Where to learn a new language in Doha

Enjoy Qatar's diverse cultural landscape by getting involved Comments

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The time is ripe this New Year to head out into Qatar’s diverse cultural landscape and cross ‘learning a new language’ off your bucket list.

With a population of over 1.5 million, Qatar is home to myriad different spoken languages. The official language is Arabic, business is conducted in English, but you’ll find plenty others in between. Basic English and the odd shukran here and there might work in some situations but adding another language to your repertoire is a good move so you can better integrate into this diverse culture.

Korean @ Sarang Plus
If you want to join the other 78 million people worldwide who speak Korean then head to Sarang Plus, a newly opened Korean cultural centre. Starting the first week of January, Korean language classes are every Monday and Thursday, 5.30pm-7pm, for beginners, and every Sunday and Wednesday, 6pm-7.30pm, for intermediates, for a monthly fee of QR500.
Sarang Plus, West Bay (3385 9974).

French @ Institut Français
Even if the only words you can muster are bonjour and merci, the Institut Français has a variety of courses and workshops suited to all abilities. With group classes, examinations, private tuition and courses for young people, you’ll be ready to book a trip to Paris before you know it.

Starting in January, courses are on Saturdays (10am-1pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm) and Thursdays (5pm-8pm), all lasting 12 weeks at QR2,500, or Mondays to Wednesdays (6.40pm-8.40pm) lasting 12 weeks at QR3,000. If you’re in a rush to learn, however, you can try four sessions a week for five weeks from Sunday to Wednesday (6pm-8.30pm) for QR3,000.
Institut Francais, Al Inshirah Street, West Bay Lagoon (4493 0862).

English @ British Council
There is no excuse these days not to speak at least some version of the Queen’s English, with the British Council’s range of courses, suitable for complete beginners to advanced students. This global institute will improve your English skills in seven stages, from foundation to advanced level. You can opt to dedicate just 30 hours spread over 10 weeks, to improve speaking, listening, reading and writing, or if you’re time conscious and in a hurry, there’s an intensive course over five weeks through the summer. All general English courses cost QR2,300 and the obligatory placement test costs QR50.
British Council, Al Sadd St (4425 1888).

Spanish @ Translating and Interpreting Institute
How satisfying would it be to be able to order patatas bravas in a smooth Spanish accent? Now, with classes at the Translating and Interpreting Institute at Qatar Foundation, you can. The course, in partnership with the Centro de Lenguas Modernas at the University of Granada, immerses students fully into Spanish culture. After the beginner course you will be able to describe your personality, count to 100 and ask basic questions. The 2014 semester starts at the end of January with two sessions per week from 5.30pm-7.30pm. The institute also offers Arabic and French courses.
Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation (4454 2507).

Japanese @ Japanese Language Teachers Association in Qatar
The love of the zany Japanese culture is widely spread but it hasn’t quite grabbed a firm hold of Qatar (yet). Strictly speaking, the Japanese Language Teachers Association isn’t a school but a group of teachers, looking to spread Japanese education throughout Qatar. They offer help finding a suitable teacher or class that will meet your needs, times and skill level. They also host meetings and events for other tutors and anyone who’s interested in practicing their language in a friendly group.
Visit www.jaltaq.weebly.com or email jaltaq@gmail.com.

A range of tongues @ Berlitz
Everything at Berlitz is bespoke, including teaching methods. Meet with a manager, learn about the course structures and choose from over ten languages, including Russian, English, Arabic, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Portuguese and Farsi. A beginner will have two sessions per week and each level takes around three months to complete and costs approximately QR3,500 per level. Enrolments are all year round, but depend on public interest and intake numbers.
Berlitz Language Centre, E Ring Road (4455 0506).

By Thomas Spink
Time Out Doha,

User reviews:

Posted by: Mounir Ouanaimi on 22 Feb ' 14 at 17:52

I represent the Language Center at the Translation and Interpreting Institute. Thank you Time Out for this interesting listing and for featuring us. I wish to make the following comments.
- Spanish immersion is a summer only program running in May and June
- In addition to Spanish, TII also offers Arabic to Speakers of other languages and French with English and Mandarin Chinese Programs to follow in September 2014.

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