(An Iranian food chain in Abu Dhabi)
My future employer (I’m moving in officially next week) enrolled me to a basic cum business Arabic course. Twice a week, I’m attending the class at night together with six classmates-future officemates (French, Canadian, Australian, Indian). The truth is, before this, I only know at most 10 Arabic words that I couldn’t even pronounce with conviction. But strangely, I would understand sometimes part of the Arabic discussions at work. Think about body language, expression, etc. Or maybe, I’m just too assuming to think that I understood some. 😉
Anyway, after the first hour of the course, I already know how to read and pronounce properly the alphabet (which I call A-ba-ta, as the first three letters are pronounced like that). We’re on our third week, and I’m happy that I’m doing good so far. What’s adding to my confidence is the fact that a Filipino’s tongue is really the most flexible when adapting a new language. This, again, proven in our class. Let’s just say that it’s a breeze to me when it comes to pronunciation part and reading, too, in a way. But my classmates and I are really finding it more challenging, as beginning next week the medium of instructions will be purely in Arabic. And that probably there’ll be zero English moment for the students, too.
Off work and when I’m on the road or let’s just say, whenever there’s an opportunity, I try to read every Arabic wording or signs that I will see. I feel I’m back to being 4 or 5 years old, when I was just starting to read properly. I hope it’s easy like that. But guess what? Unlike in English and Tagalog, in Arabic we read and write from right to left. And the picture/form of each letter from the alphabet changes depending on when it’s used in forming a word (e.g. letter ba’ = counterpart of B, changes its looks if it’s used as the first, middle or last letter in a word. And I must always remember, they don’t have V and P in their alphabet.
By the way, the title of this post means Hello in Arabic. 🙂