Sunday, January 23, 2011

Learning Arabic Part 2

Two more examples of how the Arabic language can be used beautifully. I believe the top one says "I love Cairo", and the bottom one is the Lord's prayer again, and an example of how Arabic can be beautifully used.

Ok, so a couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about learning Arabic. I talked about how hard it was to learn. Just thought I would write another one and show a few things that makes it different and harder than English.

First of all, not being exposed to a second language while growing up, you can imagine how surprised I was to find out that there are languages out there with words that have gender. In Arabic, words are either male or female. The way you can tell is there is an extra letter on the end of the feminine words. For example, the word for cat is "ota", with a long "o" sound. That "a" sound on the end is the clue that the word is feminine. The word for dog is "kelb", and since there is no "a" sound at the end, it is masculine. One thing that was so confusing to me at first, was I could not understand why there was not an Arabic word for the word "it". I started to understand later when I found out that things are referred to as either "he" or "she" instead of "it".

Another thing I found strange about Arabic is that words can be put together to make one long word. For example, if I were to say the sentence "I don't like her." (her referring to an object that is feminine), word by word the sentence would be "ana mish bahibha", but this can all be put into one word "mabahibhash". Learning how to say the negative form of past and present verbs is very difficult because this is the procedure used.

Now, even though there are strange things about the language, and even though it is so difficult to learn, it has been one of the greatest experiences and challenges of my life. Like I said in Part 1 of "Learning Arabic" I don't believe I will ever be totally fluent. I am happy to be able to communicate as well as I do, but given the chance, I would definately take more lessons.

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