Learning Arabic in Oman was one of my goals when I arrived back in 2011. I thought it would be easy to pick it up since I’d have plenty of opportunity around me to practice, just like when I learned Spanish. Well, it is 2018 and while I can speak enough Arabic to get by, and understand more than I can speak, I am nowhere near proficient. Before I leave this place I have to learn Arabic.
My challenges to learning Arabic in Oman are:
- Time commitment
- Non-roman script
- Native Arabic speakers tend to revert to English when you try to practice
- Omani Arabic dialect very different from Modern Standard Arabic
Basically all of the above challenges boil down to drive. How bad do I want it? For now learning Arabic remains on the back burner, but recently it’s on my mind because I put together a cool list of local Omani greetings with the help of Noor Majan Arabic Institute.
I got in touch with Noor Majan who invited me down to their new Muscat campus. To the visit I brought along my microphone and met Sulatan al Faris, the Director; and Simone Bettega, one of their students. We talked about what it is like learning Arabic in Oman, how Noor Majan Arabic Institute is different from others, the types of courses they offer, the difficulties of learning Arabic, and the uniqueness of the Omani Arabic dialect. It was especially interesting talking with Simone because he specifically researched the Omani dialect for his doctorate degree. This episode of the Sultanate includes that conversation along with the list of Omani greetings, 10 ways. Check it out.
- Omani Greetings, 10 Ways
- Noor Majan Arabic Institute website
- Noor Majan Arabic Institute local courses (winter-spring 2018)
- Sultanate Ep 002: Language in Oman (discussion about the many languages spoken in Oman)
- List of Arabic words and phrases in Oman for visitors
Disclaimer – Noor Majan Arabic Institute did not pay me or offer me any service to make this podcast. This is not an advertisement. All opinions are my own.