Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mysterious Arabic

Arabic is a scary language. There's all these squiggles that are written backwards, random dots and dashes, fewer vowels and oftentimes those are left out entirely and assumed to be understood. And how about all that guttural noise that emanates from deep in the back of the throat? Who can make those sounds?

Of course none of that above paragraph is actually true. Arabic isn't written backwards (ask anyone who knows Hebrew), none of the accents are random, and millions do in fact speak it and speak it quite well. In fact, I'm finding that the fact that Arabic is completely new and different is a help. I have been trying to learn French since I was little and I still don't speak it. I've apparently hit the wall in my ability to understand a language that is so similar to my own yet with enough variances to make actual fluency impregnable to my aging brain. It's been a frustration for as long as I can recall. Perhaps absorbing Arabic will finally open the floodgates to language learning. A girl can dream.

Rebecca is doing well in her class at the high school. She's had 2 morning classes so far, a short afternoon tutoring session, and today is her first in-class quiz. She's understandably nervous about connecting her letters properly and figuring out what sounds some of them make.

Katherine has Arabic every other day, so she's moving considerably slower, I think they've covered 5 letters and basic greetings.

Ian is speaking and writing and memorizing and reading. That's what comes from spending 8 hours a day doing nothing but speaking and writing and memorizing and reading.

I am moving the slowest. I have several books and apps to work from but have started with Your First 100 Words in Arabic. Once I have these down and a decent understanding of the alphabet and script, I'll move to Arabic for Dummies. It comes with a CD so I can start making proper phlegm-ejecting gutturations. On my iPhone (did I mention I got an iPhone? I've finally stepped up from the regular cell phone I got in India, pushed by necessity when football cancellations came through last minute emails when we were already headed to or at the practice field) I have the Arabic Alphabet, Byki Arabic, Arabic Letterbox, and a couple others. To keep me occupied in doctors' offices and while sitting in the car during pick-ups. It's fun in the only way that not being expected to perform for or be tested by anyone can be fun.

In completely unrelated news, for dinner tonight I'm thinking:

Fake Chicken Parmesan and Apple Brown Betty. With perhaps Baked Apple Oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow.

I'm hungry now though. That's what happens when a small boy finishes off the milk and all I really want is a big bowl of cereal. Off to the store.

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