I personally like to consider myself a polyglot and I have always enjoyed learning new languages. At the moment I’ve successfully become fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, but I have to admit that the similarities between these two languages gave me a huge benefit.
In the upcoming months, I will be going on a trip to Egypt and then later, the United Arab Emirates. Since I’ve never been to an Arabic speaking country, I recently decided to take advantage of my window period from now until the trip and learn a bit of Arabic.
I have to admit that I was very intimidated and not entirely looking forward to learning a language that has no similarity to English, Spanish or Portuguese. Even more intimidating is the fact that the Arabic-speaking culture is completely foreign to me.
With this in mind, I embarked on a language learning journey to find a course that will not only teach me the correct language skills but the cultural aspects necessary to fully understand the language and its people.
I have to admit that many courses and online resources lacked what I needed and I even became somewhat discouraged because time was running out.
All hope was lost until I came across Rocket Arabic.
It All Started With a Free Trial
After days of researching, googling, and reading various reviews on several online courses, I came across the Rocket Arabic website. While scanning over the site I immediately noticed that on one of the upper sections of the website the words “Free Trial” were gleaming back at me. In a heartbeat, I clicked on the tab and signed up for the trial course.
To be quite honest, I was not expecting much from a free trial, but I was pleasantly surprised.
When you sign up, you are granted access to the entire course for 6 days. Usually, with other online courses, you aren’t given much insight into the course before you sign up, or you only get access to the first couple of lessons for a limited amount of time.
Being given a clear and honest preview of what the course offers, gave me a sense of joy and relief. I knew exactly what I would be signing up for and it allowed me to review the course and decide if it was right for my personal learning goals.
What Does the Course Include?
First off, it’s good to mention that you have two options to buy.
The course comes in two versions which are:
- Rocket Arabic 24/7 Online Access
This is the cheaper version of the two. With the online access option, you get complete access to the entire Rocket Arabic course. You also receive all updates made to the course for free.
- Rocket Arabic 20 CD Course
This is a far more expensive option. I would personally not recommend buying this version if you want to save money, especially since it actually costs more than 3 times the original price. The only plus is that it includes free shipping and you also receive lifetime access to the online course.
I would also like to note that the only difference between the 20 CD option and the online option is that you will be provided with physical CDs for the course. The material is actually completely the same in both versions.
When it comes to the actual course content, what you can expect to find is the following:
- 29 Interactive Audio Lessons
This makes up the main part of the Rocket Arabic course. Each audio lesson is about 20 minutes long and the purpose of these lessons is to give you an opportunity to practice your spoken Arabic and memorize key phrases and important vocabulary words. A major plus here is that the lessons can be downloaded directly to your phone or laptop in Mp3 format.
- 30 Language and Cultural Lessons
With these lessons, you will go over Arabic grammar so that you can develop a good foundation and understand how to construct sentences. You also have exercises to improve pronunciation and diction, as well as several tidbits on Arabic culture.
- Rocket Arabic Dashboard
Here you can track your progress week by week and the platform will even offer suggestions on which lessons you should work on based on your personal learning style.
- Rocket Arabic Master Games
This section offers a variety of games which mostly focus on translating words or phrases, listening activities, speaking exercises, and fill in the gap writing activities.
- Advanced Learning Techniques
On this final section, advanced learners can take their skills to the next level. Here, a student will be provided with tips to speed up their progress through more intensive exercises.
Positive things Rocket Arabic Offers
There are a number of things that I loved about Rocket Arabic, some of which greatly influenced my overall decision to buy this course.
Some of the main positive qualities I found were:
- Native Language Teaching
All the lessons are given by a native Arabic speaker named Amira Zaki. Amira is a friendly and charismatic instructor who provides some useful insights about Arabic culture and language. This is an absolute plus for beginner language learners since it helps you establish a proper foundation in Arabic.
Rocket Arabic offers high-quality material at a low price. I would even go so far as to say that programs like Rosetta Stone and other leading courses do not offer nearly as much, but yet charge hundreds of dollars more.
- Highly personalized
This program allows for a personalized learning experience. As you move along with each lesson, the platform gives you suggestions on what to work on depending on your individual weaknesses and learning goals.
- Dynamic and versatile
Rocket Arabic focuses on developing your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills rather than just zoning in on oral fluency. Depending on your level, you can even customize your lessons to practice certain skills that you feel you might be lacking in.
- MP3 Multimedia
All of the interactive audio lessons are downloadable in MP3 format, which means that you can practice your listening comprehension on your phone, iPod or computer whenever you have downtime.
- The Rocket Record feature
What many online courses sometimes lack are features to test your speaking skills and pronunciation. Rocket Record is a feature on the course platform that allows you to record yourself saying certain Arabic words (or phrases) and then hear a native speaker repeat the word back to you.
- The 6-day free trial and 60-day money back guarantee
As previously mentioned, the free trial played a huge part in my decision to purchase this course, but in the event that you aren’t fully satisfied, you are guaranteed a full refund of your purchase within a 60 day window period.
As you can see, there are so many positive qualities to Rocket Arabic, but it’s important to be realistic and discuss a few negative things worth mentioning.
What is Rocket Arabic Missing?
- Less of a focus on speaking and listening, more on writing and reading
Some of us taking this course need to know how to write the address to our hotel, read street signs, identify product labels and overall, just survive in a bustling city. In this sense, Rocket Arabic is really lacking in writing and reading activities.
- More dialect and accent diversity
The listening material in this course is all in Egyptian Arabic, but for my travel plans, I will also be going to Dubai where a different dialect is spoken. Personally, I would have loved to not only hear two different dialects but even three or more.
Despite the previously mentioned negative points, it is clear to see that the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I have personally been taking this course these past weeks and I have very few complaints as far as the lesson content goes.
As I had mentioned earlier in this article, I was feeling somewhat intimidated by learning Arabic, but I have to admit that my initial hesitation is now gone.
When it comes to learning a new language, I believe it is important to know how difficult grammar, writing, and pronunciation is before taking the plunge and committing to learning the language. Along with these aspects, it is also very important to know about the culture, especially since culture and language go hand in hand.
Rocket Arabic has everything you need to not only learn the language but get a glimpse into Egyptian Arabic culture. In my opinion, this is the best course to take for anyone who wants to get high-quality lessons for an affordable price.
If mastering conversational Arabic is your main language goal, give this course a chance. If you’re still not fully convinced, the 6-day free trial will allow you to review the lessons and help you make your own decision.
If after taking the lessons, you feel that Rocket Arabic is not for you, there is a 60-day full money back guarantee. Knowing that you have so little to lose, why not give yourself the opportunity to learn a new language in rocket speed?