Hi everyone, my name is Michele and I’m
The Intrepid Guide. Now, this is a place where I talk about my two favourite things in the world which are languages and travel. So, today, I’m actually going to share with you a personal challenge of mine that I’ve set myself for the end of this year. So, the
start of this year, I actually booked a trip to probably one of the top three things on my
bucket list of places that I wanted to go to in the world. Now, I’ve actually chosen
to go to Egypt. Egypt has been a dream of mine ever since I was about nine years old.
That passion started when my mum’s brother, so my uncle, actually gave my mum a beautiful
hieroglyphics print that he had brought back from when he visited Cairo. It was so beautiful.
She had it framed and she put it outside my bedroom door and every time I saw it, I was
like “Wow, this is amazing! What is the story with these hieroglyphics?”. Then I started
to see all these Hollywood blockbuster movies set back in the 1950s. Seeing Cleopatra with
Elizabeth Taylor and seeing The Ten Commandments. The more recently it was The Mummy. This passion
just stuck with me and I just thought, you know, I really have to get to Egypt. I’ve
got to see what this “mystical land” is all about. But this is like tracing back to one
of the oldest most advanced civilisations that we’ve ever known. This place has really
stuck with me and I thought I really want to go there, but for whatever reason, I never
booked a trip. I’ve been travelling the world for about 10 years now and I never made it
a priority. But I thought, nuh, this year, I’m going. So I booked a trip for nine days
in Egypt. I’m going there the end of this year. Because languages have been such a passion
of mine throughout the years I thought you know what, I want to try and make an effort
to learn Arabic. I know it’s going to be a challenge because, well, I’ll have to learn
a completely different alphabet, different scripture all together and the vocabulary
is quite different to the languages I’ve already learned. So I’ve learned French, a bit of
Afrikaans, and I speak Italian fluently. But Arabic is a totally different ballgame. So,
I thought, right “How am I going to learn this language?” So what I’ve done is that
I’ve teamed up with Rosetta Stone. The reason why I’ve chosen Rosetta Stone is that they
don’t follow the traditional techniques of learning a language. So I thought, right,
this is probably going to be the right choice for me and I’m going to set myself the challenge
of being able to communicate on some basic level. I’m going to see how far I get with
this. My goal is to be able to at least say the pleasantries, order food, try and have
some sort of banter with the locals because that where the real connection happens and
that’s what makes your travels special is when you get to connect with people. You might
see a beautiful building or a beautiful lake or a beautiful scenery but it’s the connections
you have with the people along the way. I recently experienced the otherside of that
where I haven’t been able to speak the language at all. I’m not going to name places because
I actually went back to the same country the following week and I had a great experience.
But the problem there was that I didn’t speak the language and everyone said, “Oh no, you
don’t have to worry about speaking the language, everyone speaks English, you’ll be fine!”
But slap on the hand for not taking more initiative and trying to learn a few phrases before going.
I noticed that that particular trip I just had the worst experience I’ve ever had and
I’ve never had that before. I thought, “Right, you know what I need to brush up on my skills
and try to learn a few phrases like “Hello”, “Thank you”, “Goodbye”, “How are you?”, “May I have…?” and all these
sorts of things. It was funny because I actually went back to the same country but a different
city a week later and I had a totally different experience. I just goes to show the power of language.
That’s what I’m hoping for with Arabic. Even though I will be on a tour I
do hope that I’ll be able to exchange some sort of informal conversation. Now I really
love these because I’m quite happy to own up the fact that my pronunciation is rubbish
at times, that I’ll stumble through a few sentences, or that I’ll totally forget because
in the pressure of the moment you do forget. But, you know, people always appreciate the
effort and they’ll smile at you and they’re like “No, no, no, it’s ok”. Then they’ll slow
down and they annunciate and they’ll help you through it. I really hope that I’ll be
able to have those connections with people. We’ll also be staying on a Felucca which is
a typical Egyptian boats that cruise along the Nile. I know that we’ll have an Egyptian
cook so I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to catch up with him or her and have some
sort of exchange and maybe learn a few words while I’m there. The idea is that when I’m
using Rosetta Stone is that I’m going to be learning some vocabulary and also getting
my ear used to listening to the sound of the Arabic language. It’s not something that I
come across everyday like you might watch movies where they’re speaking in French or
Italian or whatever. I haven’t seen any Arabic movies so that’s something I’m going to source
out as well. Another thing I want to do is to pick up on some Arabic music, some modern
dance music or even traditional music and get my ear used to hearing it and picking
up on some common sounds and even the sentence structure as well. I’ve actually started learning
Arabic already. Now, I’m in the very early days but I’ve actually started playing around
with the Rosetta Stone app. What’s great about the app is that I can use it while I’m commuting
to work. I’ve got it on my iPad, my iPhone, and my laptop. So I’ll basically be exchanging
through these three devices. I’m probably going to use the laptop obviously when I’m at home when I’m in a bit more of a chilled environment, I’m going to use my phone when I’m commuting and
then my iPad sort of in between. What I’ve noticed about the app is that you can download
the lessons and you can use them later. That’s going to be convenient when I’m on the Underground
in London in the Tube and there is no Internet connection. One of the things I’ve noticed
so far with the app is that it’s a completely different method to what I’ve experienced
before with learning languages. So, I’m really going to embrace this. It’s quite foreign
to what I’m used to. Now what I’m used to is sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher,
writing things on the board, that’s been like the standard experience that I’ve had. With
using Rosetta Stone it’s going to be very much on me to pay attention to what I’m hearing
on the app. One of the things I’ve noticed with the Rosetta Stone app is that everything
is going be in the language that you’re learning. So, in my case, it’s going to be all in Arabic.
There are no translations in English, it’s all by the sound and the voice recognition
that you can turn on as well, and the images. The images do the explaining for you. So you
hear the sound and you match it to the image and that’s how you learn. So that’s going
to be like a form of repetition and then it goes through different units where you’re
learning the vocab, the grammar. I haven’t got that far yet but as I scroll through the
menu I can see that all those things await me. At first, it was a bit daunting because
I had my own expectations of what it was going to be. But after I played around with it for
about ten minutes I was like “ah huh, now I get it!” and I sort of got into the flow.
I’ve learnt a few words so far, I’m a bit nervous about the pronunciation. I’ve learned
things like ‘waladon’ which is ‘boy’, ‘benton’ which is ‘girl’, ‘marhaban’ which is ‘Hello’,
‘Shukran’ which is ‘thank you’. Why am I waving? But, yeah, it’s ‘thank you’. These are the
sorts of things I’m starting to pick up. It’s interesting that as I’m going around the house
orf whatever I’m starting to say these words in my head and I’ll feel the need to vocalise
them. So, yeah. it’s kind of working already which has kind of suprised me because I was
a bit daunted at the task initially because all the onus is on me to pay attention and
connect all the dots with the images and what I’m hearing. So, that is the challenge. Now,
I’ve given myself, it’s now September I’ve given myself up until December which is when
I travel. So I’m going to see how I go with the language. But I’m going to be posting
updates every two weeks or so, so make sure subscribe to my channel, follow me on Instagram,
Twitter, and Facebook. I’m going to link all the down below in the description. I’m going
to be sharing with you along the way so some of the more informal outtakes I guess. To
just let you guys know of any struggles I’m having or any funny things I’m learning because
I totally love idioms, you guys know how much I love my expressions. So, I’m going definitely
be searching those out and share a few with you guys. Please also let me know if you’re
learning a language. If you do want to learn a language, then why not try Rosetta Stone.
They’ve actually given me a promo code that I’ve linked to in the description below and
you can share with me your experience. So maybe you want to ask a question in general
about language learning. I’d love to hear it. So please let me know. It’s my favourite
thing in the world to talk about, that and travel and combining the two which is the
ultimate. So in the lead up to taking this challenge I’ve decided to have a little bit
of a dabble around and to find out a bit more about the Arabic language. Now I don’t know
too much just yet, but I do know that it has three different types of Arabic that are spoken.
There’s the MSA, the Modern Standard Arabic, there’s the Arabic of the Koran and there’s
the Classical Arabic. Well, actually that’s what they’re both called. So, the Koran and
the Classical Arabic is what they’re known as and then there’s different forms of the
dialect, the Arabic dialect, which is spoken in all the different Arabic speaking countries.
There are about 420 million people that speak Arabic now that’s spread across both countries
that have Arabic as an official or unofficial language and just where it’s generally spoken.
One of the things I also found out, which is kind of perfect for my first language challenge
that I’m giving out to the world. So if you take for word ‘Arabic’ and you cut it down
to ‘Arab’, it actually means ‘nomad’ which is quite fitting considering nomadic tribes
travelled around the Arabian desert. Hence the name. I hope you guys enjoy my challenge
that I’m setting for myself. I’m putting myself out on a limb. I really hope I succeed. But
the perfectionist and the crazy workaholic that I am, I’m sure I’ll do ok. It’s just
a matter how much I’m able to learn by the time I get to Egypt in December. So the countdown
is on! So please subscribe to my channel below. Follow me on Instragram, Twitter and Facebook.
I’m going to be updating there as well. And please send me in your questions, your comments.
I’d love to hear from you. I need your support. So please help me out. Thank you so much guys.
Speak to you soon. Bye!