Saturday, December 02, 2006

Back to School

Arabic 102 begins today at Hudson County Community College. I don't think many of us made it through from Arabic 101, but a small group will show. Enough people registered that the class was not canceled.

Last semester we first worked on building vocabulary, then on simple things like greetings and comprehension. We were studying the alphabet when the semester ended.

I don't quite have the alphabet down yet. So I can see that in the top comic here, it says "X-MN." (There's no X in Arabic so that one is borrowed.) The next one says "MARVL." But the last one loses me after "AR."


Ed Ward said...

I think (knowing very little of Arab orthography as I do) that you haven't learned the diacriticals, the little marks over the letters which imply the vowels, yet. Which I think are the dots.

Archie used to be drawn by the father of two kids I went to school with. He visited with his sketchpad and some of us wound up in crowd scenes in later comics! (Not me, of course; they didn't want to scare people away).

Marie Javins said...

You're right that vowels often show as small marks above the consonants. But not always. Sometimes, there just aren't any. It's all in how it sounds, the phonetics. MAR has an "A" but VL doesn't necessarily have an "E." In English, it's "MARV-L." So that's the literal translation.

I know a thing or two about unexpectedly showing up in comic books...

Marie Javins said...

Only six of us made it back for the second semester! And no men at all. A room of women learning Arabic from a female Egyptian teacher. Not sure there are any conclusions to be drawn from that other than... more women than men always seem to be in Continuing Ed. Taking a class is not a good way to meet a man.