Monday, June 28, 2010

Arabic as she is spoke...

in Khartoum!

At the beginning of June, I started my second month of Arabic lessons. You can read [here] why I decided to learn the local language. In my second month of classes, I progressed from vocabulary to making sentences. My tutor  now expected me to converse with her and to answer questions, which she poses in Arabic, - you guessed it - in Arabic!

Above is a photo of students strolling through the gardens of the Khartoum (Bahri) university. As you can see, I am not in that group of students. Why? Because I am not attending university to study this difficult, yet musical and interesting language! (lol!) I am learning Arabic from my tutor who teaches me the the language as it is spoken and - most importantly - understood here in the Sudan.

At the same time as starting my second month of lessons, I decided to post an Arabic word daily on my blog. The reason for doing this is three-fold: a) to share the word with my readers,  b) to imprint the word in my brain and c) to have fun! I am not doing it in order to look clever or to win a spelling Bee. When Sanna teaches me a word, I write it down in a full-scap book: phonetically. This way I remember the word and learn the correct pronunciation. I also remember words by using association. (Is there anyone else out there who does this?)

As some of my blogger friends in the Middle East have pointed out, words differ from country to country.  I am grateful when they tell me what the word means in their part of the world.  I also welcome it if Sudanese want to tell me if I have the word completely wrong.  I'm not at all sensitive or arrogant;  it's my desire to speak this language correctly. I will check each "difference" with my tutor and if I've been wrong, I will post the correct word.

So... I will continue to post my Arabic word for the day and apologize in advance to any scholars or learned Arabian readers who may think my words and/or spelling aren't correct.

The Arabic word for university is djama.


  1. Kudos to you for learning the language of your current homeland. I'm sure you will find it so useful in many circumstances :-)

  2. I think it's great that you're learning the language. Surely what you learn will help you in communicating as well as in understanding the culture.

  3. I am so impressed that you are learning to speak a new language when you are over 50. That would be so hard! It'll be great when you can communicate easily with the people there!

  4. Hi Jo, I'm so proud of you for learning to Arabic... It sounds so hard... I took Latin in high school and German in college --and don't remember a thing!!!!!

    Keep on learning... I'm so proud of you.

  5. Who needs to go to a djama to learn. I like that you're learning conversational Arabic. Keep it up.

  6. "Dja Ma", sê die (Kaapse) student. "dissie plêk wa ekke leer! ♥de

  7. When I was living with the Navajo's, I was able to learn quite a bit of the language... It is very hard to make sounds that are totally foreign to the way you are used to speaking.
    My hat is off to you Jo! It isn't easy to learn a new language... Keep it up and soon you won't have to think about it, it will just roll off the tongue! But keep going,if you get out of practice, it just slips away...

  8. What a great thing to do. Knowing the language will be helpful to you.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo