Wanting to learn Arabic, way back in the 80s and 90s
Learning Arabic is something I get a lot of questions about. I started to learn Arabic in 1989. That was when I took my first course in Modern Standard Arabic. I have spent many years since then studying, learning, and using the language. I have helped people who want to learn Arabic by creating and publishing Arabic language learning apps.
Learning Arabic in Toronto (where I grew up) back then was not very easy. But it wasn’t really until I arrived in Cairo, Egypt, that I began to really move forward in being able to function in the language. I had come to Egypt with one purpose – to learn Arabic. It was August 27, 1991, and I was a brand new arrival in Cairo, on a year abroad at the American University in Cairo during my third year of a degree at the University of Toronto.
Why did I choose Arabic? And why Egypt? I chose Arabic because I was in a linguistics undergraduate program at the University of Toronto, and wanted to study a language other than the usual French, Spanish, and German that my fellow students were studying at the time. I chose Egypt because it was the only place I knew of that would allow me to transfer credits back to my university in Canada. Amazing how seemingly small decisions can change the rest of your life. I’ve been here ever since.
Things that have changed in learning Arabic since 1991
Many things have changed since I arrived in Cairo that day almost 25 years ago. Here’s some of the big ones: Continue reading “Learn Arabic – then and now”