How to use Natural Arabic
Please first view our video tutorial.
Check Set Up by looking at our Free Samples
Look at our free samples page, click on an article and check that:
1. You can hear the sound,
2. The words are highlighted in red when you click on them and
3. The drop-down menus change the displayed text.
This site requires ActiveX to be enabled if using Internet Explorer. Also, Flash player should be installed in your internet browser. This is usually installed by default, but if not it is freely downloadable from here. If your browser does not support Flash (e.g. iPad/iPhone), HTML5 audio will be used.
1. First you must register as we need to be able to identify you on future visits to the website to give you access to the articles you have paid for.
2. Log in (if you are not already logged in) at the top of the screen.
3. Purchase the articles individually or subscribe. The procedure is as follows:
Click on an individual article on the articles page. You will be taken to the secure PayPal website where you can choose to pay either by credit or debit card or to sign up to a PayPal account and pay through this. Each article costs GBP 1.00 (or USD 1.75) when purchased individually and will remain accessible to you for one month.
You can subscribe to Natural Arabic for GBP 5.00 (or USD 8.00) a month, which is automatically renewed unless you cancel. You can cancel at any time by contacting us or via PayPal (there is a link to the PayPal cancellation page on our help page) and the cancellation will take effect from the next payment date. Once you are subscribed you will be able to see all the articles, but if you cancel your subscription you will no longer be able to see them, once your subscription expires.
You can also subscribe with a one-off payment for anything from 3 months to 1 year.
It is currently envisaged that the articles will remain online for at least one year from their date of publication.
Turning off the Mouse Click sound
By default many computers make a "click" sound when the mouse button is pressed when clicking on hyperlinks, which can become distracting on the article pages if you use the mouse a lot. To turn off this sound, go to control panel, sound and audio devices, select the "sounds" tab, scroll down to "Windows Explorer", "start navigation" and set this value to none in the "Sounds" drop down menu.
Learning Arabic. Method One - the unstructured approach
Choose an article that interests you. Then use a combination of your mouse, the onscreen sound controls, the keyboard commands and the different drop-down menu options to learn what you want, when you want.
tab plays individual words in sequence (follows the Arabic word order)
shift+tab goes backwards
enter while focussed on a word plays the word individually
p while focussed on a word plays from the word onwards
Press p again to repeat the section
l plays to the end of the line
Press k to show a word is known
Press u to show a word is unknown
To change the font size, use the drop down box at the top of the page.
One very effective thing to do is to press "Loop" and then "Play" and just listen to the article many times over. This is particularly good if you are feeling tired!
If you have any queries, e.g. regarding grammar, please ask us or post a message at the wordreference.com arabic forum, where the forum members will be only too happy to help.
If you are unfamiliar with Arabic grammar, we recommend you purchase a small grammar book, such as Modern Literary Arabic, by David Cowan.
Learning Arabic. Method Two - the structured approach.
Choose an article that interests you. Select the following views and perform the relevant actions.
The following steps are included in the lessons accompanying each article and are just included here for information.
1. Left Screen: Blank. Right Screen: Blank. Action: Press play and listen to the recording. Try to understand whatever you can without looking at the texts. This improves your listening skills. Note, you can still use the keyboard commands when the screen is blanked out, so you can for example still tab through the text, which will further help you improve your listening.
2. Left Screen: Blank. Right Screen: Arabic or Simplified Transliteration*. Action: Play the recording again. Can you understand any more with the aid of the Arabic text but without the English to help you?
3. Left Screen: English. Right Screen: Arabic or Simplified Transliteration. Action: Check your understanding. Click on some of the words and expressions to see their translation and to hear them. Repeat them out loud. This English translation gives the general meaning of the Arabic, rather than a word for one meaning (see next step). This step will help you start to learn vocabulary.
4. Left Screen: Word For Word English. Right Screen: Arabic or Simplified Transliteration. Action: Learn the grammar and vocabulary. In this step the words will correspond precisely with the Arabic meaning and word order. Click on them and listen and repeat. Then try to say them first before clicking the English word to check. This improves your grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
5. Click on words in the Arabic text (or transliteration) and try to recall the meaning before looking across at the translation to check. This improves your receptive skills. Read the words aloud before clicking on them to check your pronunciation.
6. Left Screen: Blank. Right Screen: Blank. Action: Try to predict the word that comes next. Tab through the text to check your prediction. This improves your fluency.
7. Play the recording again to see how much progress you have made.
8. Return to the article regularly to help you remember the vocabulary.
If you want, you can focus on the more frequent vocabulary using the frequency check boxes at the bottom of each article page. Choose what level of frequency you want to learn and check the appropriate boxes - the most frequent is the left most box and the least frequent the right most box. This will highlight the appropriate words in the text. The words are ranked according to their frequency in our database, which may differ from their actual frequency.
How to learn the Arabic script - suggested procedure
It's easy to read Arabic!
You might want to start by looking at the alphabet article on the free samples page and following the lesson plan on that page. Alternatively, choose any article you want and perform the following actions. (It might help you to have a large font at first. Change this by using the drop down box at the top of the page);
1. Left Screen: Simplified Transliteration. Right Screen: Arabic Individual Letters. Action: Click on the Arabic and check across to see the transliteration highlighted. Try and deduce what the letters represent. There are only 28 different letters and Arabic is written phonetically. Remember Arabic is written from right to left.
2. Left Screen: Arabic Individual Letters. Right Screen: Arabic With Vowels. Once you know the individual letters, learn how the letters change shape slightly when they join together. It won't take long to see how the letters change.
*If you want to learn the Standard Transliteration system (used by the excellent Hans Wehr dictionary) you can choose this instead of the Simplified Transliteration. However, some browsers do not have the full font required for the Standard Transliteration and may therefore be unable to render some of the characters (they will show up as small square boxes).