Wednesday, June 08, 2011

So how's the Arabic lessons going?

It's been a little over two months now of lessons at FANAR and so far it's going pretty good. The words we are being taught are generally useful, my Arabic is improving bit by bit, I'm occasionally meeting with classmates on the weekend to practice, and I'm getting a lot of support from my Arabic speaking friends. Having friends who speak Arabic has been really helpful, especially since the teacher doesn't speak English very well so sometimes when you ask him what a word means he has a tough time explaining it. I usually go to my Qatari friends for clarification. Of course sometimes they struggle a little bit because they have to remember the Classical Arabic word instead of the local Arabic word.

I still struggle with the letter ‘ayn’ and sometimes have trouble differentiating it from the letter ‘a’ (alif). I also don't pronounce it well when speaking. The Arabic word for "yes" contains an ayn but I usually pronounce it with an ‘a’. I used to think that wasn't a big deal because the two letters sound similar but about a week ago I was getting my hair cut at my Turkish barber and was practicing Arabic (he is from southern Turkey near the border with Syria and most Turks from that region speak Arabic in addition to Turkish; the majority of Turks in Doha are from this region). When I said the word for "yes" but using an “a” sound, he actually didn't understand what I said. It was only when I repeated it with an “ayn” that he suddenly realized what I was saying. Guess I have to be more careful.

We don't have to pluralize many nouns yet, which is great because I hate trying to memorize plurals. I still have no sense of the rules for pluralizing a noun. Maybe next level we will start on that.

Otherwise the final exam is in two or three weeks, a square around 90% of my midterm so I'm not too worried. I just need to study my vocabulary more.

I will definitely continue the lessons at FANAR I expect the next set of lessons will not be until after Ramadan (September).



Shaheen said...

If you can share any Contacts for Online Arabic lession will be appreciated.

Glen McKay said...

Hi Shaheen. Try, a friend of mine uses it. Click on "lessons" and you can download many podcasts without signing up.