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Could You Order a Shawarma in Arabic? Duolingo Adds New Language Lessons

posted on: Jul 12, 2019

The Language platform, which features both a website and an app, releases Arabic study program.



Language enthusiasts will now be able to say more than “shukran” or “marhaban” to their Arabic-speaking acquaintances, thanks to Duolingo’s new Arabic lessons program.

The language platform, which features both a website and an app, offers online classes and exercises in a total of 33 languages. According to Duolingo, 34 hours of its practices are the equivalent of a semester’s worth of language classes at a university.

The Arabic language program that Duolingo has introduced features a series of short, five-minute exercises in the Modern Standard Arabic language form, although “it won’t be as formal (or as complex) as traditional MSA,” according to a statement from Duolingo. The language platform released the Arabic program in a developing beta version two months ago. The program has graduated from that stage over the course of this summer, according to Duolingo incubator.

The program currently available focuses on building foundational skills in Arabic, starting with the alphabet and then moving on to descriptors, phrases, and more categories of vocabulary. The site has also included lessons that aim to teach Arabic culture and world affairs: the course incorporates lessons on Arabic names and geography.

Duolingo emphasized the importance of learning Arabic by mentioning in its course description that Arabic is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world and that it is 27 countries’ official language. “Use your new skills to appreciate beautiful Arabic calligraphy and literature or flawlessly order shawarma in Cairo!” they wrote.