You’ve all heard it said, “practice makes perfect.” But let’s be honest – perfection is a really hard goal to hold as a non-native Arabic speaker hoping to achieve fluency. After nearly 14 years in Jordan, I can testify that perfection is nothing I am close to. I still make mistakes. In fact, Arabs themselves occasionally speak in grammatically incorrect ways. Everyone does from time to time in their own tongue.

However, what we use often, we get good at saying. What Arabic sentences or phrases have you practiced this week?

Forget perfection. Let’s change our saying to practice makes progress. Going further, engaging in consistent, repetitive practice in spoken Levantine Arabic is what makes you progress.

You don’t see it every day, but if you are actively pursuing learning Levantine Arabic, you are growing. Pick a few sentences each week that you can master saying. This will help you feel some sense of perfection. Keep in mind, perfection is not a reasonable goal. Relational, conversational progress is.