Today marks the completion of level 4 of the colloquial dialect of Arabic that I have been studying. Phew! I may have missed studying the language in May, but this past month was slightly painful. Ok, maybe really painful. I am at that point in language learning where I am no longer a beginner, but I’m definitely not a “master” of anything. So I just keep pushing forward. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a quitter and kind of a perfectionist, so I will conquer this language eventually! The final for this class was to give a 15 minute presentation about my childhood to my classmates, which I did not completely butcher = success, right?
I’ve started tutoring at a new school and it has been a breath of fresh air. After normal class I am able to spend a couple hours at least a few days a week talking with my tutor. We talk about language, culture, life, families, medicine, food, and so many other things. I have been practicing storytelling, so she now knows about the plots of several of my favorite books (childhood and adult), things I love to cook, more than she probably ever wanted to know about working in hospitals in the U.S. and many other random topics. It has been fun to be able to use all of these words that I have been learning over the past 7 months to start to make meaningful conversation.
I recently found a picture I’d taken in our language coordinator’s office back in November. I feel like it is a great reminder for now to push through when I’m just ready to be a “good/decent” Arabic speaker (although this may be too ambitious as many study the language for 2 years full time and then maybe still aren’t fluent until they have spoken the language for 10-ish years). I still have a long way to go, but I’m up for the challenge: bring it language learning!