As always after a weekend I was pretty rusty this morning and it took a while to warm up to the vocab quiz and get my brain back in the game. We took some detours throughout the quiz and our discussion about the weekend as new vocab popped up — for example, we explored the difference between the verb haawala (to try to do something) and jarraba (to try, for example, food).
We then revised near demonstrative pronouns. I already knew the singular and plural human versions but didn’t know the dual form versions. Unlike other grammar topics, these seem to stick in my memory quite easily. We spent a while practising them by taking turns to put them into sentences using words from recent study topics. After the break we kept working on the grocer topic and put together a long list of fruits and vegetables and their Arabic names. I love in particular qarnabit for cauliflower, sabaanikh for spinich, mishmish for apricot and foolfool for capsicum/chilli.
We kicked off the day with a fun version of our vocab quiz: we had to take turns making a story sentence by sentence that took place in a grocer, a bank, and an airport. Our story involved a man who went to the grocer to buy a kiwi but there were none so he flew to New Zealand, withdrew money from a bank, bought a kilo of kiwis, but was then caught at Amman customs upon his return because a Kiwi disease meant importation was temporarily forbidden.
We then followed up yesterday’s lesson on near demonstratives with far demonstratives and I’m feeling really good about it all except for the pronunciation of both plural pronouns which I can’t seem to nail for some reason. Their tangle of alifs, lams, wows, and hamzas just don’t trigger cleanly in my brain. The grammar theme continued after the break with some weak vowel conjugation revision. This is definitely a weak point for me but I feel like today’s revision helped force some progress in internalising the rules.
We rounded out the day with some fun shopping role plays. I’m really enjoying the working relationship I have with my two current classmates.
I dunno what it is with Tuesdays but these hump days are turning out to be when I become hyperaware of what I don’t know and can’t do, and I feel a bit overwhelmed with anxiety about the scale of this task. Today was no different, and it didn’t help that we learned the verb for failing in studies (rasaba). Having said that, and to focus on the positives, today I was aware of how my speaking is progressing, especially with respect to using object pronouns more subconsciously.
Today’s grammar was revision of negation. Like demonstratives the other day, I knew these words but didn’t know the associated grammar rules which govern changes you need to make when using lam (negating past with a present tense verb) and lan (negating future with a present tense verb). The rules seem simple enough and hopefully I can recall them easily when using them. We moved on from the topic of the grocer’s to the butcher’s today, working through vocab for all the carnivorous food and associated stuff like verbs and adjectives for chop, mince, bone etc.
I also enjoyed making connections between words today. I love that the word for “corrupt” (faasid), as in a corrupt person, is the same for “rotten”, as in food. And I suddenly realised that the word for “demonstrative” pronouns (isnaad) is used along with the word for “light” in “traffic light”.
Very little chalk and talk in the first half of today’s lesson, just lots of exercises to help cement this week’s content. Role plays, card-matching games, speaking exercises. Our teacher always picking up vocab and capitalising on teachable moments throughout.
After the break we worked through the process for extracting the root from any Arabic word. This is one of the aspects of the Arabic language that make it a bit impenetrable for learners because the root system means you can’t just look up a word in the dictionary like you can with practically any English word. As with so many other language rules, the rules for extracting the root start out nice and simple and then move into dealing with increasingly niche and edge cases until you get to a point where the rule is “check the dictionary”.
Today was test and spoken presentation day and I was very anxious. It got to a point last night where my brain just couldn’t study anymore and I didn’t feel as prepared for the test as I wanted to be. In the end I did okay. 14/20. Again, I let myself down with weak vowel conjugations and a little bit with remembering irregular plurals. Mainly I lost points because I didn’t put enough effort into the writing section. I simply dumped a bunch of vaguely related sentences instead of thinking harder about a writing a more coherent story. But at least I know I’m on track and there are no major problems. I still need to make sure I don’t slacken off even for a day, though.
After a much-needed coffee and a debrief with my classmates, we each delivered our spoken presentations. I talked about our family visit to the Amman Children’s Museum last weekend and described some of the activities that our daughter enjoyed. There were lots of corrections, as usual, but I was pretty proud when I managed one particularly tricky passage (lots of conjugations and object pronouns going back and forth all over the place between clauses) and got a nod from the teacher.
Anyway, flashcard stats are looking good this week!