language learning

While here in Israel, I am most excited about making friends and learning their languages. I will be learning Hebrew mostly within the classroom and Arabic mostly on the streets. I am taking a Modern Hebrew class this semester and the class is taught in Hebrew and my book is in Hebrew, so that will be interesting, but I know that I will learn a lot and quickly I hope. So far, I really only know the alphabet and a few simple phrases and words. At the Moshav, where we are staying, the workers in the restaurant that we eat are all Arabic. My dad would be happy to know that I pulled out the few phrases that I learned from him to talk with them on the first couple of days (I know you thought I wasn’t listening). Now I know a few of the guys by name and they teach me new words every time I go in for a meal. I met one of the workers, Sherif, and he speaks very little English. He stopped me outside one day and was trying to say something to me, but I couldn’t understand even a little bit. He looked frustrated with his hand over his face as he said, “one minute” and then ran back inside to ask another worker to translate for him. I waited and when he came back, he simply asked “how are you?” Despite the language barrier, I have a few friends at the Moshav and that is exciting. My entire class went to Jerusalem for the first time earlier this week and I met a Palestinian shopkeeper while we were exchanging our money. I spoke with him and he also taught me a few words. I saw him again today when a few of us students went into Jerusalem earlier today after church. He told me to bring a notebook and pen next time. That was Sababa (cool in Arabic)! The manager at our restaurant told me that in a month, he will have me speaking Arabic. I hope so.

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language learning

4 thoughts on “language learning

  1. Sharon Taylor says:

    I’m so glad to read you blog and so proud of you. I’m in Santa Cruz right now with Asher and Amara, your 3rd cousins. Enjoy your stay in Israel and I’m sure you will speak Arabic. Love, Sharon

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