Thursday, October 11, 2007

Laa atkallam ahrabee kateer

Iraqi woman with her granddaughter.

In years to come I’m going to have one regret from my time spent in the Middle East, and that will be not making more of an effort to learn Arabic. I can already see that I’m squandering a great opportunity.

I have some pat phrases down that the maids have taught me over the months, although I’m not sure that I’m pronouncing everything correctly. They laugh uproariously every time I ask if there’s any fresh bread for breakfast.

I’m terrible with languages. It took the Army over ten years to make me proficient at Spanish and I’ve been struggling with Japanese for twice that long. Now here I am with a perfect opportunity to learn Arabic and I’m not taking full advantage of it. Maybe I’ll start today.

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