miteypen

Arabic Lesson

In International, Self Improvement on March 20, 2009 at 11:30 am

I had my first Arabic lesson the other day. I didn’t know what to expect. I guess I thought we would work on conversation, but instead my tutor started me out right at the beginning: with the alphabet. What did I think of it?

  • Some of it was easy to pronounce, especially those that correlate with letters and sounds we have in English.
  • Some of it was impossible to pronounce. I dread when these sounds will come up in conversation.
  • Some of the letters sounded exactly alike to me, so I know I’m not getting it. I don’t have an ear to hear the difference.
  • When you break the letters down one-by-one, most of them seem very easy to write. Until, that is…
  • I was overwhelmed by the fact that you have to learn three ways to write every letter, depending on whether or not it is at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence.

I can’t imagine ever being able to read Arabic, but I guess I’m going to give it a try.  I would love to learn to write it (it has a beautiful script), but I doubt that I’ll be able to do that any time soon. I’ll count myself lucky if I can learn to carry on a limited conversation.

So far I can say: Hello and good-bye (three different ways), How are you?, I’m fine, Thank you, Excuse me (or you’re welcome), Do you know English? (to a man or a woman), I don’t know Arabic, I know only a little Arabic, and I am an American (which ought to be obvious).

I think I’m a little crazy taking on this project. But it beats doing crossword puzzles (at least in my estimation).

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