Mostly Arabic with Maiwenn

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Maiwenn
Orange Belt
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
focusing on: MSA & Moroccan Arabic
backburner: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
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Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Maiwenn » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:49 am

I finished a French book (that I rather abhorred, so I won't be naming it here) over the weekend, so now I've started on L'Alchimiste/الخيميائي by Paulo Coelho. I read a page or two in Arabic, then read the same section in French, then reread the Arabic. I'm really enjoying reading this way. It feels far more natural than looking every word up (it's also a lot speedier). The first reading my comprehension varies between 60 and 99% (especially once I got all the shepherding vocabulary), the second reading in Arabic is obviously much better. The French translation is enough to fill in any gaps of vocabulary I have. It's actually far more pleasant and far less disruptive than reading with a dictionary. When I first started reading in French, my only dictionary was a paper one, so I generally just did without and figured things out from context. This method helps me to get a step closer to how I started reading in French.

Granted, I do not have the original version of the book, but the French one seems to be faithful to it. The Arabic translation is generally faithful, except for certain topics. As an example, here's an excerpt that contained some heavy editing on the Arabic side (translations my own):
De là-haut, il pouvait apercevoir l'Afrique. Quelqu'un lui avait expliqué, une fois, que c'était par là qu'étaient arrivés les Maures, qui avaient si longtemps occupé presque toute l'Espagne. Il détestait les Maures. C'étaient eux qui avaient amené les gitans.
From up there, he could see Africa. Someone had once explained to him that it was from there that the Moors -- who had so long occupied almost all of Spain -- had arrived. He hated the Moors. They were the ones who brought the gypsies.

إذ من هناك يستطيع أن يلمح أفريقيا، وكان شخصُُ ما قد أخبره من قبل أن المغاربة قد أتوا من هناك واحتلوا إسبانيا كلها.
From there he could see Africa, someone had told him before that the Moors came from there and had occupied all of Spain.

Not exactly the same thing.... Most of the time there's no significant difference (a small change was making the popcorn vendor into a bread vendor), but it's interesting to notice. The translator definitely softens Santiago's antagonism toward the Arab world. Santiago has just arrived in Morocco and is going to try to reach the Egyptian pyramids, so I'm sure I've got plenty more editing to look forward to.

~~~~~~

I don't write much about French, but I discovered Le Figaro's langue française section recently, and have been enjoying it. This article taught me a few things:
«Quoi? Cette écharpe a coûté 100 euros? Elle s'est faite avoir!» La phrase est banale. Et la faute tout aussi normale. Surtout sous l'effet de la colère. Mais n'allons pas faire de l'irritation une raison! Et rappelons-nous la construction du verbe faire + infinitif. Ainsi que le rappelle l'Académie française, sa bonne application tient en une ligne: «Le participe passé du verbe «faire» est toujours invariable devant un infinitif.» On ne dit donc pas «elle s'est faite avoir», ni «elle s'est faite faire...». La formule correcte est: «Elle s'est fait avoir».

and
Attention! Dans le cas des magasins Leclerc, Carrefour, Auchan, l'usage n'est pas fixé. Inutile donc de reprendre vos proches sur leur utilisation des prépositions «à» et «chez». On peut dire «Je vais chez Leclerc» comme «je vais à Carrefour». Toutefois, les sages précisent que l'article défini s'emploie uniquement dans le cas où l'on voudrait parler d'un magasin en particulier. Exemple: «Je vais au carrefour de l'avenue Diderot.»


>Insert the "the more you knowwwww" PSA.
5 x
Full SC Arabic Reading: 3582 / 5000
Double SC French Reading: 5747 / 10000
Half SC German Reading: 392 / 2500
Arabic Output Writing: 4671 / 50000 Speaking: 171 / 3000

Corrections are always welcome. :)

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Maiwenn
Orange Belt
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
focusing on: MSA & Moroccan Arabic
backburner: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
x 597

Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Maiwenn » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:11 am

Finished L'Alchimiste/الخيميائي and feeling very accomplished about finishing my first "adult" book in Arabic. Now I've started on Yasmina Khadra's Dieu n'habite pas La Havane/ليس لهافانا ربّ يحميها .

Image

I've also ordered a German translation of Metro 2033 for February's forum book club. Join us!! https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 66#p129966
5 x
Full SC Arabic Reading: 3582 / 5000
Double SC French Reading: 5747 / 10000
Half SC German Reading: 392 / 2500
Arabic Output Writing: 4671 / 50000 Speaking: 171 / 3000

Corrections are always welcome. :)

Hashimi
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Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Hashimi » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:44 am

Maiwenn wrote:Finished L'Alchimiste/الخيميائي and feeling very accomplished about finishing my first "adult" book in Arabic.


Congratulations, Maiwenn!

You should update your profile, you're not a beginner anymore.
1 x

User avatar
Maiwenn
Orange Belt
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
focusing on: MSA & Moroccan Arabic
backburner: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
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Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Maiwenn » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:44 am

Hashimi wrote:Congratulations, Maiwenn!
You should update your profile, you're not a beginner anymore.


Thank you, Hashimi! I still feel like a beginner in many ways. My comprehension is definitely improving, but productive skills need a lot more work before I personally will identify myself as fully beyond « beginner ».

L’Alchimiste turned out to be a rather good beginner text. Even though it’s supposed to be a « philosophical » and « deep » text, it’s fairly predictable and contains a looot of repetition. These are very good things for beginners. It was definitely a nice morale booster. :) Dieu n’habite pas La Havane (ليس لهافانا ربّ يحميها) is much slower going than L’Alchimiste. I probably should have allowed myself to read it in French only, but I’m in it now and I will see it through to the end! It will also be good practice for March’s book club read, Les Hirondelles de Kaboul, also written by Yasmina Khadra (see link in my signature for February’s read, Metro 2033).

In Team Middle East, I mentioned that I had found and begun testing كتاب صوتي, an Arabic-language audiobook app. I’ve listened to 3 hours of The Hunger Games (مباريات الجوع) and 30 minutes of فرانكشتاين في بغداد(Frankenstein in Baghdad). I wish I had started the trial when I wasn’t already working on a different book in Arabic. Perhaps I should put Dieu n’habite pas La Havane on pause while I work through The Hunger Games (and thus take full advantage of the free trial). I can definitely see the value in doing shadowing, particularly with a language like Arabic (where you can’t necessarily know how a word is pronounced by looking at its spelling).

For the Short Story challenge, I read اليانصيب (The Lottery) by Shirley Jackson. (Click here for Arabic translation) It is an appropriate read to accompany The Hunger Games.

Speaking of hunger....

Image

With all the reading and focus on MSA, I felt I'd been neglecting Moroccan Arabic. No more! I’ve begun watching ماستر شيف المغرب (Master Chef Morocco). It’s a nice mix of talking about food and vignettes of the contestants’ backgrounds. Food is an important subject for me in Moroccan Arabic, because it is a constant topic with my family-in-law. Master Chef gives me fodder for future conversations! Given the varying backgrounds of the participants, there’s also a full spectrum of language mixing. I am always fascinated by this. Some stick strictly with Arabic, others mix in French (or in one case English). A couple examples of French use in Darija from the most recent episode:

bdinaa (بدينا) m3 (مع) les œufs mollets wa(و) hna(حنا) mn3rfush(منعرفوش) comment ça marche
We started with the soft-boiled eggs and we don't know how to make them

kay3jbni(كيعجبني) aTTayeb(الطيب) almghrbi(المغربي), walkin(ولكن) kay3jbni(كيعجبني) bzaf(بزاف) dyal(ديال) les plats, les plats internationaux, bzaf(بزاف) dyal(ديال) les cuisines, parce que ça fait vingt ans wa(و) ana(انا) kansafr(كنسافر) al3alm(العالم) kulhu(كله) avec ma famille.
I like Moroccan food, but I (also) like a lot of dishes, international dishes from a lot of cuisines, because it’s been 20 years that I have been traveling the whole world with my family.
8 x
Full SC Arabic Reading: 3582 / 5000
Double SC French Reading: 5747 / 10000
Half SC German Reading: 392 / 2500
Arabic Output Writing: 4671 / 50000 Speaking: 171 / 3000

Corrections are always welcome. :)

User avatar
Maiwenn
Orange Belt
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
focusing on: MSA & Moroccan Arabic
backburner: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
x 597

Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Maiwenn » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:12 pm

Every once in a while, I search "audio in Arabic" on netflix to see if there are any new offerings and today it paid off! There's a new series out of the UAE called قلب العدالة (translation: Heart of Justice, English title is Justice). Below I've quoted a write-up from Variety:
“Justice” follows an ambitious young lawyer, Farah (Fatima Al Taei), who returns home after obtaining her law degree in the U.S. Instead of joining the family law firm, she strikes out on her own as a defense attorney, pushing the legal and cultural envelope in the process.

The series has both story-of-the-week elements and longer arcs as it follows Farah’s progress. Oscar-nominated Walter Parkes (“He Named Me Malala”) created the 18-part series with Emmy Award-winning producer William Finkelstein, whose credits include “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue.” Former HBO Europe programming chief Marc Lorber was among the exec producers.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/netflix-justice-first-series-united-arab-emirates-1203115437/


I'm excitedddddddd.

Image

In other news, I'm gearing up for February's book club read, Metro 2033. By "gearing up" I mean I already read the first few pages. I suspect this first week will be a bit of a slog as I learn the Metro 2033-specific vocabulary, but I should get a lot faster by the end of the month. I hope. ;)
4 x
Full SC Arabic Reading: 3582 / 5000
Double SC French Reading: 5747 / 10000
Half SC German Reading: 392 / 2500
Arabic Output Writing: 4671 / 50000 Speaking: 171 / 3000

Corrections are always welcome. :)

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Ogrim
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
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Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Ogrim » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:58 am

Hi, thanks for the tip about the Netflix series, I'll certainly give it a try. I guess they speak Gulf Arabic and not MSA? Have you watched it and do you understand it easily?
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Maiwenn
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Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
focusing on: MSA & Moroccan Arabic
backburner: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
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Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Maiwenn » Fri May 31, 2019 10:21 am

Ogrim wrote:Hi, thanks for the tip about the Netflix series, I'll certainly give it a try. I guess they speak Gulf Arabic and not MSA? Have you watched it and do you understand it easily?


Correct, it's in the Arabic of the UAE. For instance, ج is pronounced like yeh instead (one character is named Majid and his name is pronounced My-yed). I did indeed watch the series! It was a fun watch, rather predictable, but with an interesting look into the UAE. The acting is not always great, but it's entertaining. Did I understand it? Since I was watching with my partner and didn't want to subject him to a bunch of "what? can we watch that bit again?" we kept the subtitles on. Since I had the subtitles on, it's hard to say if I would have understood it easily otherwise. Probably not? Particularly due to the legal sections... I didn't even know the words for lawyer, judge, or justice before the show.

Next month, there will be a Netflix-produced Jordanian show coming out called Jinn.

It looks like it's intended to be a play on the trend of shows about elite-private-school-students-who-have-lots-of-secrets. Based off of the trailer, I think the Arabic in Justice is easier to understand, probably because the characters were mostly legal professionals who make a living off of speaking rather than high schoolers.

Since I last wrote, I listened my way through audiobooks of The Hunger Games (مباريات الجوع) and Catching Fire (ألسنة اللهب) and now an Egyptian book (الآن نفتح الصندوق). I've also watched an excessive amount of children's/YA series with Arabic audio (Avatar season 2, Trollhunters (صائد الغيلان), Carmen Sandiego, Alexa & Katie, No Good Nick (آخر شقاوة)). There's a bunch of Egyptian movies on French Netflix now, but I'm trying to really focus on MSA at the moment, so I've been holding off on watching them.

In terms of productive skills, the past few weeks I've been trying to write a little bit in MSA every day. Sometimes I get my partner to correct it (and the correction is often needed). I've also been speaking to my partner in MSA more in addition to self-talk. I think I will set a daily word-count goal for writing and a daily time goal for speaking. I am getting better at drawing from MSA rather than Darija when I intend to speak MSA. Darija seems stable. I've been reviewing grammar books, which is nicely supported by the audio input.
3 x
Full SC Arabic Reading: 3582 / 5000
Double SC French Reading: 5747 / 10000
Half SC German Reading: 392 / 2500
Arabic Output Writing: 4671 / 50000 Speaking: 171 / 3000

Corrections are always welcome. :)

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Maiwenn
Orange Belt
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
focusing on: MSA & Moroccan Arabic
backburner: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
x 597

CIMA 1 Experience (and Results!)

Postby Maiwenn » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:41 am

Earlier this month, I took the train to Paris to be among the few, the proud: the inaugural cohort of CIMA test-takers. Since I got my results today, I reckon it's time to write about it. The CIMA (certificat international de maîtrise en arabe) will eventually be two tests: the CIMA 1 for levels A1-B1 and the CIMA 2 for levels B2-C2, though CIMA 2 hasn't been released just yet. My fellow test-takers were a diverse crowd, but I think the majority were/are students at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The proctors were clearly acquainted with a number of the participants and were called أستاذ\أستاذة (professor) by them. It was an exciting atmosphere. The day began with the collective exams (oral comprehension, written comprehension, and written production) followed by individual appointments for the oral production.

Oral Comprehension
30 minutes with 35 questions. The questions began incredibly easily and got progressively more difficult. Each audio prompt was played only once. Examples of question formats: select the audio that fits best with a picture, select the logical response to a question, select the correct response to a question about a news report.
My experience: I was glad that the questions started out easy. I was rather anxious and starting with easy questions helped to calm my nerves. As much listening as I've done, I haven't practiced much of this format. When I listen, I can stop and rewind as often as I like. If my mind starts to wander, it's not a problem because I can play it again. Were I to take the exam again (I'd like to!), I would practice paying close attention to Arabic audio for 30 minutes at a desk.

Written Comprehension
45 minutes with 35 questions. Like the Oral Comprehension, it began easy and got progressively harder (and longer). There were activity announcements, announcements for creation of groups, news articles, emails, text messages, etc.
My experience: I should've taken a cue from the OC and begun with the last questions (or at least taken a quick peak to see how I should pace myself). I took my sweet time with the first half (I was more in study-mode rather than test-mode. When I came across a new word, even if I understood things globally, I still tried to memorize the new word so that I could maybe use it later... this was a poor choice for time) and had to do very quick skim-reads for the last 5 questions.

Written Production
1 hour for 3 tasks. The first task was to write a story describing a picture (~40 words), the second task was to respond to an email from a friend (~80 words), the third task was to give your opinion on a quote (~80 words).
My experience: I was so worried about finishing in time that I didn't do any pre-planning. In 30 minutes, I had written the minimum for the three prompts. Yay! Unfortunately, what I had written was pretty sloppy and disorganized. I also hadn't written strategically to best show a mastery of various grammatical concepts or more interesting vocabulary. The second half of my time was me trying to repair what I had written, but not daring to x everything out and rewrite. There was a lot of blocked out words and not a lot of in-text organization. Let's just say no one would have been convinced by my third task opinion piece.

Oral Production
10 minutes for 3 tasks. The first task is to introduce yourself (2 minutes), the second task is role play (2 minutes preparation, 3 minutes speaking), the third task is to give your opinion on a prompt (3 minutes).
My experience: Ohhhh I was so nervous. I have very little experience speaking MSA. They informed us in advance that the first task would be introductions, so during the break between writing and speaking, I practiced talking about myself. I didn't memorize an introduction per se, but I made sure I had an idea of what I could say. This was, naturally, very helpful and gave me a confidence boost. The second task was the most difficult for me. The role play task is intended to show how you would use the language in real-world applications (talking to vendors, asking questions for information, etc) and for me the language to do that in is Moroccan Arabic, not MSA. I muddled my way through, though. Naturally, afterward, I thought of plenty of good questions I could have asked that would have better shown off my knowledge. Oh well. The third task went better than the second. I got lucky that it was a subject I have a lot of thoughts about.
During the tasks, the examiner kept a VERY neutral face and (obviously) didn't give any cues/assists when I was stumbling through a sentence. This was jarring as I'm used to talking to speakers who are trying to help me. Once my ten minutes were up, however, he stopped the recording and gave me a "bravo!" with a big smile. That felt great.


Results!
Global score: A2
Oral Comprehension: A2
Written Comprehension: B1
Written Production: A2
Oral Production: B1

I'm delighted with my oral production score, but a bit disappointed with my oral comprehension. If I had had a better idea of what to prepare for, I think I could have gotten B1 across the board, but I'm pleased enough with these results as a snapshot in time.

The oral production also motivated me to try talking to Arabic speakers from other countries than Morocco. As it turns out, I can speak somewhat fluidly on certain topics. It's time to branch out.
16 x
Full SC Arabic Reading: 3582 / 5000
Double SC French Reading: 5747 / 10000
Half SC German Reading: 392 / 2500
Arabic Output Writing: 4671 / 50000 Speaking: 171 / 3000

Corrections are always welcome. :)

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Ogrim
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
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Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Ogrim » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:25 am

Congratulations! I'd say it is a respectable result, especially your oral producation given that, as you say, you have little experience speaking MSA.

I hope I one day will feel confident enough to do the test myself, but it won't be in the very near future. By the way, is there anywhere you can find samples of the type of texts/questions you get?
1 x
Ich grolle nicht

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Maiwenn
Orange Belt
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
focusing on: MSA & Moroccan Arabic
backburner: German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
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Re: Maiwenn's SC in Arabic + occasional Deutsch

Postby Maiwenn » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:23 pm

Thanks, Ogrim!!
Ogrim wrote:By the way, is there anywhere you can find samples of the type of texts/questions you get?
There are a few sample questions posted in the candidate guide: https://www.imarabe.org/fr/file/282119/ ... n=P3YV89Jw (page 17)

This article linked to a few rejected questions (no audio): https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.al-fanar ... _pages.pdf

Hopefully they will put out more sample questions before the future editions. If they were smart, they'd publish a book of sample tests or a website/app.
2 x
Full SC Arabic Reading: 3582 / 5000
Double SC French Reading: 5747 / 10000
Half SC German Reading: 392 / 2500
Arabic Output Writing: 4671 / 50000 Speaking: 171 / 3000

Corrections are always welcome. :)


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