Friday, February 15, 2013

Relationships with Egyptians - Part 4

Language Barrier

As we all know in Egypt they speak Arabic, well better said Egyptian Arabic and to be honest I have been here for a year and I still can't hold a conversation yet. Most of Egyptians speak a little bit of English but to be honest not so good. One thing is for sure they do want to learn to polish their English so in my case they always want a truce with me. You teach me English I will teach you Arabic! You will find that often then not. Anyways when you are in a relationship with someone and for example you don't speak English very well or he doesn't at first is kind of Aww so cute! We are learning to speak and to communicate and I love you is so easy to say that we just fell right for it.

Now when you move to the country and you don't know the language, that my friend is when the language barrier let's her presence be known in full force. Me and my habibi don't have that problem, he speaks perfect English thanks to his education and that is why I haven't been forced to learn the language either. But let me tell you how frustrating it is that you are at work and they are always talking in Arabic unless their talking to you and they talk to each other say your name and you know that their talking about you and they don't care to translate! Rude? Indeed but that is just the way it is.

Then there is the fact that when you go to buy things most of the people don't speak English so it's not like you can you just ask is this from today or where is the yogurt? So it can get very frustrating and annoying! I have learn a few words I am proud of myself. Most of the time I know what is going on around me but I am still afraid of my Arabic because is new! My advice to you please try to learn the language as much as you can. It would help a lot.

The reading and writing well that is totally a different story! To say that am still confused about the reading because they write from right to left and well am used to left to right! Let's be honest Arabic is very difficult language if you want to learn the grammar and the proper way of speaking it and writing it. What you need is the slang but my goal is to learn as much as I can. I love how they write and I hope that in a few years I can write and read it! So far am still learning to sign my name hahahaha.

So if you are leaving in a country where you feel left out try to catch up. I usually learn how to say things and what they mean by listening to people and asking what does this mean? After that I call my habibi and say I learned a new word today! His response is to laugh and then because he knows I want to show off he ask me ok what is the word? I tell him and I just start laughing and saying am so excited! Anyways my point being people can be helpful sometimes take the opportunity and learn from them. Another way is to take courses I don't like them to be honest but for some people it helps.

Most importantly let your partner know how you feel. I had to talk to my Habibi because every time we were eating in his parents place the conversation was in Arabic and well that is very uncomfortable. He didn't translate to me and I was just left looking at my food. That seriously putted me in such a bad mood that I just said listen this is not right. Know he translates and we talk in English sometimes and well sometimes I practice my Arabic too. So is a win, win situation if you let your feelings be known.

My advice learn as much as you can and find a friend who can help you. I sometimes watch T.V. in Arabic to see if I understand. The more you expose yourself and try to be receptive the easier it will get. Be patient and try to be understanding with one another. Teach each other too I am trying to teach Habibi Spanish so far not so good hahah  but I will try.

More often then not sometimes I have misunderstandings with my mother in law her English is not good and she mistakes what I say! Even the drivers have misunderstood  me! Thing is they agree and say yes, madam but they didn't get it at all! So I learned to speak slowly and like if I was speaking to a first grader. Sometimes it works then the other times I just call my habibi and say listen can you check if this person understood what I said? Thanks! True Story! Be ready to have difficulties communicating and try to do your best and enjoy it.

Thank you for reading and following me!

Relationships with Egyptians - Part 4


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