Sunday, December 24, 2006

Learning Some Arabic Online

Anyone interested in learning Arabic without spending money on formal instruction can visit The Arabic PodClass, which teaches the language in podcasts using the familiar texts of Kahlil Gibran. Language skills are an absolute essential to anyone with an interest in issues like foreign affairs and security analysis, and here's one way that individuals with more time than money can pick up the skill. (Nothing follows)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard said, "Anyone interested in learning Arabic without spending money on formal instruction..."

Pretty soon Arabic will be the universal language in Europe, by dint of the comparative birth rates and the total lack of interest by the North Africans and Pakistani immigrants toward assimilating.

12/24/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

لسانك حصانك إن صنته صانك وإن خنته خانك

12/24/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Debase yourselves all you like, but the language skills essential to anyone with an interest in issues like foreign affairs and security analysis is English.

Doubt you that you could be wrong? Hey, you, me, illiterates all, unite.

Staggering - we could be right.

Note that there is anything wrong with Arabic, whatever that is.


12/25/2006 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Not,Not Note.


12/25/2006 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

I took Latin last semester, and that is enogh almost extinxt languages for me. I wonder how the French drive to preserve the French language will stack up next to saving Arabic?
Is there a dead pool for languages?

12/25/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

One of the (many) disgraces of leadership lapses the Bushies were guilty of after 9/11 was not gearing America to learn critical languages and offering opportunities to those that bothered learning that skill or who had native fluency.
In WWII, 7 language schools were teaching Japanese by early 1943. We had European immigrants fluent in languages from Norwiegan to Greek ready.
In the Cold War, America's schools were incentivized to teach Russian and encouraged to do other "critical" languages. Immigrants were amply used in strategic communications and media outreach to the Warsaw Pact. In Vietnam, we set up language schools and had over 5,000 Americans trained to an edept level in Vietnamese and another 10,000 with conversational skills.

While it might be OK for some to learn Arabic to better appreciate the Qu'ran after their conversion to Islam...the "genius of the market" provides little incentive to learn such a difficult language for future job opportunities.

It is up to the government to get our strategic communications and ability of our military, security, and intelligence forces to communicate with the natives they encounter or could encounter staffed with those with language skills. Not just in Arabic, but Farsi, Chinese, Indonesian, Urdu, Farsi.
And the Bushies have utterly failed in this area. It is not even close to a priority. They focus on high tech wonder toys and believe that other cultures will wish to be just like America if they only knew how well we live..

Last year, 5 years after 9/11, the FBI graduated it's latest, and largest class of agents. One was able to understand Arabic.

12/25/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12/25/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

After 9-11 I spent a year trying to teach myself Arabic. I labored with the alphabet, chatted along with Pimsleur CDs, and even used the "Rosetta Stone" multimedia system to try to absorb the language.

Even in multi-culti New York City, people thought I was from Mars because I felt that there was a need to learn this language.

I can still read a few words, but I eventually gave up, essentially because there was nobody else who thought this was worth learning. How many BC readers have taken up Arabic?

I am loath to admit that I actually agree with Cedarford on his point. Five years after 9-11, there's been no initiative to learn the language.

12/25/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actions speak louder than words. And on that score, the arab speaking world has spoken loud and clear. What is it that you hope to learn that you already do not know?

12/26/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/26/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

"Actions speak louder than words" - most certainly. But we often hear about the motives for these actions through the filter of the MSM.

Lefties, like baby birds, eagerly swallow up Michael Moore-ish memes of the common Iraqi rising up against the tyranny of the Bush regime, but is that really what's going on?

12/26/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a civil war and a US military occupation in Iraq, that's what's going on. Everything else follows from that.

12/26/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Btw, anyone that can look at Michael Moore's face for more than two seconds, should automatically be considered brain dead, as far as I'm concerned.

12/26/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Thanks, Wretchard, for the link.

I took an Arabic class about a year ago, learned enough to order food at a restaurant, but that's about it. A class like this might help me revive the many details I've forgotten.

Learning another language is always useful, at the very least as an intellectual exercise. Some people like to do Sudoku, I like to learn a little arabic. When you're done with the Sudoku, all you have is a couple of numbers on paper. If you spend that time learning Arabic, if you someday find yourself lost in a souk you can ask for directions and order some Tajine dajej

12/26/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Cedarford, Admiral King said ' When this war is over Japanese will be spoken only in hell.' or something like that.
That attitude was a big part of why we won.
If you want to fix the blame, look in a mirror. There are only so many man hours in any given time period. So part of management is establishing priorities so those man hours go to where they are most fruitfull. If the Left had got on board with the need for America to defend itself, then the man hours used trying to persuade the left that America and it's ideals ARE worth fighting for, could have been used on something trivial like learning a soon (3 or 4 generations) to be dead language.
Actually fighting this war was considered a priority. While that may have been a mistake, that is a judgement history will make. If the left doesn't like the way this war is being fought, it is incumbent on them to outline a different plan. After 5 years, the Left still hasn't done that. Now the Democrats control the House and maybe the Senate, depending on when the good Senator Johnson is declared dead.
So the Left will HAVE to come up with a plan, or watch the Demonrats go down the tubes in '08.

Rove is your black cloud,
killing all your hope.
You are hanging by a thread
and he's holding the rope.

12/26/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

I've read some Arabic books, I even have a 5-CD set (not Pimsleur). I've been with a muslim woman from Sudan for almost 6 years and I've barely made a dent in the language. Maybe free pod-casts will help, thanks Wretchard.

12/29/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger mathew said...

Learn languages the fun way :
If you are interested in learning Arabic, French, Spanish or English the fun way, be sure to visit

1/11/2008 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Hunkston said...

Recently I began attempting to learn a new language online, just to have something else to put on my CV, and I was amazed how many different types of language cds there are available. In the end I decided to purchase some gear that would help me learn German and it has been amazing, I can’t believe how quickly I am picking it all up! Going to give Russian a go next!

2/15/2008 01:45:00 AM  

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