Hi! I find your blog really interesting seeing as I am an Arabic student in the Midwest as well. I was wondering if there was a particular dialect that you're learning in addition to MSA? Also, being in only my first semester of Arabic, I'm curious what your experience is in acquiring the language in terms on length of study, easiness of grammar, etc.
hi! and thanks! :)
I have actually graduated (got my degree in Arabic hollah), BUT while in school I studied MSA and colloquial Egyptian. My school didn’t actually offer like dialect courses really, so I started picking up Egyptian after I studied abroad in Egypt, and then continued with the Egyptian option in all of our text books (if you’re using Al Kitaab, you know what I mean). Egyptian is good because people tend to understand it wherever you go due to movies and such, even if they cannot speak it back.
Not gonna lie, Arabic for me was nothing but blood sweat and many many tears ha. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted to learn, and I still can only speak like a third grader, if that. I took it all four years. The grammar is a bitch but what’s really bullshit is how they teach it. If you can, try to learn the grammar as you go on your own, as well as the roots. Otherwise, they will throw these at you in like third year and it is confusing as hell.
Honestly, you’ve just gotta put in the work. Go to the office hours. Go to the conversation hours if you have them. Study/review the flashcards every night. Charts are your friend when it comes to the grammar, particularly case endings. And do them all in the beginning (now especially). I tried to just breeze through it first semester like I did in all my classes and it totally screwed me over for like a year. Also, take the politics courses. Those helped me a lot with Arabic because the words are woven into the history and the culture, and it made it stick. You learn things like Al Jazeera, the news group, means “island.” Among many other more useful associations haha.
Although it was a struggle and I hated myself sometimes while studying it, I do not regret taking it all. I only hope that I can find a way to use it now that I’ve graduated so that it wasn’t four years for nothing.
I hope that helps? Maybe?