Language Center

Tilburg University is an internationally oriented research and education institute. The Language Center assists students, university staff, and non-university students in improving their language proficiency.

Arabic for Visitors

The Arab world is currently a daily news item. Religious conflicts, international interests, economic cooperation, migration issues: these are serious topics that require our attention in the Netherlands, Europe and worldwide. Topics that make the Middle East and North Africa important regions and where Arabic is inextricably linked. It is not surprising that Arabic is ranked fourth in the list of the top 10 most influential languages in the world.

You will have to learn the language to be able to consider these topics at a scholarly level and to truly discover the Arab world. That will not be an easy task since Arabic is a Semitic language and there is a great difference with a language that uses Latin letters such as Dutch. Not only are the letters different, the language is also written from right to left and Arabic only has three vowels. Learning this language poses a greater challenge than other languages, but it is all the more fulfilling when you are successful at learning it.

The Language Center offers a course called ‘Arabic for Beginners’.

Arabic for Beginners

13x 3-hour classes, 8 hours self-study per week, 6 ECTS

The most important aspect of this course is learning to read and write the Arabic alphabet. Speaking and listening are also dealt with, but to a lesser degree. Since you will have to learn a completely new alphabet, there is no other option but to have homework.

Some of the exercises during class include reading Arabic newsletters on a large screen so that you and your fellow students can try to recognize letters and words. Day-to-day Arab culture is also discussed which includes etiquette and Arab music from classical to the mystical and modern.

You will be able to read all Arabic texts at the end of the course, however, reading comprehension will still be quite limited. You will also be able to express yourself orally at a basic level: you will be able to greet someone or ask simple questions. You will have reached the A1 level of the Common European Reference Framework.