top of page

Here is why learning Arabic is easier than you think

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

Arabic has a derivation system, whereby words are generally derived from a single ‘root’

Learn one Arabic word and understand dozens more for free! Sounds like an exaggerated advertising pitch? Well it’s not, and here’s why.

Being a Semitic language, Arabic has a derivation system, whereby words are generally derived from a single ‘root’ made up of three letters (sometimes two). Each ‘root’ word conveys an underlying meaning from which a vast number of words can be derived, all predictable in form and all related to the basic meaning of the root word.

For example, from the root ‘K-T-B' or Katab, meaning 'write', we get the following words:

KiTaB- book

MaKTaB- office

KaTiB- writer

MaKTouB- written

MaKTaBah- library

To take another example, let’s look at the root ‘J-M-L’, which conveys ‘beauty’. From it, we get:

JaMeeL- Beautiful

JaMaaL- Beauty

aJMaL- More/most beautiful

JaMaL- Camel (strange though it may seem, this is no mistake. The camel is considered to be such a beautiful animal in the Arab culture that its name was derived from the J-M-L root!)

Do you notice how the words stemming from the root words are all linked? These examples are just the tip of an iceberg in terms of the number of words that can be derived from a single root word. This derivation system of the Arabic language is brilliant and can help people learn many words by simply knowing a root word; and it is for this reason why learning Arabic is actually easier than many think.

Ibn Jabal Institute's Level 1 Arabic course, which has been running since 2001, explores this aspect of the language. In fact, the Level 1 course covers the equivalent of the first year of an Arabic degree as taught in most UK universities.

To enroll on to our upcoming courses, please visit

454 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page