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October 31, 2006


Like you I spoke Arabic as a child but then lost it later. I have been bothered by it for many years and it's always on my mind to relearn the language. There is an Middle Eastern Studies course at a local college that I'd love to take but with 4 children (one being chronically ill) there is no time for that right now. However I did buy this book and am working on it in my spare time. http://www.amazon.com/Arabic-Alphabet-How-Read-Write/dp/0818404302/sr=1-3/qid=1162503923/ref=pd_bbs_3/002-7993881-1288838?ie=UTF8&s=books

"...delicious experience" -- Oh my, yes! Just the thought of an alphabet with Sun and Moon letters makes my tongue want to dance.

I learned just a little of that alphabet and a little Farsi from a housemate we had years ago, and I've lost most of that. About all that's left is that I can often tell written Farsi from written Arabic. You might feel it's all a long journey away, but from here I envy your having that feast so close to your reach.

Good luck, y'all.
I am studying Arabic too, hoping to be fluent in a few years. Haven't worked on it in months, but...
I wrote a little guide here http://www.cds.caltech.edu/~tosin/arabic.html
the Awde/Samano book Maloof is using is great.


Thanks T for the link. You suggested immersion in the Middle East - that's ideally what I would do. But the whole place is falling apart. God it's so painful. I am scared to go to Lebanon right now. Yes there's Egypt - and Damascus, too, although Bush might very well bomb. Jordan - right in the middle. Lord have mercy.

I may just get a dish and sign up for the old movie channels and LEbanese pop tv.

I am taking Arabic at the moment, and a book that I study on the side and really like is "Al-Kitaab fii Ta'Allum al-Arabiyya" by Brustad, Al-Batal & Al-Tonsi. It comes w/ DVDs which have stories, vocabulary, etc. The vocabulary on the DVD repeats the word by itself and in a sentence which is very helpful. It is a book that one could definitely do on their own. Since you already speak some arabic, you might want to go with Part 2 of the 3 Part series.

Hi, it sounds like you're on the right track.

When I was in Prague I read an article for Russians living there who wanted to learn Czech (which is similar to Russian, but written in the Latin alphabet). Step 1 - turn on the TV, and leave it on. Step 2 - pick up a magazine and work out the picture captions. Step 3 - go out for a beer with your Czech colleagues. Step 4 - eventually, if you feel like it, read a few pages in a grammar book. Continue, increasing the difficulty of what you listen to/read/talk about. (Probably only works for similar or semi-familiar languages - not for Czech and English, for example.)

There's also a method known as parallel texts, - read a page or two of something in English translation, then read the Arabic, make a list of the words you want to learn; learn them; move on to the next page and repeat. (This worked great for me with Latin, BTW).

Best of luck

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