Are you a new expatriate arrival in the Saudi Kingdom? Already been in Saudi Arabia for years, but never thought you should learn Arabic? Read these 12 points why you should learn the local language and get motivated to start today!
12 reasons you should learn Arabic:
- Make new friends and connect with people! Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world with over 20 countries that have it as their official language. Even after you leave the Kingdom or when travelling in the ME it will come in handy!
- Challenge yourself! Set a goal to learn the alphabet and basics of the language and then treat yourself to something nice. This will keep you motivated and focused.
- Exercise your Brain! Learning a new language is a great ‘workout’ for your brain! Not only will it stimulate you but also it will improve your memory.
- Don’t get fooled in the souk! Learning the numbers and basics for haggling will help you when dealing with the shopkeepers.
- Earn respect! Your Arabic speaking colleagues, clients, guests or business associates will be honored that you have taken the effort to learn their language and hold you in high respect.
- Bridge cultural gaps! Many Saudis would love to chat with foreigners but often the problem is the language barrier. Take down that barrier and be surprised!
- Know where you’re going! Sometimes when travelling in the Kingdom you will only see road signs in Arabic. If you’ve learned the alphabet you will be able to read the cities from the signs, how cool is that?
- Boost yourself-esteem! You will feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as your skills improve.
- Bond with your kids! Take the time to learn one word or letter with your children everyday. Buy a blackboard where you can practice at home. It will be fun to learn together and kids often beat adults in the learning game.
- Feel empowered! Your newly learned Arabic skills will make you feel more in control of your life as an expat in the Kingdom, you can now handle many everyday life situations yourself without getting frustrated.
- Impress your friends! Lets face it, learning a new alphabet and an exotic language such as Arabic sounds pretty awesome! The secret is that it really isn’t as difficult as people think it is ;)
- Your turn! Add to the list and let us know in the comment section what are / were your reasons to learn the beautiful Arabic language :)
If you’re still not convinced, check out also Blue Abaya’s post: Expats In Saudi Arabia And Learning Arabic.
This article was first published in the Women’s Skills Bureau September 2013 Newsletter.
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