Thursday, April 22, 2010

MSA Grammar is Kicking my Butt!

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Modern Standard Arabic grammar is kicking my butt right now! I just can't seem to get it. Heck, I just realized yesterday we were learning a new verb tense. Here I am trying to master the present tenses and we''d already moved on to the past tense a week ago! I make high marks and comprehend the material in all my other MSA courses, it's just grammar that's making a complete fool out of me right now. When I first began this semester, I was doing well in all my MSA courses but my Egyptian Ammaya was lacking. I was given a tutor and a language partner for Ammayya but unbeknownst to me MSA quickly got very complicated! I was still trying to grasp why it was necessary to have so many second and thrid person tenses. Is it really necessary to have a specific pronoun and verb tense for them, those girls, those boys, you 2, you guys, and you girls? Sigh...


The reality is that it's difficult to learn a language and it's dialect simultaneously. I was downright offended when I learned that Egyptian Ammaya drops the ق sound in most Arabic words like قرأت (Khara-too, I read) and replaced it with an ء or ا (aa sound or a gluttaral stop). For the future, I've decided to shift my focus back to MSA because it's more formal and complicated than Ammayya. It will be more useful to me in the long term to have a better grasp of the formal language that most official business, government, and media outlets use than focus on one country's dialect. Later on when I have a better base in MSA, I'll explore a dialect. Now, I really need to get the present tense verb conjugations memorized before the next test...


Conjugation
Conjugation and Translation
3rd person
Masculine
Singular
يَسْمَعُ (he hears)
Dual
يَسْمَعَانِ (they hear)
Plural
يَسْمَعُوْنَ (they hear)
Feminine
Singular
تَسْمَعُ (she hears)
Dual
تَسْمَعَانِ (they hear)
Plural
يَسْمَعْنَ (they hear)
2nd person
Masculine
Singular
تَسْمَعُ (you hear)
Dual
تَسْمَعَانِ (you hear)
Plural
تَسْمَعُوْنَ (you hear)
Feminine
Singular
تَسْمَعِيْنَ (you hear)
Dual
تَسْمَعَانِ (you hear)
Plural
تَسْمَعْنَ (you hear)
1st person
Masculine & Feminine
Singular
أَسْمَعُ (I hear)
Plural
نَسْمَعُ (we hear)

1 comment:

the international said...

Cool blog. I used to live in Dubai so it's cool to see someone who's spent some time in the Middle East. I've subscribed to you. Check out my blog sometime too!

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