Although English is widely spoken and will be the language used at work most of the time, I have been taking tentative steps in learning Arabic.
I have sampled a range of the ‘teach yourself’ audio and audio/video training courses. I was disappointed with Rosetta Stone, both for it’s learning style and having to sit a watch it on the PC. I also have Byki on my iPhone but yet to use it.
So far I have found Pimsleur the most effective and easiest to use but only when listening when I am on my own in the car… that way I can repeat the Arabic words and phrases aloud without anyone listening.
I have found that 30 minutes is about as long as I can concentrate, but I am finding it difficult to retain what I learn… more that I cannot remember many of the words or phrases between sessions and sometimes within the session but I can usually understand what is being said.
I have picked up the obvious… hello, good morning… thank you etc, and most usefully I am now fluently say ‘Excuse me do you speak English’… that should get me by in the short term.