Learning Arabic…

Just checked my rota for my part time job and it appears that I have 9 days in a row of making lattes and cleaning tables. This is not going to get me prepared in anyway for going abroad and so I am having to fit my research into the hours before or after my shifts. Thus, this morning I have written a bit of a schedule of how to do so, and began it with ‘learn Arabic.’

I appreciate that in between now and January 7th I am probably not going to become fluent. In fact, I probably won’t even make it to basic, let alone intermediate level of conversation. But the more I know the better, and besides, it gives me something to focus on during my long hours wiping tables.

I’m not going to look at the written form just yet, as I think it will just scare me off.  According to BBC Languages, مرحبا – is hello, but then you can’t always trust the internet and as I unfortunately don’t have access to many Arabic speaking friends at the moment, I will have to take their word for it. What the site does have however are the English translations, plus verbal pronunciations of the words. So I have written a list of important phrases and stuck it on my wall. It’s a start.

marhaba–        Hello
ila al’likaa’–       Goodbye
min fadlak–       Please
shukran–             Thank you
a’afwan–               You’re welcome
na’am–                   Yes
la’a–                          No
kaifa haluka?–  How are you?

and probably the most important…
lam af’ham–      I don’t understand