I guess being in the Arabic speaking environment is finally rubbing off on me in much more than a superficial…shukran means thank you sorta way. Of course, I’m leaving in like 3 weeks…but hey, whateva! LOL (yah, geeze, only took how many months!!!)
So lemme tell you what happened which caused me to scream with joy and run nextdoor to my Jordanian friend and repeat what happened!
So, Ibi was napping and I LOVE watching the soppy, crazy Khaleeji shows which are set in times past and which are aired at all times of the day..and there is this great one on a Kuwaiti channel which is set in Oman and is this big drama and it revolves around the traditional trading, sea-travel lifestyle of yor.
Anyway, so one of the female caracters was singing a sad love-song, asking the ocean where her beloved has gone and for God to protect him, yadda, yadda, yadd. So midway through the 3rd sentence, I sorta said “eegads” because…dangit… I UNDERSTOOD!!!! (I shant repeat what I heard here as, I dont think it would be appropriate, ya know)
yah, all of it!!! Almost the entire love-song I comprehended—Khaleeji arabic dialect and all “-ch anybody?”. Then, I paid attention afterwards at what the characters saying and I’d say about 75% of what was said (since they were speaking fairly slowly) I am pretty sure I understood. Maybe I couldnt get the fine nuances but I actually understood what they were saying.
Although I really havent been seriously studying my Arabic…I have been trying to pay attention to people speaking around me, people on the TV shows and everytime I’m next door hanging out with my Jordanian neighboor I bring a paper and pen and we go over words. This sorta goes along with my son getting quite good in Arabic.
I am hoping it lasts and I can continue to learn once we leave, but really…I donno how feisable it will be, first because I realized I can understand the Khaleeji version pretty decently while the version my Jordanian friend speakers or the Egyptian or Lebanese throws me for a loop! I donno, we’ll see…also, I dont understand the grammer too, too well…although I’ll be honest it is starting to click and while I cant rattle off the personal pronouns, nor the endings off my head or the plurals and singulars of words (i.e. I dont know the rules by heart) when it comes to understanding people and sort of trying my hand at getting things across, its clicked in my brain so I know which is which. But, I dont know them properly. Does that make sense?
My Jordanian friend told me if I was to stay 1 more year, I could def. achieve fluency and frankly…I think my running AT has helped, since I buy mostly from Saudi run shops…and their English tends to be slim/nill…I sorta have this pidgin going which is mixed Arabic, English and even some Urdu (cuz the tailors are usually Pakistani) so thats helped even more so
Anyway, it was definitely a wild experience, and just this morning while I was at the Mall with my son, we were in a cafe having coffee and a cinnabun and I was able to semi-follow what some Saudi women were discussing beside us. Okay, maybe not a lot, as they spoke at normal speed, but quite a bit I could pick out and understand. Id say, more than even 2 months ago, if I really pay attention.