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Arabic, woot.

BalgairBalgair Registered User regular
edited October 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Well, in light of some recent language threads, I thought I'd jump on the wagon...and ask for some input from you guys. Here's the score:

I'm currently seeking a Bachelor's in Anthropology. The program requires that I become proficient in at least one foreign language. I chose Arabic. Here's why:
1. I'm very interested in Middle Eastern affairs.
2. I plan on traveling quite a bit after school, especially to Arabic speaking countries.
3. I want to read the Qur'an in its traditional language.
4. I heard Arabic fluency open$ big door$. (A degree in Anthropology does not. I'm in the program because I like the subject matter, okay?)
5. My girlfriend thinks it's hot.

So with that being said, I don't really know what to expect. My first class is Elementary Arabic (101). It's been really interesting, and pretty fun so far. Certainly not the gauntlet I've heard about. People seem to consider Arabic a relatively difficult language to learn. Is this just a misconception, or have I not yet been exposed to the hard stuff? I've learned about 3/4 of the alphabet and can read just about anything with those characters so far. It really seems straightforward. Of course, I don't know what the meanings of many of the things I read are..but that's just vocab, right? (oh, and people who claim it's so difficult to vocalize some of the sounds? Yeah, they must just be chain smokers. It's not hard.)

Does anyone know if anyone even speaks classical (what my program offers) Arabic in the real world?
(Will like 5 more semesters of Arabic classes really prepare me for anything?)

How varied are the regional dialects? I've seen comparisons of supposed "greetings", and they seem pretty much the same, but with slightly different emphasis on certain words.

Anyone have a good story about someone getting into a career through knowing Arabic? That would definitely be a morale booster for me.

Supposing my resources were vast, does anyone have any suggestions on where I might look in to studying abroad?

XBL:VOS THE VARG
Balgair on

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    EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    As far as the career thing goes, the State Department, FBI or CIA will EAT YOU UP as a fluent Arabic speaker (a lot of work, mind you). Also, anthropology is quite useful in business applications as vanguards to scout out new markets in their areas of expertise.

    Erios on
    Steam: erios23, Live: Coconut Flavor, Origin: erios2386.
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I never had the time to go, but the hands-down best language instruction program for any language are the middlebury immersion semesters/year-long sessions. i've had friends do them in spanish, german, and arabic, and they've all had rave reviews about it. if you're really serious about mastering a language, you need to do middlebury + extensive language immersion abroad.

    my arabic-speaking friend got funding from a gov't language grant that obligates her to a few years of gov't service - so you -have- to have a job. i would look at defense or domestic-security sponsored language programs.

    kaliyama on
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    TurnerTurner Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    deleted.

    Turner on
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    gneGnegneGne Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Does anyone know if anyone even speaks classical (what my program offers) Arabic in the real world?
    (Will like 5 more semesters of Arabic classes really prepare me for anything?)

    I have some maroccan friends, and what I do know is that the written language is namely Arabic (and french). The spoken language, however, can differ from region to region, but I guess most of it should be understandable. She also told me this is roughly the same throughout the whole middle-east. So learning Arabic is certainly not just for tits and giggles.

    How varied are the regional dialects? I've seen comparisons of supposed "greetings", and they seem pretty much the same, but with slightly different emphasis on certain words.

    So yeah, this is basicly it. Some words might differ completely, but most of it should make sense. Still, I haven't got the slightest clue on how many different dialects there are and some might be quite different.

    Anyone have a good story about someone getting into a career through knowing Arabic? That would definitely be a morale booster for me.

    There's always "a" career. Thing is, like in almost everything, it depends on how driven you are. There are probably going to be some students with arabian heritage in your class knowing twice as much, so be careful not to get demotivated. The middle east is growing fast, so there got to be enough jobs Im pretty sure. You can always consult your college to tell you what kind of jobs the students have gotten.

    gneGne on
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    plantersplanters Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I speak fluent Arabic and have taken Arabic 2 in college cause I had to take a language. The dialects they teach in classes aren't used daily by common people, they're more for writing (books and newspapers). You'd need to learn the colloquial language, it differs a bit from standard Arabic, most of it is short hand of standard with messed up grammar.

    planters on
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    There absolutely are regional schisms. Tunisian Arabic will not go down well in some parts of the ME. A lot of religious orientation goes into the linguistic slant of a region- what school of Qur'anic study is employed, for example.

    Good luck. Will you have the opportunity to converse with fluent speakers?

    Organichu on
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    BalgairBalgair Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Well, the more I learn the more interested I'm becoming.
    As for being driven, I'm absolutely committed to learning this language. I'm in an undergraduate program right now, but I'll most likely focus on Arabic to some extent at the graduate level as well.

    @ Organichu-- Your signature just reminded me of something. Do you know if the Israeli customs stamp on my passport is going to be a hindrance whilst traveling in most (or just some Arabic countries?

    Balgair on
    XBL:VOS THE VARG
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    Balgair wrote: »
    @ Organichu-- Your signature just reminded me of something. Do you know if the Israeli customs stamp on my passport is going to be a hindrance whilst traveling in most (or just some Arabic countries?

    I have both American and Israeli passports, and so the restrictions on my travel can be a lot more overbearing than of an American/Brit/whatever with just an Israeli stamp. Even so I know that an Israeli stamp disqualifies you from entrance into Syria, at least.

    Organichu on
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    FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    You should consider learning Persian in addition to Arabic, at least in Iran this is the official language, Arabic and Kurdish is spoken in Iraq.

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
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    RecklessReckless Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    As far as the passport thing goes, standard fare for us Americans traveling abroad is to ask the Israeli customs officers to stamp a separate page. They'll generally be alright with this, and that way you won't have to worry about entrance to states not so Israel-friendly.

    Reckless on
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    Reckless wrote: »
    As far as the passport thing goes, standard fare for us Americans traveling abroad is to ask the Israeli customs officers to stamp a separate page. They'll generally be alright with this, and that way you won't have to worry about entrance to states not so Israel-friendly.

    I swear I'm not trying to posture as a super spy or anything but I know there's a lot of internal pressure to move away from this allowance. I'm not sure whether it's happened as of yet, though.

    Organichu on
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    i know some people have two passports for this purpose

    kaliyama on
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    RecklessReckless Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Organichu wrote: »
    Reckless wrote: »
    As far as the passport thing goes, standard fare for us Americans traveling abroad is to ask the Israeli customs officers to stamp a separate page. They'll generally be alright with this, and that way you won't have to worry about entrance to states not so Israel-friendly.

    I swear I'm not trying to posture as a super spy or anything but I know there's a lot of internal pressure to move away from this allowance. I'm not sure whether it's happened as of yet, though.

    Any idea as to the rational? I've got a lot of pretty apparent reasons but I'd like to know what the Israeli government is specifically saying.

    Reckless on
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    BalgairBalgair Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    I'd guess the Israeli government probably doesn't like stamping separate pages, as it kind of indicates their indirect tolerance of the fact that there are nations out there that do not tolerate Israel's existence.

    Balgair on
    XBL:VOS THE VARG
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    Reckless wrote: »
    Organichu wrote: »
    Reckless wrote: »
    As far as the passport thing goes, standard fare for us Americans traveling abroad is to ask the Israeli customs officers to stamp a separate page. They'll generally be alright with this, and that way you won't have to worry about entrance to states not so Israel-friendly.

    I swear I'm not trying to posture as a super spy or anything but I know there's a lot of internal pressure to move away from this allowance. I'm not sure whether it's happened as of yet, though.

    Any idea as to the rational? I've got a lot of pretty apparent reasons but I'd like to know what the Israeli government is specifically saying.

    There hasn't been an official 'statement' that I'm aware of. I know a few people in sensitive positions and I know it's a hotly contested issue (on unofficial channels). Just a lot of people feel sore about it, one of the prime reasons being, as the recent poster said, that providing a 'workaround' is viewed is a tacit legitimization of the anti-Israeli states.

    Organichu on
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