Fact-Check & Editorial Responsibility: Kris Broholm
Find out if a language platform can successfully teach eight Arabic dialects in this Talk in Arabic review.
With its bold claim that it can teach eight different Arabic dialects, Talk in Arabic makes a great first impression. However, while you may be able to learn a little of each dialect using this platform, there is nowhere near enough content to actually learn Arabic. Course quality and depth of material vary considerably across all dialects.
We appreciate its efforts as one of the only platforms that focuses solely on Arabic, but it will need a lot of improvement before we invest our money into a course.
TL;DR Talk in Arabic Review
Here’s a quick summary, if you’ve only got a second.
- One of the only language resources to offer such a range of Arabic dialects.
- Community forum for users to interact with each other.
- Platform is well built with engaging graphics.
- Audio and video quality is generally quite good.
- Courses are taught by native Arabic speakers.
- Free blog content with tonnes of resources to aid learning.
- Lessons would benefit from being more structured and chronological.
- Updates are slow and infrequent.
- Huge difference in course quality across different dialects.
- Speech is very quick, and not beginner-friendly.
- No help on how to read or write Arabic script.
What is Talk in Arabic?
Talk in Arabic is a web-based platform that teaches eight different Arabic dialects: Egyptian, Levantine, Iraqi, Saudi, Sudanese, Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian Arabic. Each course is split into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Its lessons are presented in video or audio format and include important aspects of language learning, such as listening, grammar, vocabulary, comprehension and conversation lessons.
What Can You Do on Talk in Arabic?
Talk in Arabic covers a range of video and audio lessons in your chosen Arabic dialect. The amount of content available varies depending on the dialect you have chosen. For example, Egyptian and Levantine (arguably the most popular) have plenty of content available, while others like Sundanese, and Algerian lack any substantial learning material. While Talk in Arabic might be great for learning MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), we'd give it a pass completely for some of the other dialects.
In essence, Talk in Arabic is just a bunch of random lessons. The lessons do not follow any logical structure, which can be extremely frustrating; after all, no one wants to learn how to talk about their family before they can even introduce themselves. There's almost no chronological order to the lessons, but they do include common topics like your daily routine, days and months, numbers or visiting the doctors.
In terms of extra materials, there are none. A select few videos have a transcript included so you can follow along, but this is so rare, it's not really a feature worth mentioning.
How does it work?
Once you've created an account on Talk in Arabic, you'll be taken to your dashboard. This is where you can see all of the Arabic dialects available, and any new content that they have uploaded recently. After selecting the dialect that you want you learn, you will be taken to a page where you can see all of the levels and lessons available for that particular course.
You'll notice that there is a lock icon on some of the lessons. That's because you'll need to pay for premium access to fully enjoy the benefits of Talk in Arabic. That being said, before you commit to a membership plan, you can try a few lessons for free first.
Have a look below at our section on pricing to see what the premium membership offers and if it's worth investing in.
What Does Talk in Arabic Look Like?
One of the lessons that we tried out was called ‘Talking About Your Feelings' in Egyptian Arabic. The lesson is available in audio format only and lasts around five minutes.
In the lesson, your native teacher reads out a list of vocabulary in both masculine and feminine forms, and then explains how to use each word in its plural. Afterwards, the teacher goes through a list of examples, demonstrating how to use this new knowledge in context. At the end, you'll recap some of the important vocabulary, and repeat some key words and phrases along with the teacher.
Thankfully, a transcript is available for this particular lesson. One of the downfalls on Talk in Arabic is that the teachers speak extremely fast, making it almost impossible for complete beginners to keep up. Teachers do hone in on certain words, saying them slowly and clearly, but it's not enough. Without the transcript, learning the new vocabulary is almost impossible.
Who is Talk in Arabic Best For?
Talk in Arabic supports students of all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. However, after our experience on the platform, we'd recommend it for upper-beginner and intermediate learners only. In our opinion, teachers speak far too quickly for absolute beginners, but there isn't enough advanced content to satisfy experienced learners either. We hope this is something that Talk in Arabic improves on in the near future, to make its platform accessible for more people.
What Languages Does Talk in Arabic Offer?
Talk in Arabic teaches just one language; Arabic. What makes it stand out from the other resources out there is how many dialects it offers (eight to be exact!):
- Egyptian Arabic
- Iraqi Arabic
- Levantine Arabic
- Sudanese Arabic
- Moroccan Arabic
- Tunisian Arabic
- Algerian Arabic
- Saudi Arabic
How Much Does Talk in Arabic Cost?
If you're interested in giving Talk in Arabic a try there are a couple of subscription plans available. Once your free trial is over, you can choose between a monthly or yearly subscription, or pay for lifetime access.
Every option gives you unlimited access to all eight of the dialects and all of the lessons available (plus any new content that gets uploaded). This also includes any lesson notes or transcripts available, and access to the members' forum. Unfortunately, engagement in the user forum isn't where it should be, which means its doesn't really serve its function to connect users. We're hoping this will improve as the platform becomes more popular.
When you purchase the lifetime subscription, you'll also get access to an “Essential Arabic Verb Pack”. While this is useful, it's hardly an incentive to purchase the more expensive tier; you'll find all of this information online, no problem.
What are the Pros and Cons of Talk in Arabic?
- User forum where language learners can connect – unfortunately there's not much activity there at the moment.
- Courses are produced at a high standard by native Arabic speakers.
- Platform is well built with a user-friendly interface and engaging graphics.
- Audio and video quality is very good.
- Free blog content with tonnes of supplementary resources. Updated frequently.
- There's no logical order to the lessons at the moment.
- Content is not updated very frequently – currently only enough for a few months of learning.
- Huge difference in quality across different dialects. Levantine has a huge library of resources whereas Saudi is lacking.
- Speech is very quick, almost too quick for a beginner to understand.
- No help on how to read or write the Arabic script.
Are There any Talk in Arabic Alternatives?
Talk in Arabic is a one of a kind resource, and finding a platform that caters to eight dialects, in the same way, is near impossible. Here are a few places you could also look if you're hoping to learn Arabic:
Talk in Arabic vs Rocket Arabic
Rocket Languages is a desktop and app-based learning platform that uses a traditional teaching approach to take you from beginner level to advanced in Arabic. Using a thorough curriculum and step-by-step lessons, Rocket Languages will help you to develop skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Compared to Talk in Arabic, Rocket Arabic takes a much more traditional, and logical approach to learning a language.
Find out more in our Rocket Languages review.
Talk in Arabic vs LingQ
LingQ is an online language learning ecosystem created by Steve Kaufman. It primarily uses reading and audio lessons to teach 18 of the world's most popular languages, including Arabic. At its core, LingQ provides assisted reading and listening exercises on a wide variety of topics. It only teaches one dialect of Arabic (MSA), but does so in a very comprehensive and thorough way.
Talk in Arabic vs italki
italki coordinates one-on-one lessons with students and native Arabic teachers, that tailor each lesson to a student's needs and ability level. You can learn a mixture of Arabic dialects on italki, but you may pay above the odds for some of the rarer ones. Talk in Arabic, although it does contain video lessons, does not have the personal touch of your own Arabic tutor.
A Round-Up of our Talk in Arabic Review
Talk in Arabic is unique because it is one of the only online platforms that offers up eight different Arabic dialects with engaging audio-visual lessons. Unfortunately, there isn't enough material to get you past intermediate levels in any of the dialects. The lessons lack any structure and do not contain enough resources to help you effectively learn Arabic. The platform is a great idea, and it has a lot of potential, but needs a considerable amount of additional content to make it worthwhile. The lack of content and high subscription prices, unfortunately, do not make this a worthwhile purchase.
Kris is the founder of Actual Fluency, and has spent the last 8 years becoming an expert in language learning software, methods, and techniques.
Originally from Denmark, he now lives in Portugal and speaks 5+ languages at varying levels. His other interests are Wine, Online Marketing, and Travelling.