Back to School
I'm excited, a bit nervous and ready to be challenged.
Because today, I start regular Arabic classes at Derby Language School. Fortunately, I'm not alone. I'll be accompanied by colleagues and volunteers who are embarking on this journey with me.
We've set ourselves the goal of learning Arabic. We're under no illusion that it'll be plain sailing. We're going to have to get our heads round a completely different alphabet, for starters. Then there's differences in word order, complex pronunciation and reading from right to left...
But I think it's important that we're taking on this challenge. We meet so many people who speak Arabic as a first language, and they always make an effort to pick up our mother tongue. The least we can do is meet them halfway.
I caught up with some of the people who are going back to school with me.
"I'm very excited to be learning a language that is spoken by so many of our international friends! I think it will help us have more sympathy for those learning English."
"I'm feeling apprehensive because it's completely new."
"Learning someone else's native language lets those people know that you love them. It builds relational bridges. That's why I want to do it: it will be a challenge but it will definitely be worth it!"
"I am very excited to get started!"
"I'm excited to learn something new and to communicate better with the people we meet."
"I'm feeling excited to be learning Arabic. I think it will be very useful to connect with our neighbours on a much deeper level."
I'll keep you updated on how we get on!
Sam – Communications Officer