n8an wrote:How have you been studying? It could be that they're not from the Levant, but it's also possible that they're speaking a slightly different dialect to the "main" dialect of their country - for example, they could be from Hassakeh in Syria, which is extremely different to Damascus.
voron wrote:I've been studying MSA on and off for almost 5 years, but with no substantial progress, I only know the basics really. As for the dialect I started Levantine this year and so far I've done Syrian Colloquial Arabic and Pimsleur, translated a few songs and talked to people a few times. So perhaps it's not surprising I can understand little yet, but I can't wait to sink my teeth into the riches of the Arabic world.
vijayjohn wrote:So I'm kind of stuck on the first two chapters of Syrian Colloquial Arabic. It's not the dialogues that are the problem; I can even understand the dialogue for Chapter 3 at least without too many problems. It's all this other stuff, all those other little words hidden in between...I'm trying to figure out how to learn all that. (Or whether to bother with it at all).
So, question for those of you who used it: ...What did you do with that? You know, those long (okay, not always long) lists of vocabulary words for things like 'driver's license' and 'police station' that are never used anywhere else in the whole book? Or hell, even those grammar explanations and stuff. Did you actually study all that before moving on to the next dialogue in each lesson? Did you study it at all? Did you just go "okay, I get this dialogue, I got all the vocabulary, I get the syntax or whatever in the conversation, now let's move on to the next one!"? Or what?
I guess also part of the thing for me is that I already know some of this from MSA, so then I can kind of get mixed up with MSA, or I can get confused about which vowels to use in specific words that are not that different from MSA.
Saim wrote:I wouldn't bother. When I went through it I did some flaschards but if you're not going to use certain vocabulary there's not much of a point in memorising it, it was really frustrating and didn't help me advance that much. If you've already been exposed to these words they'll sink in if you hear them in context or have to look them up for whatever reason. If the words aren't used elsewhere in the book, the wordlists are kind of useless (at least IME I never study vocabulary thematically or from wordlists, it's too frustrating and confusing; that's part of the reason why I don't really enjoy beginner-level language classes).
I think the most efficient way is to make sure you understand the dialogues, then make dialogue-only audio using Audacity (each chapter is a single file for some reason, they're really long) and listen to them again and again. I might go even back to the book and use this method.
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