A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
So I have a language question today. When we were in Finland, we were told that Finnish is one of the hardest languages in the world. Oh, I agree! You conjugate the nouns with possessives, there are no articles, all the conjugations vary as to how the noun is spelled/what it is...it's a crazy confusing mess! And all those vowels...the words are hilariously long! I came to love it, though. No, I can't speak it, but I can recognize it when it's spoken and can pronounce it if I read it and I understand a few words here and there (I can count up to 1,000, too!), but one of the nice things is that there are no feminine/masculine forms, so you don't have to worry about whether your pen is a boy or a girl.
Then, there's Arabic. Oh my. Is there anyone out there who thinks that Finnish is harder than Arabic? They also conjugate their nouns--not as many forms as Finnish, but those irregulars are a killer! They conjugate their verbs, too...and their articles. The adjectives come after the noun--which isn't hard to remember since they do that in Spanish and French. Things are plural only if you have between 3 and 10 of them: if you have two, it's a different plural form, and if it's more than 11, it's singular! They are VERY strict about the feminine/masculine forms here. Obviously. If you accidentally addressed some guy using the feminine form...well...you're not going to make a new friend that day. There are some articles (and, but, or), so that's kind of nice to have little words to use to link things. There are other issues, too, like some of the sounds...holy cow! How am I supposed to make that sound?? You can't even write it down. And then the coup de grace: The alphabet. Not only does it look like it should be a lace border on your scrapbook page, but they write it totally backwards! With Finnish, yes, I couldn't even guess what the word meant by reading it, but at least I could READ it. With Arabic, not only can I not even guess what it means, I can't even read it!
Ah well. I have to admit, I am sad that I didn't learn Finnish better. I don't know what I could have done differently to have learned it. I suppose I could have found a tutor somewhere, but then I would have had to find a babysitter... Oh yes. Now I remember why I didn't learn Finnish. He he he...
This time, Devin has Arabic class 3 times a week at the embassy and has promised to teach me what he learns. The kids and I have an Arabic tutor that comes to the house once a week for our school time. I am determined NOT to feel that regret that I did after Finland for not learning the language while living in the country! Luckily, since we still don't have a car, I'm learning lots of Arabic and using it while traipsing around the city in taxis. There are always blessings that come with hardships, right? Even if you have to look at it with a microscope... :) Shukran. Bixa
Who Am I?
As a Stay At Home Mom of 4 wonderful children, I have the amazing opportunity not only to home school them, but to do so in many different places! I am married to the most amazingly wonderful (and handsome) man in the whole world! Together, we seek out, every day, that Joy in the Journey that makes life exciting!
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