I have used Duolingo for Spanish and German as well as Chinese Skill and Hello Chinese for Chinese. All three have similar systems, kind of like a game. Duolingo came first.
Yesterday, I found an app called ‘Araby’ which is similar to Hello Chinese, but for Arabic.
The first three questions are pretty easy.
The first one looks like this,
You select the translation with the aid of pictures which are accompanied by an approximate phonetic spelling with English letters and the word written in Arabic script.
You don’t really need to even pay attention to the Arabic script for this question to get it right.
On Question #4, you’re asked to write a word in Arabic. And to do that, you need an Arabic keyboard setting on your device. Therefore I set up an Arabic keyboard setting.
I didn’t really remember how to write the word in Arabic, although I did recognize the word being said and what it meant.
So I looked up how to write it. Which would be straightforward?
Possibly, but not exactly, at least not for me.
It turns out there are 48 Arabic printable characters that are mapped onto the letters of the keyboard. That means that you hold down certain letter to access additional letters.
At this point, I was just trying to copy what I saw, not really understanding the sound or what the letters are.
And I did that wrong, about….. 10 times.
At that point, I figured I would get some help. I know someone in Egypt who I have helped with English a few times.
Here are the two letters that I missed. Basically, one thing that happens is that if certain letters are next to each other, they look different after you have typed them. The letters connect in certain ways and can change appearance.
At that point, I noticed more clearly the lines above some of the letters. I do not entirely understand how they work, but I found a key that could add them to the letters.
In the red circle,
It seems like those marks aren’t even necessarily used all the time, Google Translate writes this word as
It’s on the right, since you write in Arabic from right to left.
Eventually I was able to write the word as the app wanted me to. But I still have not finished the entire first lesson!