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Arabic Study Group

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nancydowns
Senior Member
United States
Joined 1329 days ago

184 posts - 101 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 33 of 104
18 March 2014 at 3:21am | IP Logged 
Hello everyone! :-)

I was rereading this log and realized that Dina and Napoleon, you are both also working on FSI MWA. I thought I was going at that one alone! :-) So I was
wondering how you all are using it? Here's how I have been using it. Hopefully someone can give me some tips because I feel it should be more useful than I am
finding it right now. Two things keep me from feeling like it is very useful. First is the vocabulary. I really, at this point, anyway, don't have any
interest in learning about all of these kingdoms and countries. I guess this makes it more obvious that this was created for foreign service. I do like the
Spanish one, though, so that's why this seems so different. In the Spanish one there are dialogues. Also, the script is very hard for me right now with no
vowels. So what I have been doing is when I start a new chapter, I go to the end and read the grammatical notes and the vocabulary and write down anything I
think I'll need, including the Arabic vocab that I want to learn. Those words, I look up in an English-Arabic dictionary that has the vowels marked. Then I go
to the beginning of the lesson and listen to the tape while reading the text. I am starting to recognize some of the words that way. And I get the
pronunciation practice. So I just finished lesson 8. I am going through kind of fast, so I wonder if I should be more thorough and take pains with the script?
Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

I am enjoying the Mastering Arabic. I am through chapter 4 now. I will take a look at the Levantine FSI program and also the DLI and see what those are like.
Thanks for those suggestions!

Hope your studying is going well! Nice to know there are others out there plugging away at it! :-)



Edited by nancydowns on 18 March 2014 at 3:22am

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nancydowns
Senior Member
United States
Joined 1329 days ago

184 posts - 101 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 34 of 104
18 March 2014 at 3:32am | IP Logged 
By the way, Napoleon, Thanks for uploading the picture of your written Arabic! It is very nice! I should do that sometime and see what you think
of mine. I don't have a nice flow yet. I definitely need to just write more... my letters are all still quite square looking! :-)
1 person has voted this message useful



napoleon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
India
Joined 2423 days ago

543 posts - 329 votes 
Speaks: Bengali*, English, Hindi, Urdu
Studies: French, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 35 of 104
18 March 2014 at 4:40am | IP Logged 
Nancy, I can't tell you how motivating it is for me to know there are other people out there studying Arabic.
When I do FSI MWA, first, during reading for listening (, they say so on the tape,) I read silently, while listening to the audio. Next, during reading for repetition, I read the text out loud, mimicing the voice on the tape as best as I can. By this time, the tape usually finishes, and I do the drills (tamareenu).
Finally, I use google input tools (Arabic) to add the new vocab into Anki. (I do this for the Madinah book as well.)
I think the media based vocabulary is the most important take away from this course. It should help us breach the formidable castle that is the Arabic media. :)
This is not a course for learning how to speak, unlike the other FSI basic courses.
The DLI MSA course, however, has dialogues. I have read somewhere that it does a pretty good job of teaching you how to speak the language.
BTW, you should definitely post a page of your handwriting. I am really looking forward to it. :)
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Luso
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 3468 days ago

819 posts - 1016 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 36 of 104
18 March 2014 at 5:04am | IP Logged 
linguaholic_ch wrote:
Sorry if this seems irrelevant, but I had used this link a year ago, when I didn't choose
a language to embark upon,

http://ikindalikelanguages.com/labs/courses.php?id=18

I have found this course to be very interesting and fun, because each introduces each
letter on the basis of what you have learnt and you learn a few words too.

I have a problem with this.

It has nothing to do with linguaholic_ch, of course, and it has nothing to do with the intentions of the creator of the pages, which I'm sure are very honourable.

To me, this kind of approach is quite shallow, if you really want to learn the language: it's questionable right from the start ("IL"? really? since when?) and it has other problems (I won't get into those, as I don't want to confuse you).

My bottom line is: it seems that there's a lot of stuff out there that is destined to give you a brief outline of the language, but that approach creates misconceptions further down the road. Beware!
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napoleon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
India
Joined 2423 days ago

543 posts - 329 votes 
Speaks: Bengali*, English, Hindi, Urdu
Studies: French, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 37 of 104
18 March 2014 at 5:49am | IP Logged 
@Luso: It is just an introductory course. What do you expect? :)
Besides, I have long stopped trusting pronunciation advice from text-only courses. :)
But seriously, please do not hold back. Tell us why you think the course is bad.
1 person has voted this message useful



Luso
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 3468 days ago

819 posts - 1016 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 38 of 104
18 March 2014 at 2:21pm | IP Logged 
Letters should be grouped by the way they sound, not by the way they look on the paper. Imagine yourself learning the Latin alphabet in the same way: "now, we have "b, d, p and q...".

And there's other thing: by lesson 8, you already have mentions to several negative Arabic words and names in recent History (I won't dignify them with an explicit mention here). Come to think of it, it's quite insulting.

Edited by Luso on 18 March 2014 at 2:46pm

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druckfehler
Triglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 2275 days ago

1181 posts - 738 votes 
Speaks: German*, EnglishC2, Korean
Studies: Persian

 
 Message 39 of 104
18 March 2014 at 2:34pm | IP Logged 
I looked a the course and don't think it looks that good either. A lot of the free courses made by people on the internet are quite useful when you take some components and supplement them with other materials, but there are very few that would actually work well as only study materials. And some are better left unused... For learning the alphabet, I find sound files absolutely obligatory and if there are also accurate phonetic descriptions that's even better.

Luso wrote:
Letters should be grouped by the way they sound, not by the way they look on the paper. Imagine yourself learning the Latin alphabet in the same way: "now, we have "b, d, p and q...".

I don't study Arabic, but I did learn the alphabet and thought it made sense to group letters by shape, at least for learning to write and distinguish them. However, I agree that it makes even more sense to see them grouped by sound as well and maybe it would be better to start with grouping by sound.
1 person has voted this message useful



napoleon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
India
Joined 2423 days ago

543 posts - 329 votes 
Speaks: Bengali*, English, Hindi, Urdu
Studies: French, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 40 of 104
18 March 2014 at 3:24pm | IP Logged 
druckfehler wrote:

...
I don't study Arabic, but I did learn the alphabet and thought it made sense to group letters by shape, at least for learning to write and distinguish them. However, I agree that it makes even more sense to see them grouped by sound as well and maybe it would be better to start with grouping by sound.


I think it makes more sense to group Arabic letters by shape too. The Arabic script is fluid, with the letters flowing into each other. Plus, a letter may take upto three different forms based on whether it is at the begining, middle, or end of a word (, even without the ligatures). It is easier to learn a new letter if it looks like another one that you already know.
Letter grouping by shape helped me learn the script. So, I can't complain, can I? :-)

Update:
I want to add that I totally support Luso when he says we cannot always trust free courses found online. They are best used to complement traditional methods like FSI and Assimil.
Let the buyer beware! :-)

Edited by napoleon on 19 March 2014 at 7:58am



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