Saturday, January 10, 2009

Posting Will Suffer

I started my fourth Arabic class tonight. I started taking Arabic shortly after we came to The Sandbox and took a couple "conversational" Arabic classes. I learned how to say "hello" [marharba], "please" [min fadlak], "thank you" [shukran] and "big dog" [kalb (dog) kabeer (big)]. To say that my Arabic conversational skills are basic is an understatement. They are the utmost basic. I can come up with a couple more words, but certainly nothing I could hold a conversation with. Then I took a reading / writing class a couple of years ago. It was difficult, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tonight I went to class, "Modern Standard Arabic," which is supposed to teach me how to use my [utmost] basic skills in combination with reading / writing. My gosh. I thought for sure we would at least review the alphabet. I thought wrong. Very wrong. We started out with vocabulary and these were the words: literature, building, Egyptian, work, live and six other words - I think there were eleven in all. Then we moved to four verbs - none of which I can rattle off, here, now. Minutes later we were constructing sentences IN ARABIC. "Nour studies literature at an Egyptian university." What?!? You've got to be kidding me. Totally lost. I mean totally. I am considering retaking the reading / writing course to get back up to speed. When you don't use something on a regular basis and when it has been two - almost three - years since taking that course - trust me, you'd be lost.

If I decide to continue with this course - and that decision is up in the air, as of now, tonight, then I need to do a cram refresher course from the reading / writing course I took before and I only have tonight and tomorrow to do it. The next class is on Monday evening. Yikes!

Posting will suffer if I stay in the course... And so will my brain. I'm all up to learning Arabic. I have personal reasons for wanting to do so. But I really think before I try reading sentences such as "
Nour studies literature at an Egyptian university" that I need to be able to at least recognize the letters. I didn't recognize them. Not a single one. It is definitely not an easy language to master - speaking it - or reading and writing it. Arabic has THREE different forms for every letter - depending on if it goes at the beginning of the word, or if it is in the middle of the word, or if it is the last letter of the word. Making my decision as I type this and think this through a bit more. I need a refresher course on reading and writing. That course is on Sunday and Tuesday. I don't think I need to show up for "Modern Standard Arabic" on Monday...


  1. I will miss your all of fascinating and informative posts, Miss Sabra but I think your learning Arabic is a great idea and I admire your taking it up.

    It would be great to be able to at least read Arabic - but it's all I can do to read the menu in a Mexican restaurant with my pitiful high school Spanish.

    Best of luck, my dear. Please keep us posted on your progress.

  2. I applaud you for making an effort to learn the local language,


  3. Taking the Reading / Writing course over, DL. Posting won't have to suffer as much as it would have had to suffer with "Modern Standard Arabic." Two classes so far... Going well...

  4. Thanks, Gill. I am bound and determined to have the basic's down before we leave here. Again, for personal reasons, but I'm doing it, nevertheless.


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