I starting learning Arabic in 2001 partly because it is a major world language
with speakers in many countries, some of which I would like to visit; partly
as a challenge, and partly because knowing it would be useful when building Arabic
After investigating the Arabic language courses available at that time, I chose
Mastering Arabic, which teaches you Modern Standard Arabic, the lingua
franca of the Arabic-speaking world. Before embarking on my first trip to an Arabic-speaking
country, Morocco, in December 2001, I managed to work my way through the first
ten lessons of Mastering Arabic, which covered pronunciation, the writing
system, a few words and a bit of grammar. Unfortunately this wasn't sufficient to
hold even a basic conversation in Arabic. This wasn't a problem though as many people
in Morocco speak French so I was able to converse with them in that language.
After returing from my adventures in Morocco, my Arabic studies were put on
hold and I started learning Italian instead in preparation for a trip to Sicily.
I plan to learn more Arabic in the not too distant future - probably in 2007.
I will be learning Egyptian Colloquial Arabic with Pimsleur Egyptian Arabic
and Colloquial Arabic of Egypt, and plan to visit Egypt at some point
as well. Once I've got a reasonable command of Egyptian Arabic, I may have another
go a Modern Standard Arabic.