It feels like only yesterday when I was struggling to get myself registered for Arabic language classes but that was more than 5 months ago already. Since then, I’ve finished Arabic level one and just this past week I’ve finished level two.
Level 1 was all speaking and in Level 2 we learned how to read and write in Arabic. And I am proud to say that I received a grade of 100% on my written test – woohoo! I am looking forward to Level III which is where we will learn more grammar and hopefully do more speaking.
In Dubai, no Arabic is needed to get by since English is spoken everywhere and signs are in both English and Arabic. In fact, knowing Tagalog or Hindi will probably get you farther in everyday situations than Arabic.
But I love learning languages and think that wherever I am, it would be a shame not to learn the local language in order to better understand the culture.
All my Arabic friends have been very helpful in helping me learn their language. Especially the UAE nationals at work. They do laugh at me sometimes (in good fun) at how I pronounce things and sometimes I think they get a bit tired of all my questions but everyone has been more than helpful and seem to be delighted when I started speaking simple sentences and when I started being able to write their names in Arabic.
I still struggle a bit with the pronunciations and reading because in class we use the short vowels (fatha, damma, and kasra, etc) but in print, these symbols are not used. All in good time I guess.