What it feels like to be able to speak Arabic in the classroom, but not be able to have an unscripted and impromptu conversation with a native speaker.
Or what it feels like to turn on a tv show or a song, and be completely confused, having no idea what anyone is saying.
My Arabic journey started my sophomore year of college with Fusha. And let me tell you — I was terrible at Arabic. On paper though, it didn’t look that way.
On paper, I was a straight A-/B+ Arabic student. I attended class 3 times a week for 3 years, and studied abroad in Morocco and Jordan.
And yet by the time I graduated college, I had only mastered ordering a coffee, and could only recall a smattering of random and unrelated words.
Whenever I heard Arabic spoken, it didn’t sound like a language at all.. Instead the sounds of Arabic reminded me that I was never going to be good enough, I could never do this, I was a failure.