Culture Shocked provides a Foreign Service Officer\'s account of travel, living abroad, and documenting new cultures and experiences. Learn more.
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“It’s asking ‘يحّدها (مصر) البحر الأبيض المتوسط من الجنوب؟’ so is that asking if Egypt borders the Mediterranean FROM the south, or TO the south?” “Well, which is it, true or false?” “I don’t know – it depends on the question.” “It doesn’t matter, this is just grammar. Some people study Arabic for 15 years...
“All FSI (Foreign Service Institute) students have their own dialect of Arabic – maybe we should make a book for that because they all share the same mistakes in grammar.”
“In Arabic we say that, ‘Children make liars of us,’ because they will act one way in private but behave completely differently around other people so that no one believes the things we say about them.”
“Oh, the duel was actually a poetry duel? Yes, this sounds like something Arabs would do. When I was young there was a game called زجر where the first person would recite a famous line of poetry, and let’s say it ends with ‘ن.’ Then you would have to start the next line with another...
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