Learning Arabic with the SaySomething method?

Hi everyone!

A few years ago I used SaySomethinginWelsh to get a quick start on Welsh prior to a summer vacation in Wales. It was great fun, and no other language course has ever worked so well for me.

Now I’d really like to learn Arabic, but it appears I’ve become quite spoiled by the SaySomething method, and none of the courses I can find online seems to quite measure up. Does anyone know of an online Arabic course that uses the same or a similar method? I’m quite willing to pay for it. The main things I’m looking for is:

  1. Going directly (or nearly directly) to building sentences (mostly just a wish).
  2. Only or at least mainly audio (very important).
  3. Sentence structure drills where I’m asked to think up the sentence myself and not just repeat it (very important).

A warm, humorous teacher like Iestyn is definitely a plus too :wink:

Thanks in advance!

I have the same “problem”. At least with Arabic, there’s the Michel Thomas course, which works in a fairly similar way but is pretty expensive. Thing is, this style of language learning is really, really rare.

I agree totally. I just can’t bring myself to try and learn another language by a different method. I get so far, but they just don’t bring that fluency and confidence that the SSi method brings and I give up. I look forward to the day when there will be an SSi course in every language anyone could wish for!

And yes, those little injections of humour really help :slight_smile:


Yeah, I tried the traditional method again and it sucks.

I’d love to find a French course using SSIW type ideas: I’ve hit a wall with trad courses.


I actually did two years of Icelandic with trad course and I can’t say a thing in it…

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I started using the Michel Thomas ‘Method’ (ie not done by Michel Thomas himself) for Arabic, thinking that it would be fun to reactivate the Arabic I’d learnt traditionally - and gave up in despair because one of the things the Michel Thomas company think is an important part of his method is to start with cognates. In languages where there aren’t all that many obvious cognates, this means they start with ‘words in English that are also used in [xyz] language’ - and it didn’t take long of being told to say ‘sandwich’ and ‘coke’ in an Arabic accent before I wanted to stab myself to death.

I probably gave up far too soon, though.

The good news is that work is progressing excellently on the algorithm, and I’m quietly confident that we’re going to be able to produce initial material in a bunch of new languages by spring or early-ish summer (but, um, er, don’t quote me on that, okay?..;-)). :sunny:


Ahhah! But you didn’t specify the year. I notice these things.


Always very careful… :sunny:

But suffice it to say that I’m really looking forward to getting back to learning new languages fairly soon :thumbsup:

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I’m learning Arabic with an online tutor, and we’re doing the four skills (reading,writing, speaking, listening). Quite enjoying this more traditional approach at the moment - though probably because reading and writing in Arabic is pretty fun, and tends not to mess up my pronunciation - also my tutor has an excellent sense of humour - but really after four months there’s only a handful of stuff I’m confident with, mostly the language used during the lessons (“how do you say?” “I don’t understand” etc) - no surprises there :slight_smile: Trying to work out how to take my speaking up a level at the moment - I think I’m just going to have to be super disciplined about spending time each day talking to myself in Arabic. Ugh, discipline though.


Time to find someone to practice with? If you don’t know anyone yourself, I might be able to put you in touch with a friend of mine who spends most of his holidays in Bahrain and speaks the language pretty well.

Actually finding time or people online who speak any and every dialect of Arabic hasn’t been a problem so far - but finding someone who knows how to scaffold a conversation for a beginner and doesn’t use the conversation as an opportunity to practice their near-perfect English is another matter :confused:

Thank you for your inputs! I had considered the Michel Thomas course, but as hectorgrey writes, it’s very expensive. Turned out that I could order it from the library, so I’m going to try that out. If that doesn’t work (and Probably even if it does), I’ll keep an eye out for an Arabic course here, Aran hinthintnudgenudge :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I’ll take the chance to thank you guys A LOT for all the work you do here! It’s magnificent and much appreciated!


Thanks so much for your kind words, Astrid! :star: We’ll certainly push on with new courses as fast as possible, and Arabic is one I would really like to revisit myself… :sunny:

This ‘‘algorithm’’ is music to my ears because I am learning Hebrew but really want to learn both Hebrew and Arabic. I am having a dreadful time learning Hebrew the traditional way. I continue to struggle on but can’t wait to abandon this current slog in favour of your courses as soon as they are available.

Please hurry and save me from this horrible experience I am having with other courses!!

That kind of brings us full circle! The “traditional” way of learning Welsh is Wlpan, an adaptation of the Ulpan technique which was devised in order, in theory, to get new immigrants to Israel quickly up to speed with Hebrew.


well that just scratched a spot in my brain I didn’t even know was itchy :blush:

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We’re on stage 2 of the algorithm, after which we’ll be in a position to start to move on some other courses - but it’s really going to be the slightly more complicated stage 3 (which will let our recording artists record via a web interface that will automatically put their recordings in the right place in the database, a job which is currently done manually by a very special team of volunteers) that lets us start to accelerate…

Would it help any if we just threw money at you?