A peek at the Arabic world

Headscarves for sale at a market stall in Petra, Jordan. Photo copyright Bernard O'Shea

Headscarves for sale at a market stall in Petra, Jordan. Photo by Bernard O’Shea. This photo has copyright and is not to be reproduced without prior permission.

Hello, in this post I am going to veer away from my five romance languages for a moment to talk about a totally different language, Arabic. I did a work trip to Jordan last year (my account of the journey has just been published in The Australian Financial Review’s quarterly glossy travel magazine, The Sophisticated Traveller, you can read it here) and it was my first real exposure to the language. Of course, I had heard Arabic spoken in patches before as there is a growing Arabic community in Australia, and it has its moments on television, radio and film. But I hadn’t really appreciated what a lovely language it is to listen to until then. However, learning it and mastering the beautiful handwriting must be quite a challenge. I was very impressed with Jordan, and could easily revisit it, and other countries in the region. 

Here are some language-related blogs that cover it in one form or another: Damyan Lissitchkov’s Blog is interesting and quirky, and the Romance languages also get a mention, check it out here. Then there is An Arabic Learner’s Diary here. Here is an Arabic Word a Day offering. If you want to know How Much Arabic Can You Learn In A Month then you should go here. (But do come back to my blog, lol)

If you want to know a bit more about Jordan a good place to start would be the official website of the Jordan Tourism Board. Or have a look at the Jordan Treasures Facebook page.

A Bedouin male  dance troupe ... be careful with those knives! Photo by Bernard O'Shea

A Bedouin male dance troupe … they had better be careful that those knives don’t jab in a painful position! Photo by Bernard O’Shea. This photo has copyright and is not to be reproduced without prior permission.

If you would like to read some of my other travel articles for The Australian Financial Review you can have a look at them here (go on, I dare you!).

Later this year I and some fellow journalists will be teaming up to launch a travel blog. We are excited about that, and will let you know the details as soon as we are up and running, or, considering our ages, up and strolling. Languages and travel go together, of course.

Finally, if you want an inkling of who I am, let’s just say that I’m the warrior below who is so brave he doesn’t even don a helmet when he goes into battle.🙂

The great guardians of Petra, the bravest of the brave, Bernardo of Arabia and his two chums. This photo has copyright and is not to be used without permision.

The great guardians of Petra, the bravest of the brave, the fists of fury… yes, it’s Bernardo of Arabia and his two chums. This photo has copyright and is not to be used without permision.

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