Friday, March 05, 2010


Last night, I attended my first Arabic lesson.  I am very keen to learn conversational phrases and to be able to pick up on things here and not be a virtual deaf mute when dealing with the local people.  I spent three years in high school German classes and still retain odd words but I am worried about how to make it "sink in" with the Arabic.

The teacher, a very enthusiastic Iraqi lady dove straight in and is not going to give us an easy time of it.  After the first 2 hrs of lesson, I know the first 4-5 letters of the alphabet, know that of the 29 letters, 3 of them are vowels and each vowel can be sounded in 2 different ways. 

Its going to be tough... the language (and she was blunt about this) uses parts of the throat and mouth that English speakers don't use.  She even said that alot of Arabs cannot pronounce words "properly" because they cannot physically do the tongue motions.  After going through the alphabet, I found I was the only one of the 5 students who couldnt vibrate the back of my tongue to sound one of the letters so I may be in that boat already.

But, its early days and I am keen to learn!  Each lesson is 4:30 - 6:30pm Thursdays and they're put on by my company at the work site.  Do Australian companies pay for English lessons?  I don't think so...

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