This Rocket Arabic Review is current and up-to-date as of January 26th, 2021, and covers the 2021 version of Rocket Arabic.
The Arabic language is considered one of the most difficult for a native-English speaker to learn. It ranks alongside Mandarin and Japanese according to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). That doesn’t mean you should NOT give it a go if you want to learn to speak Arabic.
Choosing a good online language-learning program will help you reach the goal of speaking Arabic by fitting seamlessly into your already busy schedule. This is our review of Rocket Arabic (Egyptian), just one of many online resources to help you learn Arabic.
Rocket Arabic Overview
First, it is important to note that Rocket Arabic teaches the Egyptian Arabic dialect. There are many different dialects throughout the middle east among the nearly 420 million Arabic speakers. The Egyptian dialect is most often used in the media and has the most speakers overall. This means that learning Egyptian Arabic will allow you to be understood by most other dialects.
Take a tour of Rocket Arabic with this video:
Rocket Arabic offers only the Beginner to Intermediate Speaker Level 1, unlike many other Rocket Language courses. Within this level, you will find a variety of interactive audio lessons lasting approximately 15 to 40 minutes each. You will also find Culture and Language lessons, Writing lessons, and a Bonus Survival Kit.
Some other features you will get with Rocket Arabic include:
- Extensive audio lessons with explanations
- Access to Rocket Arabic content for life
- Tests and lesson review
- Games and reinforcement activities
- Leaderboard to compete with other Arabic learners
- Graded voice-recognition practice to perfect your accent
What we LOVE about Rocket Arabic
Pro #1: Well-Rounded Instruction
With interactive audio lessons, language and culture lessons, and writing lessons, there is an extensive amount of content. We also like that you are able to get a glimpse into Arabic culture and grammar as well as writing. This is one of the most comprehensive, complete language-learning programs we’ve come across in that sense.
Pro #2: Customizable Learning
We like that there is flexibility. You can choose to take your lessons in order in the linear way it was designed, or you can skip ahead or go back to previous lessons. You also have the option to change the voice-recognition difficulty level and whether or not the text is Romanized. This gives you more flexibility to challenge yourself when you are ready.
Pro #3: 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This is one of the most generous trial periods offered by a language-learning program. If Rocket Arabic simply isn’t an ideal learning method for you, contact customer support within your first two months to get a full refund. Essentially, this could be considered a “nothing to lose” opportunity.
What Could be IMPROVED with Rocket Arabic
Con #1: No Regular Updates
Compared to some subscription programs, Rocket Arabic material is updated less frequently. Eventually, this could lead to outdated material that is less relevant to daily life. It also means that what you buy is what you get. That said, Rocket Languages seems to be on top of making sure the content that is there is high quality.
Con #2: Writing Lessons Could Use More Explanations
The writing lessons consist of the Arabic instructor writing letters and forming words while pronouncing them. This just left us feeling like it was a bit lacking. More detailed explanations would help, especially for those who have no experience with the Arabic alphabet.
Rocket Arabic Features
Whatever you do on Rocket Arabic earns you points, and your points place you on the Leaderboard with other Arabic students. This type of competition can help keep students motivated to study each day. You can compare your points with other users’ and strive for consecutive daily stretches.
Language and Culture Lessons
The language and culture lessons closely correlate to the audio lessons and give deeper explanation of grammar rules and social norms. Other programs offer similar audio lessons, but expect you to absorb the grammatic rules without explanation.
Interactive Audio Lessons
Each audio lesson lasts between 15 and 40 minutes and can be downloaded or streamed. In these lessons, you will be asked to listen and repeat the dialogue. Each lesson has its own theme such as Introductions. Along with the lesson, you will find a variety of reinforcement activities to help solidify what you learned.
Your first writing lessons will introduce you to the Arabic Alphabet, and you will simply watch the instructor draw the letters. You will be informed about how to write in Arabic (right to left), about capitalizations (there are none), and vowels.
We touched on how these activities are available immediately after your audio lessons. These interactive activities are a fun break after listening to your lessons. Some of these activities include:
- Play It! A game where you play one part of a conversation between two Arabic speakers
- Hear It! Say It! An activity in which you listen and repeat for hearing and speaking practice
- Know It! Read a phrase or word in Arabic and record yourself saying it. Then, reveal the answer to find out how well you did.
- Extra Vocabulary lists with pronunciations
Who Will Benefit from Using Rocket Arabic?
This Arabic course is a useful resource for those just beginning to learn the Arabic language or for those who simply want to pick up some casual phrases. It can make an excellent supplemental course for a high-school or college class in Arabic. Because you can truly learn anywhere you can listen to the lessons, it is ideal for those who have little time on their hands.
Who Will NOT Benefit from Using Rocket Arabic?
Because Arabic is such a difficult language to learn, people who aren’t willing to put in the time to study will likely find an Arabic course useless. Additionally, someone who needs to learn an Arabic dialect other than Egyptian will also want to try another program.
Rocket Arabic Alternatives
To truly give you a fair review, we’ve included some information on its closest competitors in the section below.
Rocket Arabic or Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone Arabic promises that you will learn to think in Arabic in order to better speak it. Upon starting Rosetta Stone as a beginner, you are shown pictures while the word describing them is spoken and written above it. As you progress through the lesson, you can pick out some similarities between the words and pictures to help get you through. However, it left us feeling very in the dark. Rosetta Stone also offers voice-recognition activities.
Rosetta Stone teaches Modern Standard Arabic dialect, or MSA. This is standard for Al Jazeera TV as well as business and government institutions, but it is not what most Arabic speakers use on a daily basis. This is available as a monthly-subscription service.
Rocket Arabic or Pimsleur Arabic
Pimsleur Arabic offers both the Eastern and Modern Standard Arabic dialects. Pimsleur is based upon listening to everyday conversations and repeating what you hear in the same way you learned your native tongue. It uses mostly audio podcasts for its lessons, and it promises you will speak at an intermediate level in 30 days with just 30 minutes a day of study. You will also find English instructions when you’ve reached more complex issues, as well as some insight into cultural differences.
Pimsleur is available with two different monthly-subscription options.
Rocket Arabic of ArabicPod101
This is our favorite out of the paid subscription courses we tried. Find out why we liked it in our full review of ArabicPod101.
Rocket Arabic Cost
As mentioned, Rocket Arabic offers just one Level of expertise: Beginner to Intermediate. Like others in the Rocket Language family, one level costs $149.95. Rocket Languages now offers an option to pay $27 over six months instead of forking over all the money at once.
Level 1 includes the following:
- 122 hours of audio lessons
- 1979 voice-recognition phrases
- 28 language and cultural lessons
- 29 writing lessons
Use our link to get a discount on Rocket Arabic:
Rocket Arabic Review Summary
All in all, Rocket Arabic from Rocket Languages is a sound investment for beginning Egyptian Arabic speakers. Whether you strive for fluency one day or simple, casual conversations, Rocket Arabic is a comprehensive Arabic course to get you started on this journey. We cannot, however, recommend it for speakers who have already reached an intermediate level or beyond as the course is lacking in advanced learning.