Tag Archives: Arabic

I’m here.

To say that I’ve been frustrated and stressed lately is an understatement. There are moments when I just want to give up… to forget about Hebrew and Arabic… to try to find another way… but I know this is not an option for me right now.

For some reason it’s really been building up, and I’ve been so overwhelmed with it all.  Over our 2 week Pesach break, I was able to relax and devote all my extra time with ministry, which probably made my recent distaste for language studying escalate even more.

I’ve found in my life that when I’m discouraged and frustrated God has a way of putting little bits and pieces of comfort in my path.  

Today in Hebrew class we were discussing the idea of learning languages at a young age.  Our teacher then asked us how many years each of us have been learning Hebrew, to which I was a bit shocked at the answers.

I have been studying Hebrew for 2 years now… 2 LONG years; but out of everyone in my class I’ve been studying Hebrew the least amount of years. There are kids in my class who have been studying 4-10 years, and many of them have grown up in Jewish families, hearing Hebrew spoken all their lives.

I had a similar experience in Arabic class yesterday.  One of the girls in my class told me she’s been studying Arabic for 5 years now! 5 years! Me??? One.

As I sat there listening to the numbers I just thought, “What the heck am I doing in these classes with these groups?  No wonder I’m beyond stressed and mentally exhausted every night. No wonder why my mother is sick of hearing my cries every weekend…”

And then I thought of it in a new light.  Here I am, sitting in class, at the same level as these kids who have been around Hebrew their entire lives. Here I am sitting in Arabic class, reading and writing text, and just a year ago I couldn’t even recognize letters.  I might not get the highest grades on my tests or read at the same fluency as others, but I’M HERE!

I made it this far, so I might as well suck it up and keep on trekking.

Yes, I’m still frustrated…

Yes, I’m still stressed…

Yes, I’m still mentally exhausted……..

But, I’m Here!  And just that is encouragement for me today.

** Could you just say a little prayer for me this week (well, month for that matter)??? I’m really needing them! Thanks, bloggy friends!!!


School + Ministry = God’s Grace

I made it through the first week back in classes and my first week in the new program….

AND I’M EXHAUSTED!

I have to admit that this week kicked my butt!

Every night I have literally fallen asleep in like 1 minute, and I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier as the week forged ahead. My brain is mentally fried, and it’s only just begun.

Not quite sure how I’m going to manage this for the next 4 months; but God Willing, I hope I can.

I made myself a little equation, which I hung next to my bed, just to remind me that I’m not doing this on my own:

SCHOOL + MINISTRY = GOD’S GRACE

I’m going to need all the grace I can….


Major School Changes, Part 2…

Last year, I blogged about some HUGE changes in my life regarding schooling.  I had applied to the “regular” university at TAU, which meant I would be a Hebrew student instead of an overseas English one…. and I WAS ACCEPTED!  While I am still at the same school and still studying, it means big changes for me.

For one, all my classes will now be taught in Hebrew, not in English.  My language classes have always been taught in Hebrew and Arabic, but the core classes were in English.

Secondly, I will no longer be studying History, as I was before; I will be studying Arabic Literature.  I really am excited about this change, but it also means A LOT more dedication and studying for me.  This semester alone I have 10 hours of Arabic and 6 of Hebrew, purely language classes.  YIKES!

I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to, and I fear that with my new courses it might only become more sporadic… but please know that I’m not abandoning it all together.

I’m feeling so many emotions about this whole thing: excited, scared, nervous, hopeful, overwhelmed that I just can’t seem to muster up a post.

I hope I will still have some readers during this process, and just know that I am continually reading your blogs… even if I’m not writing my own. Thanks for sticking with me, all my blogging friends! ❤❤


MAJOR School Changes

This year is going to look a lot different that last. After much deliberation, prayer, and just plain running around trying to do what is necessary to get this done I will will no longer be pursuing a Masters in Middle Eastern History…. instead I will be focusing on Arabic and majoring in Arabic Literature.

I realized throughout last years seminars that I am just not a historian.  No offense to any historians out there, but the dry, emotionless, matter-of-fact way of writing is just not for me.  I need passion. I need emotions. I need feeling when I write, and I cannot do that as a historian.  I am focusing purely on Arabic and the fervor of its literature.

So what exactly does this mean as far as schooling???  For one, it means leaving the Overseas Program with classes in English, and moving into ALL my classes in Hebrew.  It means transferring to the Arabic Studies Department and applying all over again.  It means taking a Hebrew exam in December to qualify for the program.  It also means an intense 3 months of FULL IMMERSION Hebrew and Arabic in preparation for the exam and qualification.

Am I ready? NO

Am I a bit scared? YES

Do I think this is the right path for me? ABSOLUTELY

I could use ALL the prayers you could send my way!  It won’t be an easy road, but when have I ever taken that path???

The woman who follows the crowd will go no further than the crowd.  The woman who walks alone is usually likely to find herself in new places no one has ever seen before~~ Albert Einstein.


Arabic

If you haven’t heard yet, I’ve started learning Arabic this past week.  I am now able to write all the letters (all millions of them) and we are starting to form words and sentences now.  I honestly thought Hebrew was difficult, but it seems to be a piece of cake compared to this crazy language.  The beauty of it though, is that they have many similarities, and knowing Hebrew first has helped me tremendously.

Anyways, today at Food Distribution, our little translator came to help out so I was showing her my Arabic workbook and what I was learning.  It was then that I discovered she does not know how to read or write in Arabic, only Hebrew.

Arabic is her mother tongue… her first language…. the one she speaks with her family; YET, she does not know how to read or write.  She reads/writes only Hebrew. And this is true for many of the Sudanese we work with.

It made me think.

Therefore, I decided that a part of the after school program at the youth center will be dedicated to teach these kids how to read and write their own language.

Imagine a foreign American… teaching written Arabic to kids who speak it fluently… in a country that none of us belong to… in Hebrew.

Now if that isn’t just crazy awesome, then I don’t know what is!!!


Yesababa

The blending of two foreign words to form a Hebrew one, thats the charm of external cultural influence here.  

There is a channel on TV called Yesababa.  It is like the Family Channel in the states, playing kids shows and family movies etc. but all in Hebrew.  On all the movie channels, all the films are still in English, but with Hebrew subtitles. I discovered this channel not too long ago, and I really like it.  For one, its all in Hebrew: forcing me to listen and pay more attention; and for another: its just good stuff on there.

So where does Yesababa come from? Yes is obviously an English word, and also happens to be the name of the Cable Company that runs the TV shows here. Sababa is an imported word from Arabic, meaning cool, awesome, its all good, type thing. Its become so popular in Israel, that most don’t even know its not a Hebrew word.  

Blend the two words together and you have Yesababa…the cool TV channel that your whole family can enjoy! (and me too!)


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