Thursday, May 22, 2014

Learning Arabic; the Multimedia Method

As a library card carrying member of the Greene County Public Library my first step in learning Arabic was to scour the catalog for any resources that I could help me.  There were some books but a lot of them did't have pronunciation guides.  I downloaded some audio ebooks but I couldn't find a book to match.  I wondered how I would learn a language if I couldn't see and hear it at the same time.  
I made two wonderful discoveries.  The first being Mango languages online resource which was recommended by another librarians.  We are a helpful bunch after all. Mango teaches MSA or Modern Standard Arabic.  Many countries speak Arabic as their national languages but with their own local variations or dialect.  As with English there are many words for similar ideas. Just think of all the greetings we have in English that are formal, informal and just plain crazy.  How did we ever get from Hello to wassup? 

I did learn a downside to Mango. Their app cannot support languages like Arabic which are written right to left.  I did note that the app can teach you to speak like a pirate leaving me to question their priorities just a smidge.

Another resource I am really enjoying is the Little Pim line of dvds in Arabic for early
learners.  Each dvd is about a half hour long and teaches 60 words.  The words are spoke aloud, printed on the screen and used in a variety of sentences. Although the movies are geared toward children ages 0-5 years old I found them to be wonderfully helpful and very entertaining.  Check out the YouTube example of the first Little Pim dvd which focuses on food and eating.

I am also fully enamored with Arabic Phrases for Dummies by Amine Bouchentouf.  It's
organized in an excessively useful manner.  I plan to buy a copy Amazon so I can write notes in the margins. 

Wa 'alaykum 'as-salaam - and upon you peace


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