FSI Saudi Arabic Basic Course (Urban Hijazi Dialect)

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What is the FSI Saudi Arabic Basic Course?

The problem for the learner is that Arabic is not a single language but rather a language continuum.

There are at least 30 distinct forms of Arabic, with many dialects being mutually unintelligible. If you learn one version, you may not understand or be understood in other parts of the Arabic-speaking world.

The standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, is widely used in printed matter and for formal education, but it is not actually spoken by anyone in their daily lives. Different regions all have their own versions, so which one should you learn?

Although Egyptian and Levantine Arabic are two of the most popular dialects, the version you choose depends largely on what you need it for, and if you plan to do business in Saudi Arabia, learning a Saudi dialect is preferable.

The FSI Saudi Arabic course teaches the Hejazi dialect of the Jeddah region, one of the most widely spoken and understood in the country.

If you need to travel to Saudi Arabia or converse with Saudi people, this version would be a good choice.

How was FSI Saudi Arabic Basic originally used?

This FSI Saudi Arabic course was first published in 1975 and was intended for use by US diplomatic staff who were preparing for postings in Saudi Arabia.

It was designed for intensive study, with students taking around six hours of classes each day, supplemented by a further two hours of individual learning.

As early as possible, they were encouraged to speak only Arabic in class, and even outside of lesson time, they were supposed to speak Arabic among themselves. In this way, after a period of only six months, they were able to achieve a relatively high level of proficiency in the language.

How can you use FSI Saudi Arabic?

Although you won’t be able to recreate the perfect learning conditions enjoyed by US diplomats, this free Saudi Arabic course is a rich source of material.

If you adapt it to your needs, you can benefit greatly from the lessons and audio it includes, and there are several ways you can do this.

If you are using another coursebook to study Arabic, these materials can supplement your learning while allowing you to focus on the Hejazi dialect. Alternatively, you can use FSI Basic as your primary source of learning materials, supplemented by whatever else is available to you.

For further details on how to make the best use FSI Basic courses, please check out our accompanying post here for more study tips and advice.

Taking it further

Of course, you can’t learn a language through study alone, and after starting this free online Saudi Arabic course, you need to begin practicing your Arabic and using it in the real world.

Try to find native speakers of this dialect who can help you try out what you’ve learned and look for opportunities to use it as often as possible – and very soon, you will see how quickly your Arabic is already progressing.

Student Text

Pronunciation Tape            
Lesson 01 Tape Lesson 14 Tape Lesson 26 Tape Lesson 39 Tape
Lesson 02 Tape Lesson 15 Tape Lesson 27 Tape Lesson 40 Tape
Lesson 03 Tape Lesson 16 Tape Lesson 28 Tape Lesson 41 Tape
Lesson 04 Tape Lesson 17 Tape Lesson 29 Tape Lesson 42 Tape
Lesson 05 Tape Lesson 18 Tape Lesson 30 Tape Lesson 43 Tape
Lesson 06 Tape Lesson 19 Tape Lesson 31 Tape Lesson 44 Tape
Lesson 07 Tape Lesson 20 Tape Lesson 32 Tape Lesson 45 Tape
Lesson 08 Tape Lesson 21 Tape Lesson 33 Tape Lesson 46 Tape
Lesson 09 Tape Lesson 22 Tape Lesson 34 Tape Lesson 47 Tape
Lesson 10 Tape Lesson 23 Tape Lesson 35 Tape Lesson 48 Tape
Lesson 11 Tape Lesson 24 Tape Lesson 36 Tape Lesson 49 Tape
Lesson 12 Tape Lesson 25 Tape Lesson 37 Tape Lesson 50 Tape
Lesson 13 Tape     Lesson 38 Tape