I am now a student of Arabic - studying intensively four times, eight hours a week. I have found a part of the world that I love and now it is my dream to learn the language and see how far it takes me..
BUT it is SO hard! After my first week of classes, I am still trying to master the Alphabet. It contains 28 letters and is read from the right to the left. Each letter is written differently depending on its placement at the beginning, middle or end of a word. Short vowel sounds are represented by marks above and below and don’t even get me started on long vowel sounds.
The pronunciation is also difficult requiring me to use muscles in my throat I never knew existed. We haven’t approached grammer yet, but I was given an introduction to the 14 different pronouns (there are six different “you”s).
This reminds me of a comedy show I went to in Taipei in which the comedian held up placards with the Mandarin words “easy” and “relaxing” to prove that Mandarin is anything but easy and relaxing. Incidentally, Arabic and Mandarin are both listed as two of the five most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn.
My current progress in Arabic: scoring 6 out of 10 on my first two dictations, question words, numbers 1-20, colors and introductions. I have a looooong way to go !