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The first thing a traveler will learn about Lebanon is that many Lebanese hold a dual citizenship to another country. The rumor is that there are three times as many Lebanese living outside of Lebanon as there are living within the borders of Lebanon. So, using the widely known languages of French and English will get you by easily as you travel throughout Beirut.
In Lebanon, the French language is considered to be a language of "class," so many students choose to study French during their studies. The American University of Beirut is the largest university in Lebanon and it requires its students to have a strong knowledge of English, and even to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language before being admitted to studies.
If you would like to try and learn Arabic before heading to Beirut, the Lebanese will surely enjoy your attempts. They are honored by foreigners learning their language, and are glad to lend a helping hand if you stall mid-sentence. It is important to know that many textbooks that teach Arabic either teach the Egyptian or Standard form of Arabic. The Egyptian form is recognized in Lebanon as a spoken dialect of Arabic, but the Standard form is mostly only used in newspapers and newscasts, official documents and speeches, and religious texts and lectures. If you plan to read Arabic, you will need to know the Standard form. Any large book store will have a good selection of Arabic textbooks for you to choose from.