>Why is it SO hard to practice Arabic?!

>So, El 3atal’s cousin (bint 3ammo) has come to town from Sweden for a semester at the University. As a result, of this trip (and her total lack of Arabic skills (3ammoBean, you should be ashamed!)), I have been having the most excellent opportunity to practice my Arabic. Really, it’s been great. She is living with another student from Sweden, whose Arabic is slightly better, but classical. So, between the three of us, my skills are by far the best (isn’t that sad? Reflections of translating during the shoe distribution campaign).

As a result, all conversations with the landlady and the Egyptian guard are rather left to me. Which, while I’m sure is painful for the other party is great practice. Add to that the fact that we visited one of ButterBean’s best friends (whose brother is one of JuniorBean’s best friends) and I got like 3 hours of intensive speaking with their Mom. She understands English, but is too shy to speak it (sounds like me in reverse).

So, the last week and a half have been good, but before that no so much. It seems like the conversations can realistically have are limited to the kinds of things you talk to acquaintances or strangers about. It’s nearly impossible to talk to Teta and JiddoBean because I simply don’t have an adequate enough vocabulary. Although, I guess it then becomes something of a West Ammani conversation (nus Arabi, nus Englizi). But, it would be nice if there were some in between in my life… Ahh, well, here’s me continuing to scope out opportunities to practice (and wishing my accent were wore so that people wouldn’t speak so darn fast!!!). Oh, and I failed to mention the other huge challenge. It’s contained in one word – blond. Not, mind you as a state of mind, but as a physical reality. People simply naturally speak English to me because I’m so obviously American. Even if I start the conversation in Arabic, they often respond in Arabic, sigh. At any rate…

Happy Practice!

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