As the previous week was related to Arabic pronunciation, this week of the Arabic language marathon is about listening. It's the hardest, most annoying part of the practice, and I have to go through it, even I don't like it much. There are people who catch foreign phrases so quickly - and I'm not from this type, and my plan this week was the following:
1. Listen all the dialogues from "Yalla Ndardesh" schoolbook. Hi, hello, howareyou. So far I couldn’t find any other courses for Jordanian Arabic that contain audio as well. You might say 'you live in Jordan, you can just go out and listen' and I got your point, yet after several years of staying here, I know perfectly how NOT to listen Arabic talks, as I tend to ignore Arabic language in general, I’ve described this part of the story and my attempt to study Arabic previously.
Conclusion: It worked well, yet for the transliterated Arabic texts, I have no clue at the moment how I can improve my Arabic writing other than to write in Arabic. :) It could be even better if I was checked by a native speaker for a random talk, to define how many words I'm able to repeat from a sentence, even without the understanding, yet there will be another week focused on listening in the future.
2. Watch CGE Jordan Arabic Studies for beginners at their YouTube channel. It’s odd that the best free materials for colloquial Jordanian Arabic are prepared by an American, and how little Jordanians are involved in vocabulary databases creation online, or language forums, or grammar books writing for Ammiyeh.
Conclusion: The videos are great, divided to 3 playlists, from beginners to advanced. A couple of them from the beginners level seemed difficult for me, and some from the intermediate level were also useful. Check it for yourself, it's a great set of Arabic lessons, specially for Jordanian and Palestinian Arabic. I have placed the words from them to my vocabulary database and going to learn them by the time.
3. Learn to distinguish between KH(خ) and H (ﺡ), long and short vowels, still have a lot of problems with it. Even I decided to use transliteration for my Arabic studies, I want to practice in writing Arabic words with diacritics while listening.
Conclusion: Even I significantly improved my writing in Arabic within 2 weeks, audio exercises and listening is my weakest part, I still need a lot of practice. At least I'm moving somewhere!
I've also made an additional exercise, even it wasn't for my level: took a song of a Jordanian singer Aziz Maraka and tried to write it down with transliteration first, then go to the text and place Arabic diacritics (KHarakat). It took a lot of time, and in comparison with listening the dialogues for beginners it was hard!
I have placed the full text of the song in Jordanian Arabic with KHarakat in my Instagram.
3 Interesting facts I’ve learnt this week
1. The word "maktub" (مكتب) in Arabic means "desk" and "office". Your office is where your desk is.
2. When someone is leaving, and tells "bye" to you, you shouldn't say "bye" as a reply, and you can't say goodbye first, as in Arabic culture it looks you want to get rid of the person who leaves. A correct reply of someone who stays - "ma3ssalama" (مع السلامة).
3. Slowly I'm discovering Arabic grammar, and it's painful. In past tense 1st person singular and 2nd person masculine singular have the same endings. I could bear with it, yet in present tense the endings for 3rd person feminine singular and for 2nd person masculine singular are the same. What a disaster.