Week 6 Progress

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May 16, 2013 by nicoleantoinette9

Word of the week: City = مدينة “Madeena”

This weeks in class topic was on grammar. I find that grammar is an essential tool to learn in order to better your communications skills. Many times if you encounter someone lacking grammar skills it becomes hard to understand what they mean which leads to a poor conversation with many limitations.

As much as I believe in the importance of tackling grammar early on, I did not start with that in my Arabic learning. Since we only have a short period of time to explore the language and I know in the future I will be taking a formal Arabic class, I wanted to learn what was of my interest. In a way “rebelling from the norm”, this doesn’t mean it was a smart move on my part but I wanted to explore on my own. My idea during this process is to learn Arabic through my curiosity, and so far I have really enjoyed it. I have mainly focused on vocabulary, songs and phrases.

When I was younger I remember learning phrases in french, not knowing when a word finished within the phrase and another one started. For example, “Je m’appelle Nicole” was seen in my mind as “jemappelle Nicole”, but when I went and took a formal class I learned the actual words and their meanings. This type of learning was exciting for me because I was decoding what I was saying, like an “ah ha!” moment.

From my experience I have noticed that these beginning stages of exploration are key to motivation in the language. I will learn the Arabic grammar, but for now, I find I need to not only have an emotional connection to the language (because of my family) but I need a playful one as well. This will fuel my interest in the language guiding me to be excited to learn its grammar. To be honest grammar is not the easiest thing to learn, it is important to not “kill” the excitement before enjoying bits and pieces of the language.

With all that said, as I learn the vocabulary, phrases and songs, I am not ignoring changes in the words when applied to a male or female form. I do find that as a student of any language it is important to have your mind curious and questioning why words change or take a certain form. Being an active learner helps me learn the grammar in an indirect way.

If you are interested in Arabic grammar, here is a link I found that explains it in detail as well as sounding out the words (by passing the mouse over the word).

Personal language learning:
Having passed midterms and going towards finals, these weeks have been a bit overwhelming for me. My Arabic studies have been lacking but not absent. When I am in between classes or waiting for something I revisit quizlet on my phone to review my flashcards. At this point of my language learning I find that actually being in a language class where it is mandatory to attend really helps one to be exposed to the language no matter what. Sometimes  we do not have the self persistance to get to the task at hand, but with mandatory classes it is to your benefit and you will constantly be exposed to the language no matter how busy your life gets outside of class time.

Yesterday I ran in to my friend who is from Lebanon and although we did not have much time to talk, she taught me a new phrase. She actually asked me how my language learning was going and she taught me how to answer it in Arabic. Ma3amba3milmni7 “I am not doing well”. It’s not the most positive way to answer but at that moment that’s how I felt. I said that because my expectations of learning Arabic are hard to bring down. I also asked her if there is another way to say “yes” rather than just saying “na3am”. First she said that to say “no” is “la2” the 2 is a stop. Then she explained that when you are agreeing in a conversation you would say “2e” yes, but when you are answering to someone calling you or trying to get a yes or no answer from you, you would say “na3am”.

What are your thoughts on learning grammar? Do you have any favorite Arabic grammar websites?

See you next time habibi!

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