The first thing people always want to know when I tell them I’m learning Arabic is why.

Obviously the answer is BECAUSE IT’S FREAKING AWESOME. It’s an amazing and often maligned culture made up of some of the warmest and most generous people I’ve ever met. They ride camels, live next door to pyramids and make a mean tagine. Why wouldn’t you learn Arabic??

BUT. The rumours are true: it’s one crazy hard language to learn. Eighteen months in and I can just about tell you that I’m from medinat Edinburgh (check out that idaffa there, very clever) and how Mahmoud heard about the robbery at the bank (al bank – that one’s for free) on the radio (raydeooow). Yet I love it like no other language I’ve experienced, and my teacher and classmates make it something I look forward to week after week.

I started this blog in a well-intentioned moment of “I am SO getting organised and putting all my notes online so I can access them anywhere and OMG I SHOULD TOTES WRITE A BLOG”. Except I forgot that I don’t have an Arabic keyboard or much of a grasp of the alphabet or, like, know anything at all about the language. Le sigh. But since when did I let a little thing like knowledge stop me??

The idea is that this blog covers my (many, many… many) struggles and (few) celebrations as I get to grips with the language, and includes my notes on grammar, vocabulary, reading, riting and rithmetic. As if it needs saying: I am a beginner, so you probably need to take most of my language notes with a massive pinch of salt (my teacher keeps telling me not to be afraid to make mistakes – he seems to be forgetting that making mistakes is the one thing I’m very good at). And please do comment if you fancy it.

Shukran for reading,

Alexandra aka الكساندرا

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