In today’s interconnected world, the need to learn and master foreign languages is more urgent than ever, especially in light of the technological revolution that is radically changing the way we work and the type of new jobs created. .
English remains the world’s most influential language in the workplace, academia and research. It’s also widely used on the internet, so mastering it is key to expanding your opportunities to learn any other language online. Al-Fanar has previously written about free resources for learning English online.
But Arab students and graduates who want to improve their educational and employment opportunities may also find other foreign languages useful. In this article, we focus on four of them: German, French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Below is a short guide to online learning resources for each.
About 130 million people speak German as their mother tongue or as a second language. It is the most spoken language in the European Union and an official language in seven countries.
Germany is also the largest economy in Europe and the fourth in the world, after the United States, China and Japan. Also, some scholarships for international students in Germany require a level of proficiency in German, even if the course is taught in English.
Some scholarships for international students in Germany require a level of proficiency in German, even if the course is taught in English.
All of these considerations make German a useful language for Arabic students and graduates to master.
German proficiency is divided into six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. Most jobs requiring German language skills require candidates to have reached at least level B2.
Among the most important sources for learning German online is the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), which offers courses for English and Arabic speakers. The BBC also has a program for English speakers who wish to learn German.
There are also several YouTube channels, including Easy German. Some of his videos are available with Arabic subtitles.
Duolingo allows German language learners to choose Arabic as their base language. The German for Arabic Speakers website lists a number of other free resources for Arabic speakers who want to learn German.
While around 80 million people speak French as their first language, another 190 million speak it as a second language, making it the only language, apart from English, that has spread to every continent. .
French is considered a crucial language in international relations and diplomacy, and it is widely spoken in several Arab countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon.
The Bonjour de France free e-learning app divides French proficiency levels into A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1. Bonjour de France is one of the best online resources available for learning French with English as the base language.
The French experience uses another way to learn French. It relies on listening to learn basic language skills through lessons and audio stories.
The French television channel TV5Monde also offers online courses at four levels to learn French by watching short news videos and performing exercises based on them. Many videos come from French-speaking countries in Africa.
Online learning platforms Udemy and Memrise both offer French courses for Arabic speakers, at different subscription or purchase prices.
With its spread in South and Central America, Spanish is the mother tongue of approximately 500 million people and the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese.
It is also an important language in the United States, which has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, after Mexico. Fluency in Spanish is valued by many US employers, so being able to communicate with Spanish speakers also gives you greater opportunities to work there, both within the country and online.
Being able to communicate with Spanish speakers will improve your job prospects in the United States, which has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
There are plenty of resources for learning Spanish, including online courses on Busuu, where learners can start with a few free lessons before upgrading to a subscription plan. Memrise also offers Spanish lessons for Arabic speakers.
The University of Texas website offers a large number of free exercises to improve Spanish fluency. Learners listen to video clips of native Spanish speakers talking about various topics, demonstrating grammar, vocabulary and sentence formation.
Another source, Spanishdict, offers discussion forums for Spanish learners with free dictionaries and conjugation tables for Spanish verbs.
There are many languages in the group of Chinese macro languages, but Mandarin is the national language and the one that almost all foreigners choose to learn.
Learning Chinese continues to grow in popularity, as foreigners believe that mastering it will provide a good entry into the job market.
A number of Arab countries have expanded their cultural and economic ties with China in recent years, leading to growing interest in teaching Chinese in Arab schools and universities.
Students and graduates can start learning Mandarin through the YellowBridge website. It has a number of free tools, such as attractive flashcards and Chinese games.
You can also learn colloquial Mandarin on the Chinese-Tools website by listening to and studying various audio clips. Chinese-Tools includes articles about China and studying there.
Languages Open Opportunities
If you are thinking about which language could help you in the job market, the following observations may help you.
Translation and transliteration. Translation work includes translation of written texts, simultaneous interpretation and translation of audio and video clips. Interpretation jobs of all kinds are among the most in demand in Arab countries. The job can generate a good income if you are fluent in a language and have the necessary experience.
Writing content in foreign languages. With the spread of social media platforms, content creators want to reach audiences in other languages, through print and multimedia publications. These tasks require writers who are fluent in the target language. Digital marketing companies in the Arab world, especially those operating in the Gulf countries, are often keen to hire content creators in languages other than Arabic to increase their number of foreign clients.
Digital marketing companies, hotel operators, and other businesses in the hospitality industry want to hire workers who are fluent in languages other than Arabic.
Tourism and hospitality. Arab countries are also striving to attract more tourists, which increases the need for guides and other multilingual workers in the hospitality industry.
Customer service and technical support. As foreign investment has increased in Arab countries, there has been a greater need for companies that provide technical support and customer service in multiple languages, by phone, email or social media. .
Teaching Arabic to non-natives. Just as many Arab citizens want to learn foreign languages, many foreigners want to learn Arabic. If you are fluent in a foreign language, you can register on various websites as a tutor for speakers of that language who want to learn Arabic. One such site is Preply, where various tutors offer Arabic lessons for foreigners at prices ranging from $10 to $40 for a 50-minute session.
It’s common when studying a new language to hit a “plateau” where you don’t learn as quickly as you used to and where further progress seems impossible. Learn English with Oxford, Oxford University Press’s blog for English language learners, offers 10 steps to overcome the obstacles that keep you from reaching the level of proficiency you want.
To get started, the site suggests that you group the material you need into categories, such as grammar, vocabulary, and other language items, so you can quickly find the material you need to practice a particular skill.
Other tips include trying to talk to native speakers of the language you’re learning and asking them to correct your mistakes. The site also recommends watching and listening to content in the target language on a daily basis, on YouTube or other audiovisual content platforms and websites.
Another suggestion is to read in your target language. The site recommends choosing a book you already know in your native language and finding a translation of it in the language you are learning.
It can also help memorize short texts, such as poems or songs, and recite them to family and friends to improve your pronunciation.
Mastering a new language can seem like a distant and daunting goal, but remember that learning a language is a journey and try to enjoy every step of the way.
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