Arabic Language Studies

Wooden string instruments hanging at a Moroccan Bazaar

Why Study Arabic?

  • Because the writing is so beautiful … and it is an alphabet, so it’s not nearly as hard to learn as you might think!
  • Because the language itself is so beautiful and rich.
  • Because it’s one of the few languages that has been in continuous use for over 1400 years. You can read texts from 1400 years ago with the skills you’ll learn in ARA 101!
  • Because Arabic is the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world. Arabic is the official language of over 20 countries and there are well over 300 million native speakers of the language. These speakers are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers throughout the world. It is also an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union.
  • Because Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam, so in addition to the millions of native speakers, many more learn Arabic as a foreign language for religious purposes.
  • Because there is a high demand for (and low supply of) Arabic‐speakers in the Western world. Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and many others.

Arabic Language Courses

The recommended path for those who have no prior exposure to Arabic is to begin with ARA 101/102, progress to ARA 105/105, and then select from a variety of 300-level courses. The most advanced level of Arabic, ARA 403-404 requires the instructor’s permission in order for students to enroll.  


If you have any questions about the Arabic Language Program at Princeton, please write to either:

Language Table

  • Tuesdays @ 6:00pm
  • Mathey College Dining Hall


Contact [email protected]


Arabic Placement Test FAQ

Students seeking advanced placement in Arabic should follow the procedures for online language placement testing on Canvas