Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Mind Your Language

I went to the bookshop today looking for an atlas to use for one of the jobs at work. I was also checking out other books, trying to find something interesting. I wasn't looking for anything specific like a design or photography book but just browsing for something to catch my eye. I got to the back corner of the place when I spotted this book called "Learn Arabic in 30 Days". What caught my eyes was the colors and the fact that I could learn Arabic in 30 days. 30 days? That sounded a bit optimistic. So I got the book and it cost me only 650fils which I think is a really good deal. So I started flipping through the book and this is just the funniest shit I have read in a long time. Its full of the strangest sayings and the english grammar is just terrible. I found this saying strange: a'atinee taz:kirat(an) daraj(an) awwal(an) ilaa baghdad. Which means give me a first class ticket for Baghdad. Shukr(an), nahnu nureedu an nazoor as-sweera. which means Thank you, we wish to visit Switzerland. What foreigner would use that saying in Arabic? Also sweera i think should be sweesra, they spelt it wrong. There are many typos like this. On a brighter note, for the people who party on vacations you can now say "I had vomiting too" in arabic. I swear thats how the english grammar is in this book! "Anaa kaana 'indee taqayoo'a(un) ai'dan" is how you are supposed to pronounce it for the arabic. I would really advice people to get this book, its only 650fils and is a good laugh. I got mine from the Muthana Complex bookshop in the basement.


Blogger Fuschia76 said...

your little tale about the first class ticket to baghdad was just too funny! i love this site... keep blogging.

1:25 AM, February 02, 2005  
Blogger Bnt-Q8 said...

whats so funny is your lack of knowledge about the name of places in Iraq..there are actaully a city in iraq called AS-SWEERA..!! so the book doesn't talk about Switzerland at all...as you said it is sweesra for Switzerland in Arabic Language..and the author who made this book is not that stupid to make such a mistake..because i guess there are checkers checking the books before they issue them to the people..!!


1:34 PM, February 05, 2005  
Blogger Mark said...

Bnt-Q8 there might be a city in iraq called As-Sweera but you misunderstood.

The book was teaching foreigners to say in arabic:
"Thank you, we wish to visit Switzerland"

The pronounciation for this which was written in the book was:
"Shukr(an), nahnu nureedu an nazoor as-sweera"

So if they meant As-Sweera the city in Iraq then in English it wouldnt say Switzerland.

3:06 PM, February 05, 2005  
Blogger Bnt-Q8 said...

Yes because that city ,(AS-SWEERA), Switzerland is it's english name.!! if you go to iraq and read their map in englsih you will see a city called Switzerland which is as-sweera in iraqi.!! i know the book shouldnt give such an example which confuse the foreigner but since the sentence is talking about travelling to baghdad and iraq then the foreigners have to figure it out ..!!

and then if i was a foreigner and want to learn Arabic, i will never care about the names of places or poeple more than learning the verbs and arabic words such as "nahnu" or "nureedu" or "nazoor" ..i will concentrate more on these words ..!


10:41 AM, February 06, 2005  
Blogger Mark said...

Did you write the book? You seem to be taking this As-Sweera issue personally. Secondly, I did some research and I wasn't able to find any city in Iraq called Switzerland or As-Sweera. Could you please help us learn more about this place?

10:47 AM, February 06, 2005  
Blogger Bnt-Q8 said...

no worries..i will find it for you soon..

10:55 AM, February 06, 2005  

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