Last Saturday I had a real treat. My friend had asked her Iraqi engineering professor friend to be our teacher for one afternoon. I didn't know this was going to happen.
I had forgotten how wonderful it is to see and hear all these words being said just there a few feet away from me. Every vowel is slightly different from how I say it and every consonant too. Just that bit more for real.
We sat in a circle and repeated words after him. First he'd say a sentence at the normal speed, for his own pleasure at speaking Arabic obviously, and we'd go blank, then he'd say it word by word and we would copy like baby birds again and again.
I was so happy in the car back home. But it disappears so quickly. I now can't remember what his voice sounded like. I need a constant flow of real people speaking, like in the bookshop in London.
Someone else said Kalila u Dumna to me, then changed it, so I thought, to Kalila wa Dimna. ?? what was going on there?
Then I bumped into a woman who may have been Spanish, but she spoke Arabic and we said hallos, names and welcome to Oxford :)