I think one of the best kept secrets of learning Arabic is this: The Levantine Arabic verb chart will teach you how every word in Levantine Arabic is spelled, pronounced, and written. E v e r y w o r d.
In other articles, like Part 1 and Part 2 of my the Demystifying Arabic Grammar series, I’ve been sharing how you can use Arabic grammar to help you learn Arabic on a tight schedule. This Levantine Arabic verb chart is the #1 way how. Let’s dive in a see what that means.
Part 1: Arabic Grammar is Like… Learning to Do a Headstand aka Complicated from Far Away and Simple Up Close
I’ve been practicing yoga since I was a wee babe. (I actually started via these funky fun videos by Steve Ross. I’d highly recommend btw.) I learned to do move, bend, and stretch my body in all kinds of ways.
I could balance on my hands in crook’s pose. I could bring my back foot to touch my head in king pigeon pose. At a time, I could even bring my legs behind my head (Please don’t try at home!). But there was one posture that totally eluded me.
How were people balancing on the tip of their head? Steady and unphased. My body could do a lot of things, but I was confident it couldn’t do that. Are we land-walking mammals? And didn’t Newton already prove that gravity pulls us down, and doesn’t keep us straight up?
One day, a friend who was a yoga teacher told me a secret about headstands that I’ll never forget. She said, “A headstand is all geometry.” I’ll show you what she means.
Look at this picture. What shape do you see starting from the woman’s neck, and connecting her left and right elbows?
In the most simple explanation, to successfully balance in a headstand, you need to make an equilateral triangle with your head and elbows. (You need a strong core too, but that’s beyond for another article.) Your body will take care of the rest.
Why am I talking about triangles when this article is supposed to be about the Levantine Arabic verb chart? Well because I want you to see that: “Hard things” are not so hard when you understand what they really are.
One of the biggest setbacks for most Arabic learners is that we think Arabic is so hard. And is it our fault really? I remember my first day of Arabic 101, my teacher said, “This is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.” And I believed it.
How many times you’ve looked at Arabic and thought: This is too hard! I can’t do this! Fluency is for those special people over there, with special skills, and special talents. People who have way more time than me. And probably have a secret Lebanese dad!
Well I’m here to tell you that: Arabic is deceptively simple. As simple as a headstand.
Arabic is simply a system of recurring patterns. These patterns determine how almost every word in Arabic is created, spelled, and pronounced.
And today, I’m going to show you the one chart that’ll teach you every word in Levantine Arabic.
Part 2: Download Your Levantine Arabic Verb Chart PDF for Free
Take the chart! It’s yours. I want you to always have a copy. Click here to download my free PDF chart.
The nerd in me cried tears of joy when I finished creating this Levantine Arabic verb chart. Because for so long, I wanted a resource that showed me the entire Levantine Arabic system in one place.
And I couldn’t find one. Until now!
It’s okay if just seeing this chart is giving you the heebie-jeebies.
Maybe you’re like, “But Uchechi, you said this was supposed to be simple. s i m p l e.”
That’s why I’m going to break this chart down column by column in later articles, so that you truly see the bigger picture.
By the end, you’ll understand what Arabic really is.
And ultimately, using the tools you learn here, you’ll eventually be able to learn Arabic more efficiently, especially if you have a tight schedule.
Part 3: How to Use this Levantine Arabic Verb Chart
Have you downloaded the chart yet? Here you go! Click here to download my free PDF chart.
Now, make the chart your background on your computer, and notice it throughout the day.
Recall that I said “notice” the chart and not “memorize” the chart.
Please don’t stare at it before you go to bed, and review it in the mornings.
Without context, it will only stare back at you, and become a chart of confusing squiggly lines.
The reason I want you to make the chart your background is so that the more you notice the chart, the more you’ll remember that a chart does exist.
And if you remember that a chart exists, then you can remember that a simple system does exist.
And that even if you don’t understand that simple system yet, there may be a better method to learning Arabic than your current one.
That alone will keep you curious about becoming a more efficient Arabic learner.
So download my free PDF chart now and let it sink in with you.
Next time, we’ll go through column 1, and learn how all verb roots are created.