Arabic lessons


Learning Arabic vocabulary has proved a challenged for my brain. I’m not sure if it’s the different alphabet or the new sounds or what, but it seems to leak from my brain at a much faster rate than when I was younger. Or maybe I’m just too old for this stuff now 🙂 In any case, I find the best method (now) for retaining things is to try to write up things on the whiteboard at work, where I don’t have my notes and papers and can’t reference the lists. I’ve obviously learned more than this, but most of these are words we’ve been working on recently (or I already knew how to “say” them and recently learned the spelling).



Today’s offerings:
chocolate dipped “biscuits”
a box of assorted chocolate someone is selling

Everyone is “dieting”, yet it’s impossible to get through the building without finding something chocolate. I know for a fact that C&G had a whole 2lb box of See’s last week, not to mention the Mexican pastries and the bundt cake.
Am tired. And unmotivated to study Arabic. Mike and I went on a three mile walk last night, which rendered my legs tired. Then we walked about a mile and change at work at lunch, which rendered my legs more tired. Then I walked down the hill (for the second time today) carrying my computer, a bag of backup tapes, and a Dell monitor. Now my arms are tired too. I’m looking forward to going home to a stack of Arabic vocabulary and supporting Pure Yellow Colour at Lestat’s tonight. While studying.
Bleh, I feel unmotivated in general.

Shokran for nothing.


So I spent the last couple days trying to smush 34 building-related words and 20 clothing-related words into my head. Which is hard, because Arabic is a bunch of syllables that have no meaning to me. But I dutifully made flashcards and Mike helped me. I was still feeling shaky on some of them, but I had overall learned the majority.

Cut to this morning, I get an email from the teacher sent last night (the class is tonight) telling us that the test is on buildings, classroom articles, and prepositions. Now, how in the holy hell am I supposed to learn classroom articles and prepositions by 6p when all my Arabic stuff is at home? Sure, I brought the flashcards I made to study at work, but I’m not a mindreader. I specifically wrote down “clothing” on the homework sheet.



Lost in a world of copying seemingly endless Arabic characters, I look up and go “Where did the last hour and a half GO?”

I feel frustrated because I don’t feel like I’m really learning any words. Maybe that’s supposed to be self-study, but the teacher (I can’t even remember the word for teacher) is so scattered, there’s never a “learn this for X” or “learn this by next week”, it’s more of “hey, here’s a giant packet of words, fun, eh? yeah! here’s another! momtez!” And I kind of go….and?

At least I know the whole frickin’ alphabet now. Ha, I even did a wordsearch in Arabic. (Ok, ok, I have no idea what the words were, I was just searching for the right letters, but you even had to find the independent forms as opposed to the forms in each word. But, when I do word searches in English, I’m usually just looking for the first couple letters, anyways, so I figure it was barely cheating at all. How come this aside is longer than the actual sentence? And how come I feel more motivated to post about this because I’m procrastinating attempting to learn different words for buildings that the teacher will probably go over and cast aside like last week’s packets and hand us five more?)

Wheee, calligraphy


I went to Michael’s this evening (the store, not the boyfriend) and picked up a small set of calligraphy markers and some calligraphy parchment. I was inspired by the DVDs in my Arabic book, where they show this guy murmbling things I don’t understand (yet. I assume he’s saying like “Next, we’re going to draw the letter blah! One more time!”) and he has this super cool calligraphy marker. I was like, hey, I could do that.

So I bought some markers. And I totally can.

From Random

Not too shabby for the first try! The top letters started as “baa”, one of the letters, and then “baab”-door, and then I added some random short vowels to try a smaller marker. The rest of it is the alphabet, mostly in order 😉

Good night, and good luck.


I was walking to Vons last night on a mission to buy some Sudafed in hopes it would stave off yet another morning migraine (it didn’t). Some random guy passed by me and said “Good Evening,” and I was caught completely off guard and managed to mumble something like “gudeven” back to him. It’s sad that we’re all lost so much in our own little worlds that someone simply greeting us seems strange and foreign. What happened to Main Street, U.S.A.?

nebyoolae linked me this article a few days ago, and it’s sort of been on my mind ever since. I’ve been dabbling in arabic for a little while, trying to pick up the script and some general words. Apparently, the FBI is always hiring linguists, something that sort of has intrigued me. It combines my love of linguistics and language with an actual job that does not involve teaching or homework (for the teachers). Obviously, I’d have to become a lot more fluent. And good. I couldn’t be a special agent (not that I would want to, however) because my eyesight is poor and you have to be something ridiculous like 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 at the worst in the other. I will never have good vision. I don’t know. Going to school to learn languages sounds like fun. I love studying the grammar and the vocabulary and the nuances and the morphology. Going to school for four years of speech pathology sounds decidedly less fun.

Somedays, I just have no idea what I’m doing.
And somedays, I really hate dealing with people all the time.