Culture Oman Podcast Sultanate

Sultanate Ep 025: Learn Arabic in Oman

February 10, 2018

learn arabic in oman

Learning Arabic in Oman was one of my goals when I arrived back in 2011. I thought it would be easy to pick it up since I’d have plenty of opportunity around me to practice, just like when I learned Spanish. Well, it is 2018 and while I can speak enough Arabic to get by, and understand more than I can speak, I am nowhere near proficient. Before I leave this place I have to learn Arabic.

My challenges to learning Arabic in Oman are:

  • Time commitment
  • Non-roman script
  • Native Arabic speakers tend to revert to English when you try to practice
  • Omani Arabic dialect very different from Modern Standard Arabic
  • Drive

learn arabic in oman, noor majan arabic institute, sultan al farsi, simone bettegaBasically all of the above challenges boil down to drive. How bad do I want it? For now learning Arabic remains on the back burner, but recently it’s on my mind because I put together a cool list of local Omani greetings with the help of Noor Majan Arabic Institute.

I got in touch with Noor Majan who invited me down to their new Muscat campus. To the visit I brought along my microphone and met Sulatan al Faris, the Director; and Simone Bettega, one of their students. We talked about what it is like learning Arabic in Oman, how Noor Majan Arabic Institute is different from others, the types of courses they offer, the difficulties of learning Arabic, and the uniqueness of the Omani Arabic dialect. It was especially interesting talking with Simone because he specifically researched the Omani dialect for his doctorate degree. This episode of the Sultanate includes that conversation along with the list of Omani greetings, 10 ways. Check it out.

Learn Omani GreetingsSultanate Ep 025: Learn Arabic in Oman Links
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Disclaimer – Noor Majan Arabic Institute did not pay me or offer me any service to make this podcast. This is not an advertisement. All opinions are my own.

Disclaimer – City Hotel Duqm offered me a complimentary night’s stay at their hotel knowing I would write a review and mention them in a podcast. They did not pay me to write a good review. If I thought the hotel was terrible I would tell you so.Disclaimer – City Hotel Duqm offered me a complimentary night’s stay at their hotel knowing I would write a review and mention them in a podcast. They did not pay me to write a good review. If I thought the hotel was terrible I would tell you so.Disclaimer – City Hotel Duqm offered me a complimentary night’s stay at their hotel knowing I would write a review and mention them in a podcast. They did not pay me to write a good review. If I thought the hotel was terrible I would tell you so.SaveSaveSaveSave

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4 Comments

  • Reply Alan March 25, 2018 at 1440

    I’m a recent arrival in Oman and am filled with enthusiasm about the idea of learning Arabic while I’m here. As I’m working fulltime and knowing my various other limitations, I will need to restrict my ambitions to a course in conversational Arabic that is offered out of working hours. The Noor Majan Arabic Institute seems to be an excellent academic institute, it does not appear to offer the sort of course I’m looking for.

    Do you know of anything more appropriate for me? Any help in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

    • Reply D. Michael March 25, 2018 at 1800

      Hi Alan, Marhaba! Welcome! Did you call Noor Majan? I do believe they offer what you are looking for. The third link above, under the heading “Sultanate Ep 025: Learn Arabic in Oman Links,” is what Noor Majan offers to locals. Tell them I sent you. Beyond Noor Majan there are a few options like Polyglot Institute, and even more obscure like the Omani Spanish Friendship Association. There are loads of little clubs like the later that offer some basic courses too. I first studied at the Ras al Hamra Recreation Club… Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

  • Reply Francisco May 19, 2018 at 0045

    Hi Michael!
    First of all I want to congratulate you for your blog. I stumbled upon it while browsing about learning Arabic in Oman, and I found your articles very interesting.
    I must say I saw myself in this article, as I have faced exactly the same challenges so I was kinda happy to see that I’m not the only one with this feeling. I would add as a challenge the lack of resources to learn online, because the majority of the courses on the internet are either of MSA or Egyptian dialect. In addition, as I am living in Sohar, there are less options here compared to Muscat for taking lessons.
    I’ve been here for less than a year, not really a great progress so far, but I hope I take less than seven years like you (lol)…regards

    • Reply D. Michael May 24, 2018 at 1018

      Thanks for your comment Francisco. I think it’ll take me my whole life. Good luck with your endeavor, and welcome to Oman.

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