App Title: Arabic with Taha and Maryam
Available: iPhone, IPad, iPod touch (requires iOS 5.1 or later), and on Google Play for Android phones and tablets. Size 18.8 MB. Reviewed on Android.
Recommended age: 3+
Introductory price: $1.99
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Finding High-Quality Arabic and Islamic apps is extremely difficult
When the sister-team first contacted us, my girls and I were very skeptical since we’ve been contact by numerous Islamic and Arabic app developers over the years. Unfortunately, we’ve found that development typically stops for numerous reasons, such as poor-development of the app, poor market research and there’s no market interest, or the app is actually good but too expensive to maintain as the demand can’t sustain it.
As a result, my extended family and I have been sorrily disappointed WAY too many times. So many times, in fact, that I’ve had to write the developers back and share that my review would not be favorable and best if I declined to publish my views publicly.
I know there are reviewers you like to bash product and service providers, but that’s not me. However, as a lifelong entrepreneur, I’d appreciate thoughtful, private critiques shared instead of public bashing–business start ups succeed because of one’s failures and lessons learned. Of course, if anyone asks for my honest opinion I’d share.
I value you, my life-long reader, too much! I don’t take the responsibility and obligation lightly either.
So, the first thing we did was check out their sites and their video, all links above. I replied very favorably to the sisters and congratulating them on releasing such a robust first app. My girls and I were very impressed by the depth of thought put into the development of this app, and its high-quality.
Arabic with Taha and Maryam game app video demo
Enjoying this Arabic-learning app
Keep in mind, my girls are extremely strong in Arabic: bordering or fully fluent and bilingual. They don’t have English accents, and recognized as native speakers if one only talks to them. They are equal or more advanced in reading, comprehension, and writing to their native-speaking peers in fusha Arabic, and only fall short in local dialects. They are skilled in numerous Arabic dialects of various countries, such as Palestinian, Egyptian, Saudi, Syrian, and Lebanese; and can communicate with any Arab even if he/she doesn’t know English.
After fajr (dawn prayer), JuJu (13yo) and I played a quick 5-10 minute game.
We selected our characters from the 4 adorable characters illustrated above. Wrote our names, and picked our levels. I obviously choose the easiest and she choose the hardest of 3 levels.
We were giddy, like kids, or silly older people as if we’d have kids to play with and compete. We were immediately wide awake from all the fun!
We concluded the game with 6-7 coins each (I purposefully got one wrong to see what would happen). We laughed as we journeyed through the path in the park, ooo’ed when we were able to move ahead some spaces (like going up a ladder in Chutes & Ladders), and ohh’ed when someone was sent back spaces (like sliding the chutes of Chutes & Ladders). We loved all the unique sounds and enjoyable extras.
At the end, we checked out the Parent progress board and saw which letters we mastered and where we left off.
Mid-day I promised the girls an ice-cream and show-break, but we had to play a game with all 4 players. The girls selected the remaining two adorable characters.
Unlike, the quick fun game; this game ended up being a long 20+ minute game that dragged on a bit. We loved experiencing new things in the park, and 10 maybe even 15 minutes may be acceptable, but over 20? GiGi and JoJo ran to their ice cream, and I even had JuJu spin my last few rounds.
It had nothing to do with learning the letters. It was due to the multiple times each one of us fell on the same space which caused each of us to go back multiple times. My recommendation would be to program to have less chance of this happening, and definitely not to do it multiple times to the same person over and over again. The object should focus on the fun, speed and interaction of learning the Arabic alphabet–not wondering if anyone will ever make it to the end of the game.
More specifically, because our first game was short, sweet, and fun; JuJu and I were eager to return for another game to check more letters off our progress card. However, that was not the case for GiGi and JoJo. They explained, that their younger non-Muslim, Muslim, Arabs and non-Arabs cousins and friends most likely wouldn’t want to play such a long game either. This programming is very easy, so this does not affect our overwhelming happiness with this app.
By FAR the BEST Arabic kids app we (all 4 of us) have ever downloaded! I WILL be keeping it on the phone, simply since it’s a great talking/intro piece for all our family and friends, Muslim and non-Muslim. My girls want to stress that this is a huge compliment, because I’m extremely selective of my app-space. I like having it as clean as possible–only usable apps, and we clean out nearly every other day.
I can picture myself playing with kids at the masjid, making an effort to play with my extended non-Muslim family and friends, especially the ones interested in learning Arabic. And, I know I’d have a ball playing with our Arab Muslim family too, because it’s that much fun!
I pray that Allah rewards the sister-team of Arrabee for their efforts, and this is obviously NOT a “cheap, quickie app” just trying to “cash in” on the Learn-Arabic market. Much time, effort, and care was put into the design and development of this app.
App Recommendations and Issues to be aware:
- Program so players don’t fall on the same “send-back” space multiple times to assure a shorter time for every player to reach the end of the game
- For picky Arabs, yes it’s obviously the speaker is Indian/Pakistani so expect an accent. However, her pronunciation of the Arabic letters are correct.
- Level 3, the highest level, you will need a parent or someone who knows their Arabic letters (or learned it through this app) to “correct” the players’ recognition of the Arabic letters presented. The first level, players are “taught” the sight and pronunciation of the letter. Second level, the player is practicing by selecting the correct letter. Third level, the letter is presented, and the player must tell someone which letter it is, and that person marks if the player was correct or not. Parents must be aware of this upfront, because you wouldn’t want players self-correcting another player, for they may select “wrong” when he/she is right.
- Available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (requires iOS 5.1 or later) and on Google Play for Android phones and tablets. Size 18.8 MB. We’ve found that it gets bigger with more data collected from previous games.
Unique App Features:
- No other app uses a board game to teach the Arabic alphabet – definitely a great interactive feature!
- Up to four children of different ages can play at one time – rarely do you find this
- 3 levels make the learning process simple and easy
- Learning is at the pace of each individual child
- Artificial intelligence (really just good programming) is used so new letters are only added when your child has learnt the preceding letters
- Letters are taught in a specially designed order taking into account – fantastic!
- Normal speech-sound development
- Visual features of individual letters
- Flashcards with audio allow the look and sound of letters to be learned
- Progress page graphically shows show well your child is doing – great!
- Progress for up to 30 children can be saved – enough for an entire classroom!
- Safe environment with no advertising, in-app purchases or collection of personal information
- Moms With Apps member and COPPA compliant – not sure of this acronym…but, obviously looks official 😉
- NO advertisements in our apps.
- NO connection to social media networks unless behind a “for parents” button.
- NO location data can be tracked from the app
- NO web hyperlinks to the internet from within the app
- NO in app purchases
The Arrabee Story
In the founder, Femida’s words
I struggled to find good Arabic apps for my children(2 and 4 years old) so I thought I’d put my experience in Speech and Language therapy into use and make one myself. My sister and I wanted to make a high quality app that we would be happy to buy for our own children, so we hope you’ll like it too.
Femida lives in Southern California, and her sister, Farzana–a family doctor–lives in London. They’ve been working hard for many months to develop this app. As health professionals, they are aware that Internet marketing, business startup, and publicity are not their specialties. So, they eagerly appreciate any feedback and assistance in spreading the word. They have both been incredibly dear to work with–nothing but gracious and kind, mashaAllah God has willed. And, I pray you’ll help the sisters get this app onto every device possible.
5 iPhone Promo Codes to Giveaway
To help spread the word, we’d like to give away 5 iPhone Promo Codes!
Deadline date: Wednesday, June 11 at 11:59pm PST.
Entries: In the comments below, please share WHY you think your family with benefit from this app. For example, share your kids’ ages, level of Arabic, etc..
* Entries must be 18 years of age.
Winner Selection: The top most creative, fun, inspirational, funny or truly painful comment will win. Your dedication to spreading the world about this Review and Giveaway will also help us in selecting the seriousness of the entrant to win this product.
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I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! I truly love this app!I think at the very least, every Muslim and every Arabic as a Second Language student (no matter what his/her age) should have this app!