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  1. Thanks K-Barry! I knew there was a difference in difficulty, but those numbers make it much easier to understand just how different. Are those hours formal instruction/speaking with a native speaker? In your opinion, can the needed hours be achieved with independent study of Arabic?
  2. Hi everyone. I am new here and deciding between learning Spanish and Arabic. I wanted to get some opinions from you all who have already mastered a second language so I can make a realistic decision. The primary reason I want to learn one of these languages is to get a broader understanding of the cultures and be able to volunteer in programs to help native speakers of either language establish themselves here. There is a relatively large Spanish speaking population local to me, and I would definitely have more local Spanish speakers to converse with while learning. I also cannot afford formal instruction, and the independent study resources are far greater for Spanish than Arabic (specifically Levant). That being said, though I appreciate both cultures, I feel more connected to Arabic and there is a local refugee center that could use Arabic speakers. But the usefulness of Spanish in America is obvious as is it being the easier language to learn. Would it be unrealistic to choose Arabic then? Arabic speakers (especially Levant), do you find the language very useful in America, especially from a outreach standpoint? Would Skype conversation exchanges be able to replace the lack of a local speaker as far as Arabic goes? And is it realistic to think I could learn Arabic without formal instruction? And in what time frame? Your opinions are greatly appreciated!
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