22 Best Apps For Learning Arabic In 2021 (All Dialects)

Asma Wahba

Author

Asma Wahba

Mobile and web apps can be a great way to learn Arabic (or supplement your Arabic studies).

They’re often inexpensive and readily available, cover various dialects, and can help you learn while commuting or waiting.

Don’t underestimate the vital importance of good teachers or quality Arabic courses, but it’s worth checking out some of the handy apps that are available.

For this reason, we’ve created a list of the best Arabic language apps, and we’ve included options for both MSA and various spoken varieties.

Ready? Let’s go! 🙂

The best apps for learning Arabic

Our fancy new web app means we can place ourselves on this list. 🙂

Talk In Arabic is the largest and fastest growing community for spoken Arabic dialects. It offers 8 spoken dialects (Egyptian, Levantine, Moroccan, Algerian, Saudi, Sudanese, Iraqi, Tunisian), with video and audio lessons covering a wide range of relevant (and practical) topics, as well as grammar and vocabulary.

PRICE: $12.95 per month.

PROS:

  • 8 dialects in total (Egyptian, Levantine, Moroccan, Algerian, Saudi, Sudanese, Iraqi, Tunisian)
  • Inexpensive
  • Speaking and listening comprehension emphasis
  • High quality, topic-focused content
  • Video and audio
  • Constantly expanding

CONS:

  • No MSA.
  • No literacy component.

This app teaches the Egyptian dialect.

Why does it teach Egyptian Arabic?

The reason why Egyptian Arabic stands out in terms of practicality is not related to how close it is to MSA, but to how popular it is in Arab media and literature.

This popularity makes the dialect accessible to most Arabs, which means that you can always use Egyptian Arabic if you fail to use MSA, and there is always a chance that your interlocutor would be able to communicate with you in that dialect, too. This is why Rocket Arabic focuses on it.

Rocket Arabic walks your through the basics of Egyptian Arabic and provides you with a very comprehensive course. It uses natural Egyptian, and ensures a fun learning experience.

PRICE: $149.95 (one-time but gives you access to their online course as well)

PROS:

  • Rocket Arabic teaches the Egyptian dialect in a comprehensive linear audio course. However, you can always pick the themes or courses you want in a different order. It’s always great to know that an app offers options, as some us want to be held by the hand and trust the process, while others prefer to pick their own starting lines.
  • The app is also a decently comprehensive platform, and it includes a lot of helpful and relevant material. When it comes to Arabic and its variants, sometimes, all you need to learn is basics if your aim is to carry basic conversations.
  • The next great thing about the app is that it’s downloadable. Once you buy it, it’s completely yours!
  • Rocket Arabic lessons are designed to entertain you. The courses are particularly fun and humorous, and would definitely make your learning experience a lot more enjoyable!

CONS:

  • Not updated as frequently as needed.
  • Rocket Arabic still only offers the first of three levels (additional levels expected soon).

One of the most famous and reputable language courses ever made for many languages, including Arabic. It covers both Levantine and Egyptian Arabic.

The course is audio-only and is now available as an app.

PRICE: $14.95 a month (7 day free trial)

PROS:

  • Extremely effective, research-based method
  • Covers multiple spoken dialects

CONS:

  • Audio only
  • Dated scenarios

Innovative Language offers a superb podcast-style course for Egyptian, Moroccan and MSA (also as an app). There are also lots of videos which vary in quality.

PRICE: Starts at $4 USD a month

PROS:

  • Tons of excellent content
  • Both video and audio
  • Podcast style

CONS:

  • Content quality varies
  • Dialects are mixed up in some cases

This stunning web app is reminiscent of several major language apps combined.

Its gamified style allows for fast and enjoyable learning, and it relies heavily on visual learning (it’s the first to offer VR/AR). At present, it teaches MSA.

PRICE: Starts at $9.99 per month.

PROS:

  • Progress tracking
  • You can save a list of your favorite words
  • Pronunciation provided
  • Most common Arabic words for all levels
  • Gaming attribute: unlocking Phrasebook as your learning progresses

CONS:

  • Reviewers complain about some words with wrong pronunciation
  • Reviewers report wrong spelling
  • Not the most reliable transliteration

Memrise is a well-known SRS flashcard tool turned into a gamified app (includes Arabic). The basic premise is that as you learn languages, you “water plants” and have to keep them growing by studying your flashcards.

It’s an extremely effective tool and lots of community decks to learn with.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • Very effective at learning vocab
  • Beautifully designed app
  • Free mostly
  • Multiple Arabic dialects

CONS:

  • Quality of decks varies

One of the most comprehensive lexicons for Arabic in existence available as an app.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • Massive, well-known dictionary in your pocket
  • Free

CONS:

  • While great for MSA and Classical, not as useful for spoken dialects

We can’t just ignore the most used and downloaded language app in the world, can we?

This free online language-learning portal has over 300 million users, and has recently added Arabic to its language offerings. The reason behind this “delay” is related to the Arabic language’s complex grammar and highly rich lexicon, which made it challenging for developers to compress into quick and easy online lessons.

Duolingo can be handy if you’re just looking for an introduction to the Arabic language. However, we still recommend this app for activities, pronunciation, and basic (but not holistic) grammar.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • No-risk, fun way to get your toes in the water with Arabic.
  • It introduces the Arabic alphabet with easy-to-follow, yet challenging enough, sound exercises.
  • Teaches Arabic vocabulary and basic sentences.

CONS:

  • MSA only
  • Tedious and childish interface
  • Lack of depth

This app follows the translation method, and promises to build “a solid vocab in just 10 mins per day” through the most basic and frequent travel words and phrases. The app features over 10.000 words and phrases, and focuses on day-to-day activities, such as eating, dating, driving, traveling, etc.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • Repetitive, accelerated learning
  • 10,000 flashcards
  • Multi-level learning (500 words for beginners, 1250 words for intermediate learners, 2250 words for lower/upper intermediates, 5000 words for advanced learners.)
  • Sleep learning
  • Adjustable learning speed
  • A list of your favorite words

CONS:

  • For some reason, the app tries to gain accessibility over the user’s phone.
  • Problems downloading the app and getting it to work
  • Unclear audio
  • Sometimes, the audio doesn’t match corresponding words.

Arabic Grammar for All focuses on one of the most challenging elements in the Arabic language: grammar. Arabic grammar is complex enough (though not complicated) to stand as an app on its own. This app features over 30 lessons, practice lessons, around 350 exercises, conjugation of ten verb forms, pronunciation guidelines.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • Gradual introduction of grammatical rules
  • Simplified explanations
  • Interactive platform
  • User-friendly interface

All Arab dialects are worth learning. It’s true that some of them sound alike, but every dialect narrates a nation’s story. Just like the other Northern African countries, Algerian Arabic comprises of heavy portions of Berber and French given the nation’s rich historical and cultural background. “Learn Algerian Arabic” offers you two options: either to follow 2,000 pre-recorded lessons in the suggested order, or to create a personalized course depending on your preferred themes.

What those themes have in common is their day-to-day usability, as 80% of the words are high-frequency words, which also applies to expressions, idioms, phrases, and verbs.

PRICE: $9.99 per month

PROS:

  • The app claims to provide “hands-free learning, with no typing or swiping needed”, which means that the learner would rely on the audiovisual aspect of the process.
  • 2,000 quizzes

CONS:

  • No pronunciation activities
  • No voice-detection feature
  • Swiping and typing motions are needed to guarantee productive interactivity
  • No IPA transcription

Why are we recommending Tunisian Arabic, now? The Arab world is divided into two parts: the Middle East, and North Africa. If we assume that Egyptian Arabic is your Joker card in any Middle Eastern country, then, it’s safe to assume that Tunisian Arabic is your Joker card in North Africa. North African dialects are similar in the sense that they all include Berber and French, and the reason why Tunisian Arabic can help you communicate in all North African countries is related to the nation’s growing political and cultural popularity. Moroccan Arabic is as popular, so we’ll take a look at it in the next section. “Tunisian Basic Phrases” focuses on essentials, and it offers audio examples, too. The app provides you with a selection of English phrases (over 600) as well as their equivalents in Tunisian Arabic.

PRICE: Free with in-app purchases

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Native speaker audio
  • Dictionary lookup
  • Pronunciation help: Transliteration/Romanization text
  • Free and unlimited
  • Works offline: No network connection is required
  • No login or registration needed
  • Dark background color minimizes eye strain

Egyptian Arabic is your Joker card in the Middle East as much as Modern Standard Arabic is your Joker card in most Arab countries. Egyptian Arabic has managed to popularize itself thanks to decades of successful literature and media. Thanks to this dialect’s popularity, many developers have invested in Egyptian Arabic apps. You can pick an English phrase and view its corresponding Egyptian translation and pronunciation. Most themes are usable in daily interactions, and they’re also backed-up with a voice-based lookup feature, where you can speak the English phrase and wait for it to appear in Egyptian Arabic.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • User-friendly
  • Supports offline usage
  • No login or registration needed
  • Flashcards
  • Interactive surface

CONS:

  • Overwhelming ads
  • Some users complain about lack of essential words/expressions

It’s safe to say that Syrian Arabic represents Levantine Arabic in the sense that, if you learn Syrian, you can absolutely use it in all Levantine countries. Just like Egyptian Arabic, Syrian Arabic has made its way into mainstream media and literature. Not always does Syrian Arabic Dictionary translate English sentences into Syrian Arabic, but it also conjugates all basic, high-frequency verbs.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • Comparable to Duolingo in functionality
  • Features match the description
  • Arabic alphabet is used for Syrian Arabic transcription
  • Interactive and user-friendly

CONS:

  • No audio included
  • Limited vocabulary
  • Some typos throughout the lessons

An older platform but quite comprehensive and one of the only ones to offer Iraqi and Levantine Arabic.

Overall an excellent app/course but quite dated.

PRICE: Starts at $12.49 a month

PROS:

  • Offers Iraqi and Levantine
  • Comprehensive

CONS:

  • Dated platform.
  • Voice recognition is useless.

There is something about Moroccan tourism that’s making the country’s dialect increasingly popular. For that reason, we recommend “Learn Moroccan Arabic”. as you may have noticed, this app, which operated under Qvyshift LLC, teaches all Arabic dialects. It’s so reliable that we’re now recommending it for all other dialects! As far as Moroccan Arabic is concerned, this app focuses on the most common phrases and words, and provides more than 600 phrases and their corresponding exercises, along with audio pronunciation, transliteration, and romanized transcriptions.

PRICE: Free

Check this app for the following dialects as well:

  • Learn Libyan Arabic: Libyan Basic Phrases
  • Learn Yemeni Arabic: Yemeni Basic Phrases
  • Learn Palestinian Arabic: Palestinian Phrases
  • Learn Iraqi Arabic: Iraqi Basic Phrases
  • Learn Lebanese Arabic: Lebanese Basic Phrases

Our next pick is a simple language app by TenguLogi.

This app is not your typical colorful platform, but it gets the job done regardless. It operates on Android, and is usable offline, too! TenguLogi specializes in basic Modern Standard Arabic, and uses the following user-friendly method: first off, it shows you a flashcard containing the letter in question. Then, it teaches you how to transliterate and pronounce it, and where to place it in a word or a sentence.

The final step is writing, along with a few basic notes on grammar, vowels, and numbers ranging from 0 to 99.

If you have no previous exposure to the language, then this app is a good place to start. TenguLogi has been receiving noticeable attention on Play Store lately, and the majority of reviews are positive. The app seems to advance well in terms of content and overall functionality, so make sure to check it out!

PRICE: Free with in-app purchases

PROS:

  • The app is simple and intuitive, and the layout is easy to follow.
  • The app allows for various learning methods, including catchy and easy-to-memorize phrases, tables, and playful quizzes.
  • Interactive teaching and decent repetitive exercises.
  • Reliable sound playback.
  • You can use it while offline!

CONS:

Some users report technical issues with the quizzes, and mentioned that the automatic audio play can be irritating. They would have preferred if turning the audio off was an option.

Let’s take another beginner-friendly app because learning the Arabic language requires a strong base.

This app doesn’t teach grammar, but focuses on basic conversational phrases and sentences that would be extremely helpful in a given context.

Sometimes, you don’t need to wrestle with Arabic grammar for hours on end. Instead, all you need to start with is a strong conversational base to get you through everyday situations, and we believe that Bravolol will never disappoint you.

PRICE: Free with in-app purchases

PROS:

  • Many useful Arabic phrases & words
  • Pronunciation recorded by native Arabic speaker
  • Voice recording & playback. You can record your own voice
  • No Internet connection required
  • Instant search by keywords
  • Customizable font size

CONS:

  • Frequent ads
  • Not enough variations per expression
  • Some pronunciations lean more towards a specific dialect, and not Modern Standard Arabic

This is one of the most used and downloaded apps. It has been downloaded more than a million times, and users rate it highly.

That’s why we believe that English Arabic Dictionary would be of great help for you regardless of your level.

This app is especially helpful because it’s user-friendly, as it allows you to look up a word’s translation without even accessing the app.

PRICE: Free

PROS:

  • Speech-To-Text
  • English Arabic bidirectional translation
  • Used offline
  • Word search history
  • Favorite words list
  • Automatic detection of word root
  • Automatic language detection

CONS:

  • Overwhelmingly disruptive ads
  • Recent updates removed the pronunciation feature

20. Drops

The app offers 5-minute sessions, and is based on gamification, repetition, and illustrations. It claims that 5 minutes a day is all you need to learn Arabic because the lessons are light and playful.

Drops provides highly engaging short games, and the only required moves in it are taps and swipes. It teaches vocabulary only, and is also equipped with Arabic word pronunciations.

PRICE: $30USD per year, $64.99 lifetime

PROS:

  • Has a gaming attribute to it
  • Extremely interactive
  • Offers feedback and evaluation
  • Excellent app for kids and beginners overall

CONS:

  • No IPA transcription
  • Reviewers report that 5 minutes a day is not enough
  • Animation gets repetitive throughout the lessons
  • Word selection isn’t always useful in real life situations

Mondly adjusts its Arabic lessons to the learner’s level, and offers three types of lessons: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. It claims to be a “tutor in your pocket”. It’s based on 45 minute-modules, and is enhanced with dialogs and activities.

PRICE: Free, 5USD per month in-app purchases

PROS:

  • Embedded pronunciation
  • Speech recognition
  • Pronunciation feedback
  • Useful words and phrases for real-life situations
  • Verb conjugations
  • Quizzes
  • Communicative community

CONS:

  • Doesn’t support offline usability
  • Reviewers think that lessons are too short
  • Chatbot is unable to recognize perfectly-spoken sentences
  • No skip option
  • App asks the learner to translate words too early

22. italki

If you’re looking for online 1-on-1 Arabic lessons, look no further than italki.

This is without doubt the best app (mobile and web) for finding teachers and tutors. Extremely affordable too!

PRICE: Prices vary widely depending on the teachers

PROS:

  • Loads of Arabic teachers to choose from
  • Inexpensive
  • Very easy to organize lessons

CONS:

  • Unpredictable quality of teachers

Which Arabic app would you add to this list?

In truth, there are probably a lot more Arabic apps we could have mentioned here.

But these are by far the best ones available.

It’s important to keep in mind the difference between Modern Standard Arabic and spoken dialects, and get an app that caters for what you’re learning.

Hope that helps!

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