Unit 1: Basic Greetings


This Arabic Without Walls lesson corresponds to the first unit of Alif Baa. It will help you master five of the most commonly used greetings in Arabic. In addition, you will learn how to address people and ask for language help, such as requesting someone to repeat something for you. Knowing how to make such a request is essential for a language learner.

Unit 1 Learning Tip

Take Advantage of the Introductory Materials

Be sure to consult the introductory materials to our program before beginning this first lesson: Arabic Without Walls: Introduction to Preparatory Lessons. These materials will help you maximize your study of our introductory lessons.

Listening, Reading, and Speaking

If you are following this lesson's materials in order, you have just listened to four short dialogues. We asked you not to print out the text of these dialogues until after completing the full assignment, which was to to listen to each dialogue at least once and then answer the questions based on it. Presumably you did as directed.

The reason we want you to listen to dialogues before reading them is to help you master listening, which is a difficult skill for many language learners. If you read something first, you are more likely to understand it when you hear it, but you won't develop very strong listening skills. In real life situations, you don't get to read Arabic first; you will have to be able to listen and comprehend on the spot. Therefore, your learning experiences should reflect this reality.

At the same time, we also recognize the value of studying written dialogues and texts, especially in terms of studying grammar and memorizing sentence patterns. We want you to have access to written forms of the language, as well as to spoken forms, which is why we provide printable versions of all dialogues and monologues. We just want you to be responsible in using them.

As long as we are on the subject of written texts, we also want to remind you that reading Arabic transliteration is not a viable language skill. Do your best to pay as much attention as you can to the script by looking for letters (and even whole words when you can) that you know. Also, every time you do need to read something in transliteration, maximize your study time. Since you can't read Arabic script yet, speak things aloud as you read the transliteration. That way you can practice your speech--which is a viable language skill--as you read.