Fusha, or Modern Standard Arabic, is the most widely taught dialect of Arabic worldwide. Although not the spoken or colloquial language of any one country, fusha Arabic is used for television, literature, education and newspapers throughout the Arabic-speaking world. A solid knowledge of fusha Arabic is useful to anyone who needs to deal with a wide geographic area of the Middle East and to anyone wanting to later learn a local Arabic dialect.
Steps to Learn Fusha Arabic
Start with the basics of the Arabic language. It is especially important, when learning fusha Arabic, to know the Arabic alphabet. Fusha's main use is as a written language, so being able to read is of primary importance.
Learn the grammar of fusha Arabic. Even if you already know another Arabic dialect, you need to study the structure of fusha, as it can differ greatly from the structure in the dialects.
Seek out online resources that can help you learn and practice fusha Arabic. Major news organizations, including the BBC, offer Arabic-language news reports in fusha.
Watch old movies in Arabic. While there has been a trend in recent years toward using local dialects in film-making, many older movies use fusha Arabic for dialogue.
Read Arabic-language books and short stories. With very few exceptions, most literature produced in Arabic is in the fusha dialect. The ability to read and understand the vast array of books and other literature in Arabic is a major reason to learn fusha.
Take a class. Most Arabic classes offered focus on fusha Arabic, and you can assume this to be true if the class does not say otherwise. Learning in a formal setting will aid in your studies and will provide help at difficult points in the learning process.
Things You Will Need
- Arabic-English dictionary
- Language textbook with fusha grammar
- Arabic-language books
- If you already have a knowledge of Classical Arabic, you are well-positioned for fusha Arabic. The grammar and vocabularies of the two dialects are very similar. Find highly educated Arabic speakers with whom you can practice your fusha Arabic. Any Arabic speaker with a university education should be able to speak fusha.
- Fusha Arabic is not a colloquial language and is rarely spoken informally. If you want to converse with native Arabic speakers, you need to learn the appropriate dialect. In many modern novels and short stories, authors enliven their characters' dialogue with the inclusion of a local Arabic dialect. Be careful when reading a story in fusha Arabic that you don't get caught on dialogue in a dialect.