The Mezzofanti Guild Language Learning Made Simple

Introducing Talk In Arabic v.2.0: New And Improved!


Earlier this year I announced that we had begun work on a brand new and updated version of TalkInArabic.com.

Well, I can finally say it’s up and running. 🙂


UPDATE: Read this learner review and critique of the new site.


There were some major delays unfortunately so the site development took a few more months than it was supposed to (which I apologize for to those who were waiting).

We’re still in the process of moving lessons over and getting some administrative aspects worked out.

In case you’re new here, I came up with the idea about 15 years ago as a struggling learner of Arabic to put together a resource where native speakers of all Arabic dialects could contribute and teach their own colloquial variety of the language in one central place.

A solution to the ‘way too much MSA being taught’ problem.

Then just a few years ago while I was staying in Egypt again, I got together with some friends of mine and started working on a project to finally make it happen.

TalkInArabic.com (TIA for short).

It was rough around the edges and started on a dime but TIA quickly grew beyond my own ability to directly manage, attracting thousands of members from around the world learning various dialects of Arabic.

Clearly I wasn’t the only person frustrated! 🙂

So what was an idea of mine as a teenager really took on a life of its own.

But until recently, TalkInArabic.com was in desperate need of a major upgrade.

Hence the new site.

 

What’s new in the upgraded site?

I went into quite a bit of detail about the feedback we’d been receiving from new and past members here.

My only regret is taking too long to respond to what people were asking for.

Generally speaking, while members loved the concept and Arabic content we provided, the original site itself was totally inadequate and needed some major work to make it more usable.

So now finally everything has been greatly simplified and refined.

When you log in to the new site, you’ll find the various Arabic dialects with their own designated sections:


Lesson navigation based on difficulty level and type can be found on the sidebar menu, along with any membership addons your account has such as our Essential Verb Packs:

Importantly, we’ve been experimenting over time with different lesson delivery methods to see what people find the most useful.

Here are some of the delivery methods we’ve offered:

1. Short, audio language chunks with English translations (how we did it at first):

2. Podcast style:

3. Individual vocabulary lessons:

4. Natural video dialogues with Arb-Eng subs:

5. Video screencasts in both English and Arabic (depending on the level):

For us, it’s really been about trying to gather feedback on what style of lesson works best for most people.

While we’ll try to continue keeping the variety of delivery types, our teachers are spending more time making podcast lessons as they tend to be far more explanatory and helpful for lower-level learners especially.

I’m curious to hear your opinion on this:

What lesson delivery style do you prefer? 

In addition to this, we’ve made a lot of obvious major upgrades to the overall design, made the site completely mobile-friendly, improved the Community section of the site and made a series of major backend enhancements that make lessons easy to add for teachers (thereby speeding up lesson creation each week).

And currently, we’re about to roll out some exciting new additions and addons to the learner dashboard that we’ll announce very shortly.

Take a look here.

We’d love to hear your feedback on what we’ve done so far.

 

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  1. This looks like a great resource. While I test at fluent (3/3) in listening and reading by Interagency Language Roundtable, my speaking has always hovered around a limited language proficiency (2/2+). I think dialects are the key to developing true conversational fluency. One of the most common comments I get from Arabic speakers is “what you say is correct, but we would not say it that way.”

    I’m looking forward to getting into your site and continuing my journey in Arabic.

    1. Thanks Chris.

      That’s quite common for people who have learned Modern Standard and moved to the Middle East in my experience. They have to go through a process of ‘unlearning’ everything and basically starting over.

      Wish you all the best with your Arabic studies.

  2. Fantastic examples, I find the best one for me personally was the podcast style one and the breakdown of the conversation of the movie clip. I understood all of the podcast vocabulary and conjugations because I already knew them, but nonetheless, great teaching technique.

    The first time I listened to the movie clip I only understood a little and now I understand everything. Definitely try and do some more breakdowns of conversations, it’s incredible how a little guidance goes a long way.

    And if it helps, I’d say I’m an entry level B1 in Egyptian Arabic.

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