Wednesday, March 3, 2010

في سلامةاللة


 First, I'd like to thank everyone who has taken a moment to share a kind word or offer me some support via FB, Gchat, Twitter, email, etc. I truly appreciate your concern. Although these past two wees were trying, I am approaching this week with a determined and positive attitude! I fell in love with Arabic all over again this week! I can't forget how much I enjoy meticulously writing each letter or the exhilaration I fell when I can read a sign on the street or overhear parts of a conversation that I understand!

At Arabic Gitmo, our ECA (Egyptian Colloquial Arabic or Ammaya) classes have been picking up in speed and intensity. Initially, we only did oral practice in the class and very little written work. My writing and reading in MSA (Modern Standard Arabic or Foosa) is significantly better that my conversational skills in Ammaya. Thus, I've decided to put more effort into Ammaya. In addition to the structured class time, I will be focusing my time with my language partner on speaking and pronunciation. In addition, Arabic Gitmo is providing me with a tutor twice a week (In order to appease me after the conniption I had last week when they refused to allow me to withdraw and hit the road to Damascus).

I met with my language partner this week and we went over past-tense negations in Ammaya. For example: He entered  the office.     دخل مكتب
 In order to negate this, I have to add  ما the beginning of   دخل and then ش  to the end of it, making مادجلش medekhelsh (He did not enter). LOL, it's a mouthful!

In Foosa, we are gradually moving from idaafa's, to adjectives, and now to pronominal suffixes. We are also doing pronominal suffixes in Ammaya. It is with things like this that speaking more than one language and then learning another gets tricky for me. When learning new words or grammatical rules in Arabic, I often relate it to something in Creole, French, English, or even the little Spanish that I know. At time this can be beneficial for words that have similar sounds or meanings like tifl طفل (child) which sounds similar the Creole word ti fi (little girl). At other times, it can cause confusion with concepts or grammatical rules that do not translate well or Arabic words that sound like another word but mean something totally different: sin سن(tooth) vs. sin

For the pronominal suffixes, I find myself comparing it to conjugating verbs in French. Thus far, the only confusion is the slight changes in spelling and pronunciation between Foosah and Ammaya. In my head, the pronouns look something like this:

Person Arabic Singular  French

1st ʼana (أنا)               Je
2nd masculine ʼanta (أنت)            Tu

feminine ʼanti (أنت)            Tu
3rd masculine huwa (هو)             Il

feminine hiya (هي)              Elle

...And so on and so ,changing the pronoun and then the suffix of the word that follows it...

In the safety of God. في سلامةاللة

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