Arabic, the official language of Qatar, ranks sixth among the world’s major languages and is the native tongue of nearly 250 million people acround the world, as well as the language of the Holy Quran and thus, Islam. It is one of the United Nations’ six official languages.
The Arabic Language
Classical Arabic has preserved the language of the Quran for over 1,400 years. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is an adapted form of the classical language used in books, newspapers, on TV and radio, and at times, in conversation.
Classical Arabic and MSA are, to a large extent, learned languages and must be taught in schools, since nearly all Arabs grow up learning a colloquial form of the language. Local dialects vary with more than 30 different regional variations.
Arabic is written from right to left. There are 18 distinct letter shapes, which vary slightly depending on whether they are connected to another letter before or after them. There are no ‘capital’ letters. The full alphabet of 28 letters is created by placing various combinations of dots above or below some of these shapes. Other languages – such as Persian, Urdu and Malay – use adaptations of the Arabic script.
Taking a course in Arabic is an interesting way to learn more about the region’s culture and to meet new people. Arabic language courses in Qatar offer a choice of colloquial Qatari Arabic or MSA.
Islam is the official religion in Qatar. Courses offer a chance to learn about the faith as well.
Courses in Qatar
Islamic Online University Courses online in English. Free programmes available.
Berlitz Language Center Group and private conversational and written Arabic courses at levels 1 – 10. Evening classes are available twice a week at each level. Fees vary.
Binzaid Lessons in MSA with separate classes for men and women. Courses at levels 1 – 5 are intensive and last two and a half months, with classes twice a week. Classes in Islamic studies and culture in Tagalog, Sri Lankan, Nepali and English are also available.
HBKU TII Arabic Language Program Courses in MSA or the Qatari (Khaleeji) dialect with an emphasis on communication. Also available are courses in medical Arabic to help healthcare professionals communicate with patients.
Institut Français du QatarCourses in MSA for French and English speakers at levels 1 – 6. Private tuition and corporate courses also available.
Loghati Center Private and group Arabic courses at various levels. Separate classes for men and women, twice a week in the evenings.
Qatar Guest Center Arabic lessons at levels 1 and 2 for women, in Doha and Al Khor. Hour-long classes are held in the evening, twice a week for two months and cost QR200 for the course.
Qatar University Arabic for Non-native Speakers Program (ANNS) A one academic year programme of two semesters at three levels. Students concentrate on language functions and communicative skills of comprehension, speaking, reading, writing and pragmatics.
Stenden Qatar Conversational Arabic classes. Three hours a week at QAR3,000.