I have been living in Kuwait for two years (18 months if you don't count summers in France). During this time, I haven't had a single lesson in speaking, reading, or writing Arabic. I can say "chokran" to thank someone and that's about it.
Yesterday, I looked at this word on the sign outside the grocery store... and read it. M-R-K-Z. Merkaz.
Hmmm. I call my Lebanese friend Amal to ask her what "merkaz" means. "It means "center", she says. Of course, the Sultan Center, the name of the store where I'm getting my groceries.
So there you have it, everyone. Congratulate me! I am now reading Arabic without having taken any lessons at all. Just 18 months of a constant barrage of signs for McDonalds, Burger King, Zara, and GAP, etc. and I'm catching on. Who says illiteracy can't be beaten?
|Can you make out the letters M-A-K-D-O-N-A-L-D-Z ?|
|Q-F (/kef/) is the word for "stop"|
|The week before, I had an email from her Arabic teacher complaining that the Bambina only got 4 out of 10 and that she needed to try harder!|