How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Arabic is really not needed for day-to-day life. Nearly everyone speaks English at a good level. Post offers language classes for free. - May 2019

People told me that the Lebanese speak English, but I found this only to be true for highly educated Lebanese, and the younger generation(s). Hair stylists, taxi drivers, and some waiters will speak English. Hair cuts are cheaper here, but I've found the stylists here do NOT listen to what you want, they do what they want and what they think will look good. - Jul 2016

Arabic helps, but I was able to get by with French and English. Some of my friends who taught at the American University of Beirut got by with only English. It is easy to pick up some basic Arabic phrases to help with conversation. - Feb 2015

Sadly none. First, you will not have many opportunities to interact with locals. Secondly, most Beiruties speak 2-3 languages. Post has a language program, which offers both French and Arabic. Though space is limited, it is well worth the investment, if only to interact with the amazing instructors. - Nov 2014

Arabic or French would be helpful but not necessary. - Apr 2014

Most people speak French and English in addition to Arabic. Lebanese Arabic is helpful for taxis, small shops, and certain neighborhoods. - Jan 2014

Very little. Almost everybody speaks English or French. - Apr 2012

I think Arabic and French greatly expand one's experience in Beirut. That said, 40-75% of the Lebanese, depending on social station, speak good to better-than-native English. - Sep 2010

Most people in Beirut speak English and French in addition to Arabic. However, there is a lively press and entertainment scene in Arabic, so it is helpful to speak it. You can definitely get by with English, though. - Jul 2010

Not needed -- in areas where embassy personnel are allowed to travel everyone speaks English. - Jun 2009

Not much. Everyone speaks some English and French. - Jun 2008

It seems that most Lebanese speak Arabic, French and English. - Mar 2008

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