Cracking the Code


A few days ago I’d seen the light, I felt the force, I had an epiphany.

 I would not say that Arabic is a difficult language to learn. I would say that Arabic was ‘invented’ to discourage the non-native speaker as much as possible from learning it. If one wants to learn or master Arabic one really has to have the will to learn or master it. I guess it takes great discipline and effort to master any language or skill but just getting to the stage of proficiency in Arabic takes, in my opinion, much more effort than becoming proficient at, let’s say, English, French or Spanish.

Now, I’ve got a rather healthy love- hate relationship with the Arabic language. I love the sound of it, the poetry and the drama. I do not particularly like the amount of grammar that comes with the language and the having to know- and therefore learn- fast amounts of vocab. I hate to discover that the more I learn the more I realize that I know so little and that the road of mastering Arabic seems so long and rocky. But although I still read like a 7-year-old and understand a bit more than half of the stuff that is going on on el-Jazeera, I know that I will master it. When I return to London next summer and start the final year of my degree, insha allah, I will be fluent in speech, read like a sophisticated grown up, and write like I know my stuff. Feeling is believing.


About Lemba

Non-conformist Writing Soul and Language Geek from the Lowlands with a South London accent, currently living a nomadic, location- independent lifestyle. While executing the Big Fat Writing Plan I’m invading cyberspace with my views on 'expat living', travel and other lifestyle choices, current affairs and other randomness. Welcome to the Dark Fairy Zone.

4 responses »

  1. And you’ve got so much determination in you to study such a difficult language, and for that I applaud you! Indeed Arabic isn’t an easy language but everything and anything is possible right? Practise speaking it with a native I think that’s the best way to learn any language, and you’ll get there inshAllah 🙂

    • Thank you for your encouragement, Alma. Arabic is a bit of a special case when it comes to practising with a native speaker. No one is a native speaker of Modern Standard Arabic. The Arabs all speak their own version of Arabic; colloquial. If you speak MSA on the streets, people laugh at you, but there are obviously plenty of opportunities to practice.

  2. Hmm.. I wonder if I know you.

    Arabic is one of the most difficult language, beside Japanese and Chinese. But maybe we should bear in mind that every language has its difficult side and easy side. It’s true to someway. Japanese, that I’m self-studying, is complicated when it comes to verb conjugation. But it’s so lovely in other things, like the fact that sounds and phonetic patterns in Japanese are so easy to pronounce. I’m sure there is something you find it easy in Arabic as well.

    • Hi Non-Crowned Princess

      Thanks for your comment and I wish you a wonderful 2010. Really cool your studying Japanese! And self-study, that’s probably not easy. The ‘easy’ thing about Arabic is that it’s phonetic and that the different tenses (present, past, future) are not complicated like they are in -for example- Spanish. Keep me posted on your journey, I might learning something from it!

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