Arabic Class


I jokingly say that I am in the top 10% of the bottom half of my Arabic class and that might be an overstatement.  Maybe I should try writing entries in Arabic again, but I am so self conscious about my writing. I took the placement exam and according to that, I am supposed to be in the intermediate class.  After one session I realized that that was not where I needed to be and have been in the advanced class since then.

The trouble is I am the only person in there who didn’t place in, granted I am also the only person in there who hadn’t studied Arabic for a whole year beforehand, but still.  Alhamdullilah I am understanding what is going on in class, i.e. following the lectures and conversations, but there are a lot of words that I have forgotten and or/have been using incorrectly… :-/

و فوق ذلك كله فهناك كلمات كثيرة لا اعرفها

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who isn’t try to play it up like I know what’s going on all the time… oh well.  Case in point, today in class, we had to work with a partner to analyze this piece of poetry.  Well I didn’t understand any of the words from the first question, my partner, who happens to be a Spaniard, even translated the directions for me into Spanish and I was still giving him a blank look… :-/ … oh well, InshAِِِllah this will pass.

It’s just frustrating that it’s hard to speak Arabic outside of class.  This is the one thing I miss about the Middlebury program, we were forced to get our Arabic on!…lol… Here it’s like no one speaks Arabic… even when you address people in Arabic, they answer in English.  Argh!

This too shall pass.  I am still hoping to really develop/improve over the course of the year, I guess I just have to be more forceful about speaking Arabic to people.


5 thoughts on “Arabic Class

  1. anafricaninsouthafrica

    I say be forceful in speaking Arabic to people even when they answer in English, with time it will become second nature and they’ll catch up. I hope it becomes easier for you.

    Wow…Allah has mysterious ways of working. an opportunity for 3 years? the pros are enticing but me and you know that there is much more than these outward benefits. i agree with ur mum, don’t shut urself out but also be realistic and try to fulfill ur 5 year plan. man, y’all are hardcore, 5 year plan?! i’m trying to get through december and still don’t have a clue of where the wind will blow me, lol. ohhhh my plans have been ‘disrupted’ by a proposal, yes marriage. i’m seriously considering b/c i know and like the brother. now we’re supposed to be courting but i’m not sure how that works. did i say he is in the States? maybe i should do a proper post about it.

  2. gazelledusahara

    Possible marriage! that’s wonderful. I’A God will give you guidance on which path to take. Don’t despair about the job thing… the hardest part I think is figuring out what God’s plan is… but it’s already set in motion.

    I can imagine the courting can be weird, there really is no handbook/place to get step by step details, but you will figure out what works best for you.

  3. Are you studying MSA? If so, trying to speak to others in MSA isn’t worth it. As you know, no one speaks that way, unless they’re delivering a news broadcast or sermon. I think your idea about focusing more on writing is spot on, since MSA is the written form of the language. If you ever want a study partner, hit me up.

    • gazelledusahara

      Hey, I really think that the “No one speaks fusha” thing is an overstatement. People may not speak it in the streets, but they do understand me when I speak it. I have found that as long as I try to understand their dialect then the conversation goes just fine/and or the person will answer me with fusha.

      Then again I am speaking in the context of the only Arab countries I have previously visited (Yemen and Morocco) I hear it’s different in Egypt, where people actually laugh at you for speaking Fusha.. oh well.

      At any rate the problem in the dorms isn’t MSA, there girls who went through this program here and are now continuing in other fields, and they communicate with the Arabic speakers in ARabic— fusha to be exact.

      I think too many people are trying to get their “English practice on”/ Are not really aware that I can actually carry on a conversation in Arabic. Some of the girls are changing slowly but surely at my insistence.

      An Arabic study partner is never something to scoff at. I will probably be contacting you sometime soon 🙂 سكرا

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