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Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:22 PM

anyone ever tried to learn Arabic?

I am bilingual (english and spanish). I know Arabic is hard and I am really just aiming for a basic conversational ability. I have ordered the Pimsluer basic CDs and I have a friend who is fluent and has lots of beginning books. If it just overwhelms me I will go back to my original learn French plan

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply anyone ever tried to learn Arabic? (Original post)
arely staircase Feb 2014 OP
dipsydoodle Feb 2014 #1
JCMach1 Feb 2014 #2
arely staircase Feb 2014 #3
Warpy Feb 2014 #4
shenmue Feb 2014 #5
Madam Mossfern Feb 2014 #8
Timez Squarez Feb 2014 #12
Madam Mossfern Feb 2014 #17
Madam Mossfern Feb 2014 #18
Historic NY Feb 2014 #6
arely staircase Feb 2014 #7
xocet Feb 2014 #9
arely staircase Feb 2014 #11
jberryhill Feb 2014 #10
arely staircase Feb 2014 #13
NuclearDem Feb 2014 #14
arely staircase Feb 2014 #15
riderinthestorm Feb 2014 #16
Silent3 Feb 2014 #19

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:23 PM

1. I don't think I'd be able to get my head round

speaking right to left.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:24 PM

2. it is hard... realistically the dialects are rather different too

Gulf Arabic is different from Egyptian is different from Lebanese, etc.

I gave up and since everyone basically spoke English in the UAE, it was just fine...

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:27 PM

3. yeah I am going for the egyptian version because

I have read it is widely understood because of it use in movies but mainly because I have access to a fluent speaker of it.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:38 PM

4. If I can learn enough conversational Mandarin to converse with patients

and find out if they're hungry, thirsty, anxious, or in pain, then you can tackle Arabic.

I couldn't do it to save my life now, I'm 25 years out of practice, but I shocked the shoes off a lot of people back home when they heard Chinese coming out of an Irish mug.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:45 PM

5. I have tried

It wasn't easy. I still would like to try again someday. The alphabet still seems the toughest part for me.

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Response to shenmue (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:58 PM

8. I taught myself some Hebrew

so I thought I would try Arabic too.
The alphabets are similar as are some words.

I gave up on both, although I can still sort of sound out Hebrew words. Not having vowels really makes it tough though.
I

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Response to Madam Mossfern (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 09:01 PM

12. There are vowels..

 

They're underneath the letters... if there are any...

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Response to Timez Squarez (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 01:18 PM

17. Very often they aren't written in

I know there are vowels, but quite often they're omitted. I'll look for some Israeli signs.

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Response to Madam Mossfern (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 01:27 PM

18. Here's a link to Ha'aretz

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:46 PM

6. Only the numbers.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:47 PM

7. + 1 nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 07:25 PM

9. You can do it.

It will be difficult to memorize things, but with enough repetition, it will come to you. Also, Spanish has its share of Arabic words, so you already approximately know something - arroz, etc.

Here is an introduction to the Arabic influence on the Spanish language:

http://books.google.com/books?id=V4f8ZpJAhgIC&pg=PA81#v=onepage&q&f=true

Here is a nice introduction to a lot of the language and more (namely, Arabic's close relationship to Hebrew):



Good luck.

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Response to xocet (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 08:38 PM

11. thanks, and yeah

Ojala.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 08:35 PM

10. No, nobody has ever tried that

That's the reason why, it turns out, that nobody actually knows it. Apparently it was a mass phenomenon of everyone in Arabic speaking cultures believing that everyone else knew how, when in fact, nobody did.

Kinda amazing.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #10)


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 09:09 PM

14. I was a linguist in the service and learned it at DLI out in California.

Beautiful language, but the grammar, morphology, and vocabulary can be a shock to English speakers (anywhere from between six and twelve different ways to write verbs, all with different meanings, for example).

It's ultimately simpler than English, though, since there aren't any notable exceptions to the rules of grammar and vocabulary. Once you practice for a few months, the rules come second nature.

If you're interested, Al-Kitaab is a terrific program for Arabic. Also remember to pick up a Hans Wehr dictionary, which is probably the single best A-E and E-A dictionary out there. (Most bookstores will have one in the language section; big thick green book, impossible to miss). Mine's nearly in tatters it's seen so much use.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 09:16 PM

15. just added al kitaab to my fav. pages

Thanks

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 09:44 PM

16. A close friend swears by Al Kitaab. She spent 6 months in Egypt in an Arabic immersion course

A brilliant, JEWISH friend...



She loves the Arabic language

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 01:37 PM

19. I only studied for a few weeks before a trip to Egypt and Libya

That wasn't enough to get any real conversational ability at all, just a few friendly phrases, learning the alphabet and how to write it. Some of the sounds of the language are very hard for English speakers (and most other non-Arabic speakers) to get right. I never really got a handle the Ayn sound.

Still, it that little bit of study was enough to make the trip more enjoyable, to be able to recognize what a few signs were saying, to be amused at how some things were transliterated from English into Arabic (like Beeza Hoot for Pizza Hut, which is what the Sphinx is staring at on the opposite side of a large, sandy parking lot).

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