frequently asked questions

 
   
What is Falooka?

Falooka provides a live platform to share ideas, experiences, as well as ask and answer questions on anything Middle Eastern. For multimedia Arabic language learning materials use the mobile Falooka Messenger and index. Also visit our mission statement.

How is Falooka Game-like?
The Falooka Messenger and the community platform facilitate Arabic language interactions. Post videos and pictures in the Feed and gain userpoints as you experience Middle Eastern local restaurants, events, and new friends. The platform calculates the winners with the highest cumulative userpoints.
Why should I study Arabic?
Our globally demanding world requires languages and international experiences.

Arabic will allow you to explore a new perspective through its people and culture. Academically you may decide to study political science and international relations. Professionally, you may opt to work for a government or non-government organization.

Should I study the Egyptian dialect?

The Egyptian dialect is the dialect of choice for academics and travelers because it is widely understood in the Middle East region. Egypt is viewed as the cultural, academic, and political hub of the Arab region.

Should I study Egyptian Colloquial OR Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) OR both?
The decision rests on how you intend to use the language.

If your aim is to interact with Arabs as Arabs interact in their homes, streets, schools, and offices then learn Egyptian Colloquial/spoken Arabic.

However, if you intend to write, read newspapers and novels, and interact with Academics then you should embark on MSA/Classical.

Students who opt to study both Colloquial and Classical get the best of both worlds. Students who solely study Colloquial are practical and eager to experience the people and culture as quickly as possible.

What would happen if I used my MSA/Classical Arabic to interact everyday?
Speaking MSA/Classical Arabic with friends and colleagues makes you standoffish. MSA in a non-formal setting is like speaking formal written English.

Falooka is for both classical and colloquial Arabic students. Students who wish to compare the two have the option to do so as well.
 

Is Egyptian Colloquial/Spoken Arabic totally different than MSA/Classical Arabic?

No, Colloquial Arabic is not totally different from MSA because of an overlap in syntax and semantics. Similarities include the Idaafa construction, the noun-adjective phrase, and vocabulary.  
 

How is each lesson in Falooka organized?
The lectures are to the point with well defined topics for a quick sense of knowledge gained.

Each lecture contains a brief grammar snap shot, carefully selected examples, and a yellow street sign highlighting tricky points.

Situational drills are practical with real life scenarios. Audios and videos are provided to reinforce drills.

Each podcast incorporates a specific grammar theme.

How useful are the audios in Falooka?
Arabic has sounds that might not be familiar to you. Reading is not the same as listening to isolated words, phrases, and sentences as you experience them.

Falooka provides all podcasts in MP3 format.

Why are videos useful in the language learning process?
Learning a language is as much auditory as is visual. The more senses we use in the learning process the quicker we tend to retain.

Falooka frequently combines summary videos with written text to reinforce the language learning process.

 

Why does Falooka color-code the words?
Arabic frequently attaches prefixes and suffixes to the main stem. These add-ons are color coded.

Falooka color-codes so you can easily see the main stem and the add-ons.

Why use transliteration while learning Arabic speech?
Transliteration significantly speeds up the learning process if you wish to simply speak and not learn to read Arabic.

Falooka provides easy to use transliteration if you do not wish to learn to read Arabic script.

 
Are answers to all drills provided on Falooka?
Yes, answers are provided to all drills in both written and audio form.

Many language learning materials do not offer answers to drills with a dependency on language learning programs and instructors.

Is learning to read Arabic challenging?
Learning to recognize the 28 letters in Arabic is often completed after only two sessions. but learning to read is another matter.

A useful tip is to understand syllables within words and to recognize diacritics.

Students not comfortable with shaddas, sequoons, doubled consonants, and short and long vowels will continue to struggle with reading.

 

Is learning to pronounce Arabic challenging?
Arabic has unique guttural sounds (from the throat) that are not familiar to English speakers. Vowels also alter in sound by their surrounding consonants.

Guttural consonants as well as vowels take time to master. Listen carefully as you play the audio clips on Falooka.
 

How long does it take to learn Arabic?
Best to dedicate two sessions a week to sense progress. Generally, a study session should last for 1.5 hours. 30 minute daily sessions are also highly effective. Expect to use the language within 2-3 years.

Tourists taking 1.5 hour sessions, daily for 1-2 months, also benefit and see results.
 

Can I learn Arabic on my own?
Yes, but language learning means interacting with natives.

Take time to grasp the grammar fundamentals and then shift to interacting with Arabic speakers as you continue revisiting the materials.

Falooka is designed for easy reading and listening at home and on the go.

 

What makes learning Arabic easy?

Many factors. There are no silent letters, gender is easy to recognize, and learning new words can become intuitive because of the root system. A trio of consonants in a word can all fall under one related set of meanings -- such as "d-r-s can mean school, teacher, and to learn."

 

What makes learning Arabic hard?
If you truly decide to learn Arabic you simply will.

The more challenging aspects of learning Arabic have little to do with the language and more to do with your study habits. Effective language students tend to be creatures of habit.

Challenging facets within the Arabic language include: the unique Arabic script, "heavy" sounds, long versus short vowels; a broader usage of possession (the idaafa construction); and the common use of active participles in place of verbs (for spoken Arabic).

But it's all fun in the end. Once you are aware of what needs extra attention it helps you to focus and rectify.

All lessons in Falooka highlight exceptions and challenges to make the learning process easier.
 

What's up with all those dialects?
There are many Arabic dialects but don't panic.

Even native Arabic speakers are not familiar with all of the dialects but still manage to interact effectively. Why? Because of the similarities.

Just learn the dialect you expect to use most depending on your academic and personal goals.

The Egyptian dialect is usually the dialect of choice for academics and travelers.

There are four dialect groups in the Arab world:

1- Egypt and Libya
2- The Maghrib (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, an Mauritania)
3- The Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and portions of Iraq)
4- The Gulf region (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Yemen)

Speakers of the Egyptian dialect will easily understand the Libyan, the Levant, and the Gulf dialects. However, the Maghrib dialect is arguably more challenging for the Egyptian speaker.

See also: Mission
 

 
   

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