If you’ve been here from the beginning, you already know that I have been studying Arabic for 30 years. If I’m really being honest, the truth is that I actually don’t know how long I have been studying Arabic. I remember that I started studying when I was around 6, but the years in between are a bit of a haze. There were plenty of classes, online courses, and self-study that went on, but I can’t say that I was consistent in learning and speaking Arabic.
I fell into the number one trap that most Arabic students fall into. It’s a pretty deceptive trap. I’ve only recently begun to see how much it has hurt my growth in learning Arabic.
So what’s the number one trap that Arabic students fall into? It’s stopping your studies.
When life gets busy, taking a pause in your studies can seem like a simple thing, but for me, it’s the number one reason why I haven’t reached my goals. Fusha House isn’t just a place for others to come and share in fun, interactive lessons, it’s a place for me to be accountable.
You know how the story goes. You don’t have time. You say you’ll take a month off of studying, maybe three months. Just until you finish college. Then there’s your wedding coming up. Then you’re pregnant, nursing, trying to keep a handle on the household, pregnant again! You just get busy with life.
By the time you get back into studying Arabic, you’ve forgotten much of what you learned and you feel like you’ve failed before you’ve even begun.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that Arabic is a difficult language to learn. I don’t buy it. Arabic has a lot of structure and patterns that make it much easier to use than a language like English. After all, we put the F in tough.
People think Arabic is hard because most people don’t study and use classical Arabic as a living language. Even people who study Modern Standard Arabic usually just study it for a vacation or perhaps to read Arabic novels.
Think about it, if you took a year off of speaking English, how would your English be at the end of it. Sure, you’d be able to speak well enough, but you’d be grasping for words and you’d definitely have some grammar issues.
You may have times where you can’t study as much. Those are the times when you really should focus on speaking.
So, if you want to really make progress in your Arabic journey, just keep going. Learning any language requires consistent effort. When I used to listen to the recordings of the Madinah Book series. I loved that they ended every session with this excerpt from a hadith on good deeds:
خَيْرُ الْعَمَلِ أَدْوَمُهُ وَإِنْ قَلَّKhairul ‘Amali Adwamuhu wa In Qalla
The best of actions are the consistent ones, even if they are little. Sunan Ibn Mājah 4240
This is the perfect advice for Arabic students. Let’s just do a little every day. I’m determined to keep going. What about you.
If you’re ready to commit to Arabic studies, comment below and let me know what your family is doing to make sure you speak every day.