Abrid 1

Abrid 1 is a five-week course covering greetings, pronunciation, everyday phrases, as well as writing. For reasons explained below, Abrid teaches Tamazight using Arabic script. After finishing Abrid 1 you will be able to read and write Arabic letters without serious difficulty, answer most of the numerous greetings, tell people about yourself, and do shopping in Tamazight.
Abrid means "road," "path," or "way". We are sure that our way of teaching Tamazight will help you successfully speak this language and put you on the path to a deeper understanding of Berber culture.

Details

Abrid teaches Tamazight using Arabic script; thus, if you don't already know the script, you will begin with Arabic script lessons. We have a special booklet designed to teach the script by using Tamazight words.
There are 2 textbooks for the Abrid 1 course: a Student Book, covering all the material for each lesson, and a Workbook, filled with interesting review exercises and supplementary dialogues, texts, and proverbs that go with each lesson. Nowhere else can you find this type of helpful review material for Tamazight. And every word of the Student Book and the Workbook are on CD's with over 6 hours of listening material.

Goal

  • At the end of Abrid 1, the serious student will have a solid foundation in Tamazight which can be expanded just by talking to others.
  • The Tamazight verb has 4 principle parts (which Abrid calls the 4 pillars of the Tamazight verb). When you complete Abrid 1 you will know 3 of the 4 pillars, and you will also know the only 2 verb conjugation patterns that Tamazight has.
  • The Tamazight noun has 2 forms. When you complete Abrid 1 you will know both forms and when to use them.

Time Frame

Because you must work harder to find language helpers and opportunities to practice Tamazight in the city, the recommended rate of study is at most 1 new lesson a day. Thus, since Abrid 1 has 25 lessons, it is best to take 5 weeks to complete Abrid 1. Many students find it helpful to add additional sessions several times a week in order to practice and drill the items learned in each lesson and to engage in extra conversation.

Why do we use Arabic script?

So why do we use Arabic script to write Tamazight? The main reason is that it best facilitates communication. Our choice of script is based on our philosophy and goal of language learning: the purpose is communication (as opposed to academic research, historical, political, religious, or identity issues).
In one sense, communication is usually done orally in Tamazight, so the script doesn't matter. But most of us taking language classes are used to learning in a way that includes reading and writing. Thus, we have our class materials with dialogues, texts, vocabulary lists, etc.
Now anyone who is literate in Morocco is literate in Arabic script. Literacy rates for Latin script are far lower, and those who really know Tifinagh are even fewer. Thus, using Arabic script best enables you to communicate in Tamazight in a written way with other Imazighen and allows you to easily find and use a language helper who can read what is written in your lessons.
In addition, if you are in Morocco for any period of time, you can't help but interact with the Arabic script. Even if the first language you are learning is Tamazight, it is almost guaranteed that you will end up at some point wanting to learn some Moroccan Arabic as well. Thus, the investment you put into the Arabic alphabet now will pay off a thousand fold in the future.
And it's not that hard. With some work you will be able to easily write and recognize words. Hundreds of foreigners have done it before you. And the Arabic letters match the Tamazight sounds extremely well. You will find that using Arabic letters is far superior to all the various dashes and dots that you must add to Latin letters to represent strange sounds.