The Arab connection

I guess I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve been asked if I’m Arab.
Notwithstanding that time on the plane, and that other kid who mistook me for an “arabic person”, the past couple of months I’ve also been asked if I speak Arabic, more times than I’ve been asked if I speak German.

That, and the fact that at the barber saloon I go to, the guy speaks no English, no German and little Arabic, I think it would be more useful than fun to answer “Yes”, the next time someone asks.

With this view in mind, I’d like to announce that effective immediately I now start to learn, a self-taught course on Arabic.
Of course, this is not a new language for me, but having spent most of my school years dreading language classes, I guess it is still going to be a while before I can look someone in the eye and say,
”Na’am, atakallam al-Arabi”

Now, why am I saying all this here?
Because I know that two weeks down the line when I decide to give up because it is getting too way hard to learn TWO languages simultaneously (yes, my German course is still on!) I want to look back at this entry and tell myself that I’m not gonna wimp away from something I promised in Public.

And hope that’s motivation enough.
I wish me luck.


Jaffer said...

I picked up a Teach Yourself Arabic book last year, worked very hard on it for 4 weeks and never touched it again.

Do you have a word-by-word meaning of the translation of the Quran ? (Published by Darusalam).
I learn from it time to time and reading the Quran becomes a lot more enjoyable when an Ayah contains words that I just learned and it seems to pop right out of the page !

Mohammed Musthafa said...

I studied arabic for about 4 years from a madrassa....and within 6 months since leaving, forgot almost everything...guess all u really need is dedication...some ppl who really wanna understand the quran learn arabic quickly....even when they're in their 40's! best of luck!

-=A.R.N.=- said...


No actually I don't.
Think that would be more useful any day.

What I use now is a set of audio files from
Quite handy for putting on your iPod and listening to it on the way to/from work and stuff.

Actually I think what you really need is the interest...everything else should fall into place on its own.
For the record, I learnt arabic at school for over 8yrs and still struggle to speak two sentences.

-=A.R.N.=- said...

btw, can you please gimme the ISBN of the word for word translation?
Can't seem to find it on the UK site..

Jaffer said...

There isn't one actually and what is more strange is that there are two Darussalam UK websites ! You may be looking the one where as I found it at the .com one here

If you know of an Islamic Book store near where you live you may have a chance of getting a better deal - haggle a little.

Jaffer said...

Bad news - here is the REAL website
The other two may be fake.

In the UK, the Volumes are distributed by Al-Hidayah Publishing and Distribution, 522 Coventry Road, Birmingham, B10 OUN, UK
Tel: 0044-121-753-1889

Better to Telephone Al-Hidayah than to search for the real distributor.

-=A.R.N.=- said...

Thx..strange they have no ISBN
btw, I guess both and are mirror sites? is the US site, and it has the link to the other .com site.

But I guess its better to telephone in anyway.

A New Beginning said...

Urdu definately becomes quite easy once you've read the Quran, with translations given after everyline it becomes easy to understand whats been given, but its great if one learns Arabic.Nothing like it!
All the very best to u!

Dhanya said...

WHERE are you from actually? :P Always wanted to know this but never asked...

RukmaniRam said...

ooh. learning a new language is always fun. and even better when is 'teach yourself'. My best tip: Find movies/tv shows with subtitles. Esp if you want to do the "spoken" version of the language.

Lena said...

I started learning italian, and then spanish and one time even hindi, too good i didnt make any public promises :D

Good luck!! :)

-=A.R.N.=- said...

@A new beginning
Now there's a language I've never even attempted to learn :)
But you really think it has any similarities with Arabic?

Just so you know, you're not the first person to ask me that either:)

I'm from a place called Cuddalore in India (though I've never really lived there); grew up in a whole bunch of cities in Saudi Arabia, and currently live in Germany.

In a way, I've never been "home".

-=A.R.N.=- said...


Thx for the tip!
Kinda worked...except that it drives my roomie crazy because we already have more than our fair share of TV channels in German.

Somehow, I have a feeling this public promise is gonna blow. :(

Btw, sorry if you took offense to my last comment.
I don't normally do that; it was sort of a half-asleep-not-enough-coffee-what-was-I-thinking kinda thing.
So, we good? :)

Dhanya said...

Oh my... you're from Tamil Nadu... you don't look like a Tamilian though (which I'm sure you must have heard from lotsa people as well)!


Shimmer said...

Haaahahaha i spent 10 school yr trying to lrn arabic, or rather just scraping thru. the skool arabic is quite useless.. and i still dnt understand arabic.. hmmmmmm

so u nt recognised as an indian .. me tooooo :((((((

ppl ask me if im frm pak 9(y dont they rather slap me!) i thot i looked perfectly south indian. the moment i landed in chennai the airport customs person ask me if i was frm maldives :| :O

at least i looked indian to him.......... i shud also write a post on this.. hmmm :D

-=A.R.N.=- said...

Yeah, but not that I mind that.
Most people's idea of a "Tamilian" seems to be a skinny person with too much oil in their hair

Yeah, just yesterday a guy asked me where I was from, and then quickly guessed,
"Pakistan or Afganistan?"

But I think that's at least better than a friend of mine who was asked if he was from Thailand

Prasanna said...

I'd surely say that one language whose pronunciation stunned me is Arabic.

Bcoz I've wondered a lot many times while passing thro' a few 'Islam-propogating' channels here in India.

And I don't think no other language than Arabic has reverse scripting...
Good luck!

-=A.R.N.=- said...


Actually a lot of languages are written right-to-left:
semitic languages like Hebrew, Farsi...
Asian languages like Urdu...

Even Greek is written right to left

So I guess Arabic's not alone there.

AMIT said...

So you like becoming Arab?

Domain registration india

-=A.R.N.=- said...

well, not exactly "becoming" Arab, but yes I am quite fond of the Arabic language; not to mention Arabic food.