Summer school - Arabic dialects and Kurdish



Inalco, the university of world languages, has a two-century experience in teaching more than a hundred languages as well as social sciences. Ever since, the Institute has cultivated its role in understanding a living heritage including from non-Western perspectives. Inalco promotes the discovery of the world as it is, in all its wealth and diversity, with a desire to become immersed in another way of thinking. Through the quality of our courses and research, we strive to disseminate the knowledge and skills essential for people to understand and engage meaningfully with each other, culturally and socially as well as professionally.
Inalco is the only institution which teaches 10 Arabic dialects and the two major Kurdish languages of Kurdish as extensive curricula and has developed a strong and efficient pedagogy.


Because not all students learn the same way nor all have the same needs, Inalco has imagined a flexible yet intensive teaching program based on a communicative approach where learners divided into small groups (up to 10 participants max per group) are given every opportunity to practice Arabic or Kurdish. Interactive activities such as commenting on movies, debating, delving into Arabic poetry, and analysing folklore and songs represent an invaluable way for assimilating both grammatical and cultural notions that otherwise could remain abstract.
Whether you are a beginner or already an advanced learner, you will get an amazing opportunity to practice speaking Arabic or Kurdish for 6 weeks, which will help you build confidence and competence.


Our professors have a long teaching experience at Inalco. Caring and creative, they can adapt their approach to individual needs. Many of our professors are natives speakers of the language they teach. The others have an expert knowledge of it and have lived in Arabic speaking countries or Kurdistan. Having themselves had to learn foreign languages, they know how challenging the process can be and are therefore well equipped to joyfully guide you through this adventure.


Arabic dialects:  If you are planning to live or to do research in an Arabic country, if you want to grasp what people are saying and to make yourself understood, you need to speak the national or the local dialect.

After this six-weeks intensive program, whether you have learnt or not Standard Arabic, you will be able to reach the following goals:
  • If you are an absolute beginner and had no previous exposure to any spoken variety, this course will provide you with foundational skills that will enable you to engage in a basic conversation with native speakers and most importantly put you on the track of becoming an autonomous learner and successfully go on with your acquisition
  • If you are already acquainted with Arabic, whatever your level, you can expect to improve significantly not only your linguistic skills but also the pragmatics of the language (what to say to whom at the right time).
Kurdish: About 40 million Kurds live in the Middle East in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The Kurdish diaspora has a strong presence in France and Europe (approximately 1.5 million people). Kurdish cause has been a central issue throughout the 20th century in the Middle East. Along the recent developments in Iraq and Syria, the Kurdish studies have flourished in the last decade.
Inalco is the only university in France and Europe which teaches Kurdish as full-fledged BA and Master programs. Apart from the autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq, Kurdish is not taught in the Middle East.
 Each level will focus on comprehension and speaking skills, using repetition as well as interactions, along with grammatical explanations.
  • For beginners, the objectives are to become efficient in basic ordinary interactions: meeting someone, buying something, expressing basic needs (to eat, drink…), travelling and asking for your way.
  • For intermediate learners, the aim is to be able to reach a level which allows you to describe something or someone, to give your opinion and arguments.


Paris and Inalco offer many academic and cultural opportunities, which will allow you to discover or to strengthen your knowledge about the Arabic and the Kurdish worlds.
* Conferences will be organized according to the interests of the participants. Specialists of the Middle East will address among others the following subjects:
- Analyzing political change in Algeria: achievements and prospects of the Hirak
- Archives in France about the Maghreb
- States and Minorities in the Middle East
- The Kurdish question
- Inter-dialect Arabic
* Cultural activities
- Arab choral led by Syrian refugees
- North African dances
- Guided tours in popular area of Paris like Goutte d’Or, Barbès, Belleville.
- Visits to cultural institutions like Mosquée de Paris, Institut du monde arabe, Institut des cultures d’islam or the Centre culturel kurde will be organized.


Our professors and staff do their best to make your stay enjoyable. If you need help in finding accommodation, let us know as soon as possible!