glad I found these apps. I’m so much more comfortable writing, reading, and speaking Arabic, and this is also being reflected in my grades. I really do think these apps are perfect for beginners – even people who just want a quick refresher. If you are trying to learn Arabic, whether you’re teaching yourself or learning in-class or online, these apps have been priceless in helping me memorize key ideas and vocabulary, and I think they will be for you as well!