Modern Standard Arabic
Modern Standard Arabic is derived from the Classical Arabic, and now remains the official, written and formal spoken Arabic language that is taught in schools, universities, and used by the media.
Arabic is the language of 22 Member States of UNESCO, a language with more than 422 million speakers in the Arab world (World Arabic Language Day, UNESCO, 18th December, 2012).
All courses are taught using The Polis Method which immerses students in the target language from the very first class which allows learning in a more natural way. The Polis Method focuses on total immersion and speech fluency and we believe helps students acquire the language quicker than the traditional grammar translation method.
WHAT IS ARABIC?
The Arabic language can be divided into three varieties:
- Classical Arabic: considered to be the language of pre-Islamic and Islamic period.
- Modern Standard Arabic (MSA): derived from the Classical Arabic ,this is the official Arabic language that is taught in schools, universities, used by the media, etc.
- Spoken Arabic: known also as Dialectal or Colloquial Arabic, constitutes the everyday spoken language with all its regional varieties.
Consequently, Arabic Language exists in a state of diglossia where its two separate registers (written and spoken) are used in different situations in life.
We offer both Spoken Arabic and MSA courses at Polis.
SO WHERE TO START: MSA OR SPOKEN ARABIC?
The answer depends on the academic or practical needs of the student. Starting with MSA, for instance, won't help the student hold a conversation in the street, but will help the student to read texts in formal Arabic.
In fact, most of our students need Arabic for practical daily use, and attend the Spoken Arabic courses.
STUDYING SPOKEN ARABIC AT POLIS
The Spoken Arabic taught at Polis is the Palestinian Urban Arabic used in the central area of the country (Jerusalem), along with some explanations of dialectal issues and differences. The advantage of the Palestinian dialect is its closeness to the formal Arabic in pronunciation and vocabulary, a fact that makes it intelligible in other Arabic speaking areas.
WHY STUDY SPOKEN ARABIC?
A new phenomenon is invading the Arabic Language! Starting recently, Spoken Arabic is being written for the first time, mostly thanks to technological innovations. Until now, Spoken Arabic has been taught using the Latin script. In Polis, however, Spoken Arabic is taught in Arabic and written in Arabic. The first course of Absolute Beginners includes teaching the alphabet, and candidates for other levels are required to know the script, Otherwise, they must study it by themselves or ask for private lessons in order to join the courses. Learning the script facilitates an authentic and direct approach to the language, and is a more natural way of introduction into the MSA.
Spring Semester pre-registration
Modern Standard Arabic Fall
Fluency in Arabic
MA in Near Eastern Languages
One-Year Program in Near Eastern Languages
Meet the Students
After completing my Master of Laws in The Netherlands, I decided to devote two years of my life to a long-thought-out project: studying Near Eastern Languages. The Polis immersive method provides me with linguistic tools and communication skills that are essential to improve my study of Arabic and Modern Hebrew.
MA in Near Eastern Languages (’21)
After I completed my B.A. in Hebrew and Arabic in Paris, I decided to pursue my studies at Polis because it is this only place where I could study both languages at the same time, in the city of Jerusalem where students from the entire world meet.
MA in Near Eastern Languages (’20)
I have always wanted to learn another language and upon completion of my MA I decided Professional Fluency in Arabic would complement my degree well. I came to Polis seeking Spoken Arabic courses, and shortly after I arrived, Polis launched its Arabic Fluency Program. A bulk of the required courses are MSA courses. It was difficult to take both, but I see the necessity and value in knowledge of MSA. MSA is a universal form of Arabic so one is not limited by dialects. It gives me the opportunity to communicate with more people, and understand news broadcasts and newspapers. Not only is it valuable for its universal function but is helpful in learning the structure and roots in Spoken Arabic.