Want to learn Arabic–or for that matter, any language–quickly? Transcend beyond what you learn in class? Fly past your peers in terms of knowledge and understanding? Want to achieve all this without spending hours of time or hundreds of dollars?
Well, the solution is here–and it’s already available to you! All you need is a pen, some paper, and a mushaf (copy of the Qur’an)–and, most importantly, your brain!
Read and recite the Qur’an. Every day (which you should already be doing anyway–it came down as guidance, not an ornament for your bookshelf). The key here is before you turn to a translation, pick out constructs you know. Recgonize a couple of words? Maybe that looks like a feminine plural? Did you spot that harf ul-jarr that gave the noun kasra? What about that word, does it look like a verb conjugation? And so on. Maximize your efforts to understand before you translate.
Think in Arabic. Whenever you have a few minutes, pick a random sentence and ask yourself, how would I translate that into Arabic? A similar technique–throughout the day, when people are speaking around you, randomly translate parts of their discussion into Arabic. It doesn’t matter if you can’t translate all the words, or you lose some of the meaning–that act of thinking actually increases your understanding. And it doesn’t take too much effort, either!
Write in Arabic, even if only a little. A sentence or two here or there, maybe a couple of noun-verb-adjective-modifier sentences, whatever you like! Because writing is an important part of learning.
Fuse these techniques together! If you travel on the bus, by car, or walk for 30 or more minutes per day, spend your time thinking up a short Arabic story and write it out when you get a chance!
It doesn’t have to be an amazing, inspiring, and life-changing epic of the battle between good and evil. You can write about some guy who owned a small duck that lives beside the masjid. Or two students who discover they have the same teacher. Or a foreign student explaining about his family overseas. The content doesn’t matter–what does is the act of thinking and writing.
Wallahu ‘alim. You may find that these small steps, performed occasionally (or, better yet, consistently) yield surprisingly large results.
May Allah grant us all amazing understanding of this beautiful and eloquant language of the Qur’an, ameen!