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Picture created with Midjourney "learning Arabic language with Artificial Intelligence".

How can you use ChatGPT to learn Arabic?

Many of you may have heard of ChatGPT. There is a lot of praise for the new AI tool. So, how well does it do in Arabic? Our guest author, Lisa Schor, ran a few queries in Arabic and found interesting results.

Last updated: 4 months ago

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is rapidly advancing and changing the way we interact with the world around us. Recently, the launch of the AI-based chatbot ChatGPT has caused quite a stir on social media. It offers countless application possibilities.

In this article, I will test the possibilities of ChatGPT in detail to see how good its Arabic skills are.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is the prototype of a chatbot, i.e., a text-based dialogue system based on machine learning. GPT stands for: Generative Pre-trained Transformer. ChatGPT allows you to have human-like conversations. The AI tool can answer questions and help you with tasks like writing essays, translations, and produce or check code. Currently, people can use it for free.

What can ChatGPT do in Arabic?

To make the questions and answers easy to read, they are presented here as text.

  • If Lisa Schor (the author of this article) asks something, the paragraph has a red border.
  • If ChatGPT answers, the border is green.

To start, I wanted to know from ChatGPT how it could help me learn Arabic. Let's see what happened.

TASK: How can I use ChatGPT to learn Arabic?

Lisa Schor: How can I use ChatGPT to learn Arabic?

ChatGPT: There are a few ways that you can use ChatGPT to learn Arabic:

  1. practice: You can use ChatGPT to help you practice new vocabulary words. Simply input a word or phrase in English, and ChatGPT will provide the Arabic translation. You can also use it to get the Arabic pronunciation of a word.
  2. Grammar practice: ChatGPT can also help you with grammar practice. You can input a sentence in English and ask ChatGPT to translate it into Arabic. This can help you see how the grammar structures are used in different sentences.
  3. Writing practice: You can use ChatGPT to practice writing in Arabic by inputting a prompt or a topic in English and ask ChatGPT to write a short text in Arabic. This can help you learn how to construct sentences and paragraphs in Arabic, and get feedback on your writing.
  4. Translation: ChatGPT is also useful as a translation tool, you can use it to translate text from English to Arabic or vice versa.
  5. Reading and Listening practice: You can use ChatGPT to practice your reading and listening skills by asking it to read a text in Arabic or have a conversation in Arabic.

It's important to remember that ChatGPT is a language model and its main goal is to generate text based on the input it receives. Therefore, it's important to validate the output it produces and use it as a support tool rather than a definitive source. It's also recommended to use it in combination with other resources and study materials to have a more comprehensive learning experience.

That sounds interesting. So, let's see if ChatGPT's promises hold up.

Testing ChatGPT's Arabic skills

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to understand natural language and generate text based on the input it receives. This makes it a valuable tool for language learners as it can provide real-time feedback and corrections and even simulate real-life conversations.

I put ChatGPTs Arabic skills to the test to see if it can assist with a variety of language learning tasks such as vocabulary, grammar, writing, translation, and reading practice.

TASK: ChatGPT, can you speak Arabic dialects?

First, I wanted to know what I was dealing with, so I straight up asked ChatGPT if it's able to speak Arabic dialects.

Lisa Schor: Can you speak Arabic dialects?

ChatGPT: Yes, I can speak Arabic dialects, but my training data primarily includes Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and some dialects, such as Egyptian and Levantine. However, my understanding and fluency in Arabic dialects may not be as strong as it is for MSA. Additionally, my knowledge cut off is 2021, so my understanding of recent developments might be limited.

Alright, sounds interesting. So let's see if I can have a chat in MSA.

TASK: A chat in Modern Standard Arabic

I told ChatGPT that I am looking for a flat and asked it to act as a real estate agent.

I think it worked out pretty fine:

Lisa Schor: I want to train my MSA skills. Can you have a dialogue with me in Arabic? Let's say I want to rent a flat. You are an estate agent.


مرحباً، كيف يمكنني مساعدتك؟

Lisa Schor:

مرحباً أنا أبحث عن شقة كبيرة للإيجار


مرحباً، كيف يمكنني مساعدتك؟ هل تبحث عن شقة كبيرة للإيجار؟

Lisa Schor:

نعم. هل عندكم شقق مفروشة؟


نعم، لدينا من الشقق المفروشة الجديدة يمكن أن تهتم بها. هل هناك معايير معينة للشقة التي تبحث عنها؟ مثل المنطقة، الحجم، السعر؟

Lisa Schor:

أرغب شقة في وسط المدية. أحتاج إلى 100 متر مربع على الأقل


نعم، لدينا عدة شقق في وسط المدينة التي تلبي هذه المتطلبات الخاصة بك. هل ترغب في زيارة الشقة الأولى الآن؟

Lisa Schor:

كم الإيجار؟


نعم، لدينا عدة شقق في وسط المدينة التي تطابق متطلباتك. الإيجار الشهري للشقة التي تبحث عنها هو 2000 دولار أمريكي تقريباً. هل هذا هو الميزانية التي كنت تتوقع؟

That was really not bad!

TASK: A chat in Levantine Arabic

How good would the result be if we ask ChatGPT to use Arabic dialects? I wanted to find out about that.

Lisa Schor: Thank you, now let's switch to Levantine Arabic. You work in a sneaker shop and I'm your customer. Please only answer in Levantine Arabic and react to my responses.


نعم مرحباً، كيف استطيع مساعدتك؟

Lisa Schor:

أهلين! بدي كندرة


أهلاً! كيف نودع الخدمة؟ هل تريد كندرة معينة؟

Lisa Schor: You're speaking fusha. Can you switch to the levantine dialect please?


أهلاً، كيف بك؟ كندرة كويس، هل تبين لي الماركة اللي تبيها؟

Lisa Schor:

الماركة مو مهمة. لازمني كندرة تلبق لروب سهرة سماوي


حسناً، نعم يوجد لدينا كندرة في الطرازات المختلفة، هل هناك طراز معين تحتاجه؟

Unfortunately, having a dialogue in a dialect didn't work out quite as well. Although ChatGPT can give an answer using a dialect, it had to be reminded about that constantly and kept switching back to Standard Arabic (الفصحى).

So, I guess let's stick to MSA then.

TASK: Can ChatGPT explain Arabic grammar?

Next, I wanted to see if ChatGPT can explain grammar phenomena in general and how it reacts to specific questions. I picked a random grammar topic and asked about it. I'm not very happy with the outcome though:

Lisa Schor: How do I form the imperative of Arabic verbs?

ChatGPT: In Arabic, the imperative is formed by taking the second person singular masculine form of the verb. To form the imperative from a regular verb, the last two letters are removed from the verb's infinitive form and then the appropriate second person pronoun is added. For example, the imperative of the verb “to write” (كتب) is “write” (اكتب)

Additionally, there are different forms of imperative for the different persons (2nd person masculine singular, 2nd person feminine singular, 2nd person masculine plural, 2nd person feminine plural) and the imperative can be formed differently based on the verb's . It's recommended to consult a teacher or a specialized book to master the imperative forms.

The explanation of how to form the imperative doesn't even make sense. To form the imperative, you're not supposed to remove the last two letters. Instead, you typically add a همزة وصل to the beginning when we have a regular verb. That the imperative typically ends in a sukuun (سكون) isn't even mentioned.

Lisa Schor: Why do I have to drop the ن in مُدرّسو جامعة when forming a genitive construction?

ChatGPT: In Arabic, when forming the genitive construction, the final ن in the noun is dropped and the pronoun ال (al) is added before it. This is the case for the noun “madrasa” (university) as well. This is a general rule in Arabic grammar and applies to most nouns in Arabic language. The genitive construction is used to indicate possession, origin, or relation.

I wasn't happy with the answer to my specific grammar question either. ChatGPT's response seems to me like it has no idea. It's also pretty confusing.

Alright, let's keep our hopes up for the vocabulary practice. Is ChatGPT better than a usual dictionary? Does it know Arabic ? I tested that for you.

TASK: Can ChatGPT translate Arabic words and phrases?

Let's start with a simple translation.

Lisa Schor: How do you say “I love you” in Arabic. Give a detailed answer please.

ChatGPT: “I love you” can be translated to “أنا أحبك” (anaa ‘ahbak) in Arabic. However, it's worth noting that the way of expressing love in Arabic can vary depending on the context and the relationship between the speakers. In formal or polite situations, for example, expressing love can be done in a more subtle way, such as saying “أعطيت قلبي لك” (a'tait qalbi lak) which literally means “I gave you my heart.”

Another way of expressing love in Arabic is to use the word “حب” (hub) which means “love” and can be used in various phrases and idioms such as “أحبك جدا” (ahabak jiddan) which means “I love you very much” or “أحب لك” (ahab lak) which means “I love for you” (I love you with a deeper sense) It's also important to note that there are different dialects in Arabic and the ways of expressing love may vary from one dialect to another.

It seems like ChatGPT has some issues with the transliteration of words.

Let's dig deeper.

Lisa Schor: Can you tell me about more ways to express love in Arabic?

ChatGPT: Sure! In Arabic, there are several ways to express love depending on the context and the level of formality. Here are a few examples:

  1. “أحبك” (ahbak) is a casual way to say “I love you.”
  2. “أحبك جدًا” (ahbak jidan) is a more intense way to say “I love you very much.”
  3. “أنا في الحب معك” (ana fi al-hub ma'ak) is a way to say “I am in love with you.”
  4. “أعشقك” (a'shiqak) means “I am passionate about you” or “I am in love with you.”
  5. “أشعر بالحب لك” (ash'ar bil-hub lak) means “I feel love for you.”

Note that some of these expressions are more formal than others, and the way that you express your love in Arabic will depend on the context, the level of familiarity, and the person you are speaking to.

I really like the different options that ChatGPT is offering me and that it explained the contexts in which I can use them. It even reminds me that you would express yourself differently when using a dialect. While the Arabic expressions are correct, the transliterations could certainly be better (“ahbak” is just wrong!) and ChatGPT doesn't take into account that the pronunciation depends on the gender of your conversation partner.

TASK: Does ChatGPT know Arabic proverbs?

Regarding Arabic proverbs, it seems to me that it just translated English proverbs into Arabic, rather than citing original Arabic proverbs:

Lisa Schor: Do you know Arabic proverbs about love?

ChatGPT: Yes, there are many Arabic proverbs about love. Some examples include:

  1. “حبّ الشخص الصحيح يجعل الحياة جميلة” which translates to “Loving the right person makes life beautiful.”
  2. “الحب يزداد بالتعرف” which translates to “Love increases with familiarity.”
  3. “حب الشخص الذي لا يحبك هو الصعب، ولكن حب الشخص الذي يحبك هو الصعب أكثر” which translates to “Loving someone who doesn't love you is hard, but loving someone who loves you is even harder.”
  4. “الحب لا يعرف الحدود” which translates to “Love knows no boundaries.”
  5. “الحب يجعل الشخص يشعر بالشعور الجميل، ولكن يجعله يعاني أيضاً” which translates to “Love makes a person feel good, but it also makes them suffer.”

TASK: ChatGPT should write a short story in Arabic

How can ChatGPT assist us with reading practice? Well, it can generate texts in different levels of difficulty.

I asked it to write a short story in Arabic about a girl who travels to Jordan to learn Arabic. Despite some minor linguistic errors, I really liked the outcome. I could now go on and work with that text, let it translate or summarize the text, explain the vocabulary and so on …

Lisa Schor: Please write an Arabic short story about a young girl traveling to Jordan to learn Arabic.


كانت يوما ما في الصيف، كانت فتاة شابة في الثلاثين من العمر يدعى إيمان. كانت تعيش في الولايات المتحدة وكانت مهتمة بلغة العربية، فكانت تدرسها منذ طفولتها. كانت تشعر بأنها لا تدرك اللغة بشكل كامل إلا بالتجربة الحقيقية، فقررت أن تذهب إلى الأردن لتتعلم اللغة من الشعب الذي يتحدثها في الحياة اليومية. ذهبت إيمان إلى الأردن، وجدت الشعب الذي كانت تتوقعه جدا. كان الشعب يتحدث اللغة العربية بشكل طبيعي، وكانت إيمان قادرة على التحدث معهم والدردشة معهم، كما تعلمت اللغة العربية بشكل أكثر جيدا. زارت إيمان العديد من الأماكن في الأردن، مثل المدن والقرى، وكانت تتحدث اللغة العربية مع الشعب المحليين. كانت تشاهد الطقس الجميل والطبيعة الخلابة، وتشارك في الأنشطة التي يقوم بها الشعب المحلي، مثل الطبخ والرقص. كانت الشهرة الثانية التي كانت فيها إيمان في الأردن كانت ممتعة جدا، …

Note: This is just an excerpt of ChatGPT's answer.

TASK: ChatGPT should summarize an Arabic text

Lisa Schor:

رافيا أرشد البالغة من العمر أربعين عاما أصبحت أول قاضية محجّبة في بريطانيا، وستعمل نائبة قاض في دائرة ميدلاندس. وصفت تعيينها في هذا الموقع بأنه اختراق للصورة النمطية لدى الكثيرين عن القضاة في بريطانيا واعتبرته أمرا ذا أهمية خاصة بالنسبة لجميع النساء لا للمسلمات فقط. تلقّت رافيا أرشد تدريبها في لندن ثم انضمّت إلى غُرف قانون الأسرة في سانت ماري عام 2004 وعملت منذئذٍ في مختلف قضايا الشريعة الإسلامية وقضايا شؤون الأسرة بصفة عامة، وبينها حقوق الإنسان وقضايا الزواج القسري. تحدّثت أرشد لصحيفة الإندبندنت عن تسلّمها رسائل ترحيب من جهات مختلفة مشيرة إلى رسائل وردتها من نساء محجّبات أعربن فيها عن سرورهن بتوليها هذا الموقع في القضاء. لكنها قالت إنها ما زالت تواجه التمييز. رافيا أرشد المحامية والرائدة في قانون الأسرة الإسلامي والتي أصبحت نائبة قاضي

دائرة ميدلاندس، تقول إنها تحمل هموم دعم التنوُّع في مهنة القضاء، خاصة أن جهودها خلال السنوات الماضية وإلهام كثير من الأقليات الأخرى كانت محلّ إشادة

Can you please sum this text up for me? In Arabic and English, using easy words as I am a language learning beginner.


رافيا أرشد هي القاضية الأولى المحجبة في بريطانيا، وستعمل كنائبة قاضية في مدينة ميدلاندس. في الصحيفة الإندبندنت قالت أنها تلقت رسائل ترحيب من العديد من النساء المحجبات، ولكنها لا تزال تواجه التمييز

In English: Rafiya Arshad is the first veiled judge in Britain, and will be working as a deputy judge in the city of Medland. In the newspaper, she said she has received welcoming messages from many veiled women, but she still faces discrimination.

This could be a very helpful tool in the future, definitely a step in the right direction.

What's better: ChatGPT or Google Translate?

Decent translators have been around for quite a while now, so I wanted to compare ChatGPT's translation to Google Translate and see if I can find any differences.

Example Google Translate English - Arabic
Example Google Translate English – Arabic

Result Google Translate:

تتقدم تقنية الذكاء الاصطناعي بسرعة وتغير طريقة تفاعلنا مع العالم من حولنا. في الآونة الأخيرة ، أثار إطلاق — المستند إلى الذكاء الاصطناعي ضجة كبيرة على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي.

Now, let's ask ChatGPT.

Lisa Schor: Can you please translate this text into Arabic? “Artificial Intelligence technology is rapidly advancing and changing the way we interact with the world around us. Recently, the launch of the AI-based chatbot ChatGPT has caused quite a stir on social media.”


تقدم تكنولوجيا الذكاء الصنعي بسرعة وتغير الطريقة التي نتفاعل مع العالم حولنا. في الآونة الأخيرة، قد قادت نطاقة الدردشة الذاتية الذكية ChatGPT الكثير من الشعوب على الإجتماعية الإعلامية.

I would say Google Translate did a better job here, as ChatGPT messed up when integrating Latin letters into the text.

Twitter Thread by Nesrin Amin author of the amazing bilmasry podcast

TASK: Correct mistakes in an Arabic text

Finally, I wanted to see if ChatGPT was able to correct mistakes in self-written texts, so I presented a text that contains several errors (Are you able to spot them all? 😉 – check below):

Lisa Schor: I'm learning Arabic and I wrote this text. Can you please check for mistakes (grammar, misspellings, …)?

أسامه العزيز,

كيف حالك؟ كيف كانت امتحانك؟ أنا تكتب لك لأخكي أنني أفتقدك كثيرا

سلام حار من ألمانية

ChatGPT: Here are the corrected mistakes in your text:

أسامة العزيز كيف حالك؟ كيف كان امتحانك؟ أنا أكتب لك لأخبرك أنني أفتقدك كثيرًا سلام حار ألماني.

Lisa Schor: Can you explain what mistakes I made?

ChatGPT: Sure, here's a breakdown of the mistakes in your text:

  1. The name should be written as “أسامة العزيز” (capitalization of the first letter of a name is not common in Arabic).
  2. In the first sentence, “كيف حالك؟” the word “حالك” should be “حالك؟” (the final question mark is missing).
  3. In the second sentence, “كيف كان امتحانك؟” the word “كان” should be “كان امتحانك؟” (the final question mark is missing).
  4. In the third sentence, “أنا تكتب لك لأخكي أنني أفتقدك كثيرا” the verb “تكتب” should be “أكتب” (first person singular form) and the words “لأخكي أنني أفتقدك” should be “لأخبرك أنني أفتقدك” (to inform you instead of to tell my brother).
  5. In the final sentence, “سلام حار من ألمانية” the word “حار” should be “ألماني” (the correct spelling for German).

This is the correct version of the text:

أسامة العزيز,
كيف حالك؟ كيف كان امتحانك؟ أكتب لك لأحكي أنني أفتقدك كثيرا
سلام حار من ألمانيا

Again, I was not pleased with the outcome. Although it corrected almost every mistake (I didn't intend to send “warm German greetings” but “warm greetings from Germany”), only the fourth explanation for the mistakes is correct. The rest doesn't make sense to me at all.

Let's not forget that ChatGPT is a language model that uses patterns in the data it was trained on to generate responses. It was trained on all sorts of text from the internet, such as Wikipedia, blog posts, books, and academic articles. Although it produces impressive answers most of the time, when it comes to Arabic grammar it is mostly inaccurate. Its probably doesn't include lots of grammar books.


ChatGPT offers countless possibilities to support your Arabic studies. However, I can only recommend using it for vocabulary issues, practicing dialogues and reading practice.

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1 month ago

what model did you use, it was gpt-4 o gpt-3.5?

Last edited 1 month ago by Ruben
Gerald Drißner
1 month ago
Reply to  Ruben

Looking at the time the author wrote the article, I guess it was gpt 3.5.

1 month ago

you should really stop overusing the “ana” everywhere.

Walid Hamdy
Walid Hamdy
2 months ago

It will be quite interesting to see how Arabic support evolves in large language models like ChatGPT given the diglossia situation we have in Arabic (MSA and colloquial). Chat by nature is colloquial, whereas much (most?) of the Arabic content on the internet is MSA since it is written.

1 month ago
Reply to  Walid Hamdy

i would rather see the issue that chatGPT doesn’t know how to differentiate between dialects, since some arabic texts may be in dialects

Last edited 1 month ago by someone
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