Twitter Makes Learning Arabic Easier

DUBAI — ‘Assalamu alaikum’ will read your tweet update on Tuesday with the next Arabic phase introduced to you on Wednesday till you are capable of brewing up a conversation with your Arab colleagues in their local language at the next Iftar gathering. Just follow a language institute on the world’s fastest growing networking site, Twitter!

By Afshan Ahmed

Published: Wed 26 Aug 2009, 12:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:24 AM

Breaking the boundaries of a classroom, the Eton Institute of Languages in Dubai is using the tool of social networking to teach Arabic to people on the move.

“Learning the Arabic language doesn’t have to be a chore. By offering short and easy to remember lessons on twitter we hope to make the learning process as simple as a ‘tweet’ which can be followed on a daily basis,” said Dr. Eli Abi Rached, managing director of Eton Institute.

The institute will update 140 characters of conversational Arabic phrases and words on its twitter page that can be viewed by those following them on the web site from Sunday to Thursday. “Followers will receive these lessons everyday. We will start with greetings and then have themes – phrases to use in situations like when in a restaurant or travelling. So if you want to order something or when at an iftar party you can immediately check your smart phone and you implement it. Twitter users are checking updates all the time and this will be a way to conveniently learn the language,” said Moaz Khan, marketing manager.

All lessons will be in Arabic-English transliteration and will include its English equivalent, so it is easy to understand and follow (e.g. Do you speak Arabic ? Hal tatakallam al-‘arabiya?). Followers will also be able to go back to previous lessons to revise or catch up if they miss any lessons.

The lessons that will begin from September 1 have created a buzz on the networking scene with more than 65 followers signing up not only from the UAE but also from the United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil and Australia in a single day.

“Ever since we announced the initiative we’ve got people join every 10 minutes,” he said.

The message has become viral and one follower of the institute said it would be amusing to receive Arabic updates.

“Getting an update of a word or phrase might be fun, though I do not know how much of the language I will learn in the process unless I try it out,” said Magnus Nystedt.

Khan said its easier to pick up a language that is transliterated if only for speaking purposes.

“People should not have trouble with the pronunciation since we are teaching modern standard Arabic that is transliteration with breakages in words that make it simple,” wadded Khan.

The institute can be followed on to receive daily Arabic lessons from next month for free.

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