5 Perfect Presents for Arabic Learners
Do you know someone who has been talking about wanting to improve their Arabic skills? Maybe they want to strengthen their connection to the Qur’an. Or they’re moving to an Arab country and they want to get a head start on the language. Or they want to memorise du’as in Arabic. Whatever the reason, this is a great opportunity for you to give a truly valuable present! Get in there quick before someone else does!
One. Bayyinah TV subscription – 1 year, £91/$112
Bayyinah TV offers a huge amount of content, so it’s a perfect present for anyone who is interested in learning more about Islam, especially the Qur’an, as there are several video series focused on tafsir (explanation of the Qur’an). For Arabic learners in particular, though, there is a real gem: the Arabic with Husna series. Filmed as a series of lessons by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan to his daughter, the series starts with the basics of Arabic grammar and progresses at a steady rate, allowing time to take in the lessons in context and constantly building upon previous lessons so that it isn’t forgotten. Each episode is usually no longer than 20 minutes, so it can be fit easily into a busy day. For those who are complete Arabic beginners, there is also the 10 Day Reading Challenge, which introduces learners to the Arabic alphabet and teaches the correct pronunciation, which is a very valuable starting point, as even advanced speakers of Arabic sometimes have trouble with some sounds.
There’s also the option to gift a month’s membership for £9/$11.
Find out more about Bayyinah TV here: www.bayyinah.tv
Two. Handwriting practice notebooks, £1
For someone who has not grown up reading Arabic, learning the alphabet is a challenging task. This may not look like a flashy present, but it can be very useful for a learner. It appears that they are not very easy to get hold of anymore, either, since it took me a while to find these, so that makes them even more valuable! To make the present more special, you could combine this with one of the other presents in this list.
Three. Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic: Arabic-English. 4th Revised Edition, £73
Any serious language learner needs a reliable dictionary. Many Arabic teachers recommend the Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic by Hans Wehr (be careful if you find a cheaper one, as it will most likely be an older edition). The most useful aspect of this dictionary as opposed to some others is that it lists entries by the root letters with all related entries under it. This is very helpful for an Arabic learner to make connections between words, morphology and meaning. I’m sure this is a gift that would be appreciated and beneficial for a long time!
Four. Small whiteboards and board markers
To get comfortable with the new alphabet and practise linking letters, writing sentences or just keeping the Arabic writing muscles fit, a small whiteboard is great (and saves a lot of paper)! I like to use mine to write out du’as or ayat I want to memorise. The act of writing it out really helps me to internalise it. You can buy some colourful board pens to go with it.
Five. Conversation practice Skype lessons with NaTakallam, $15/hour
What if you could get a present that benefits more than one person? NaTakallam is a project that links Syrian refugees with Arabic language learners, giving the learners a way to practise their Arabic in a natural manner and the teachers a way to make a dignified living. What a fantastic idea! There are three gift options available: 1 hour ($15), 5 hours ($70) or 10 hours ($130). Classes can be conducted over Skype or WhatsApp calls.
I’m a great fan of gifting intelligently. Giving someone the opportunity to improve Arabic skills has the potential to change their life and return a lot of reward to you too, so go for it!