I started studying Arabic via Pimsleur (in my car). I’ve used Pimsleur before, and love the passive and easy way of learning. I’ve studied several romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French) and some of them are very similar. If you know Spanish or Portuguese, you can pretty much understand the other language, to a lesser degree between Spanish and French.
I was hoping that Arabic might be more similar to Hebrew than I’ve found. So far, I’m only only Lesson 10 of 30. The similarities I see are a lot of the “ach” – “ech” prefixes for “you”. A short guttural sound “LA” means no, similar to “LO” in Hebrew; but they also have the words “MO” and “MU” for no and not.
Some of the numbers are similar. May Arabic pronunication is still horrible – but ARBA for four, sounds about the same. Five is “CHUMSEI” instead of “CHUMASH”, nine is “TMINAH” instead of “SHMONEH”, and seven is “SABA” instead of “SHEVA”. So I see simlar patterns there, with sometimes just vowel substitutions, or an occasional consonant change. But the other numbers can be quite different.
Verbs seem to also have a three character consonant roof. BAREF = I understand, TARFI – you understand (feminine), and TAREF – you understand masculine.
I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.