This blog was originally designed to keep me sane as I began learning Arabic. It morphed into a blog of musings about Arabic, the Middle East, and the Islamic World, as well as book reviews about those topics. Then, the blog became a place to keep my family and friends updated on my adventures while I was living abroad. During May and June of 2012, I had a 6-week long internship in Cairo, Egypt through a international student organization called AIESEC. I taught English at the Awladi Orphanage in Cairo, home to several hundred children. I lived in an apartment in Nasr City before moving to Maadi (each is a distinct area of Cairo). I experienced President Mursi's election, camped in the western desert, rode camels by the pyramids, and had countless other experiences. I have since moved past this blog, on towards new endeavors, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Learning on my own

When I get a chance to go into my local library, I always like to check out any new additions to the language-learning section. While it is obligatory that they have the basics in Spanish, French, and German, I am always interested to see what other languages they see demand for among their patrons. This time, they had 2 items for Arabic! One was a dictionary, and the other was this: Michael Thomas Method, Speak Arabic, Get Started Kit.

I have to say, I have been quite impressed with it. The method involves nothing more than sitting and listening to a couple CDs. It is a great way to learn to understand the very basics of spoken Arabic. On the CDs, there is a British woman and an Egyptian man working to teach two students (neither of which has ever taken any Arabic classes). By listening to them respond to questions and walk through the building of an Arabic sentence, the language becomes easy to remember. "Ana" means "I am." After hearing that a half dozen times within their sentences, it is impossible to forget. However, I did not have to sit and memorize it at all. I have completed the first CD, and I will go on to the second within the next couple of days. They do not teach a ton of Arabic (at least not in the "Get Started Kit"), but it is enough to get started. The repetitive nature makes it easy to remember all of the oddities that are being taught. I quite enjoy the method, and I may listen to the set of CDs again before school starts, just for fun!

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