Learning Arabic & Persian: Language Challenge Week 1
And so I'm watching this and I don't really understand much of it, but again, it's part of getting into the atmosphere, the culture, the mood of the language. Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. My first week of my 90-Day Challenge. How has your first week being in your 90-Day Challenge? Uh, as I said, I'm trying to maintain a streak in two languages, Arabic and Persian.
And I'm also focusing on those two languages to some extent. So I want to every week sort of do a video where I talk about how my week went, hopefully that's of interest and relevant to whatever you're doing. Don't forget to click on the bell if you would like to subscribe and get notifications. So the 90-Day Challenge began officially on, uh, June the first, uh, I came back to Vancouver, uh, the evening of the 28th, uh, May and of course we're in quarantine, my wife and I, and following their various protocols. We get emails daily. We've even had a phone call to check on us to make sure we're in quarantine. Um, day 8, we had to do our test again. We were online Zoom conferencing with a nurse who took us through our steps and we put our test samples in a little bag and notified Purolator, the courier service, so they could come and pick it up. We left it in our mailbox. So those kinds of things. And so, you know, I think any one of us who's in a 90-Day Challenge, we have other things happening in our lives. Um, in our case, for example, we went down to California A because it's warmer down there, but primarily because we had mass major renovations in our house, drywall dust and floors being sanded and this kind of thing. And we wanted to get away from this. And in order for that renovation to take place, we had to move all kinds of stuff into a few rooms. And now we're going back in there and gradually putting things back and then trying to figure out what really we shouldn't keep because we've got, you know, things that we've had for 50 years.
And all of this is very time consuming. I'm able to do a lot of it while listening to Arabic or Persian. Uh, however, you can't do all of it that way, because sometimes you do have to focus and I have to interact with my wife and that sort of thing. So essentially what I've done in the first week is I said, week one is going to be Arabic.
And, um, I want to get into, as I've said, sort of Egyptian Arabic. Fortunately, my tutor for Standard Arabic Mohammed is from Cairo. He's an excellent tutor. And of course he obviously speaks Egyptian. So we have been doing some Egyptian. I've now had two sessions where I read the Egyptian mini stories, and then we, uh, he asked me questions and I answer.
And so this is very effective actually in terms of getting me into saying things in Egyptian, understanding Egyptian and, uh, I am finding that, uh, exploring the regional variants, the spoken variants of Arabic is very helpful because very often the political podcasts that I listen to will have someone on there who's Standard Arabic is very much influenced by Leventine or Egyptian Arabic and both Leventine and Egyptian Arabic are closer to each other than they are to Standard Arabic. So it's all good. All right. Uh, now, because I'm not going to write a test on my Arabic and I'm quite content to let it, you know, putt putt along I progress as much as I progress.
Um, so it's easy for me to get distracted. So, and this has happened before my wife likes to watch films on Netflix, series, um, usually in foreign languages. And very often that will attract me to a language. So she started watching this thing called Badehotellet or Seaside Hotel in Danish. And I, you know, I can't help it at first of all, it's a fun show, really a lot of fun.
And I like the scenery in Denmark. It's silly, of course, like all these series are, but, but the great thing about these Netflix series is that you kind of get together in the evening with your friends or so it seems that people in this show they're forever having dinner and talking in the same group of people are meeting.
And so I join them. It's like joining a group of friends every evening. So it is a lot of fun. I like listening to Danish. So I said, geez, I got to get better at Danish. Because there's a lot of words in Danish that are not like Swedish, uh, here and there. So you kind of get the gist, but you miss a lot.
So I went into my mini stories in Danish, uh, at LingQ and discovered that, uh, if I remember correctly, ... is a woman. Uh, I guess that's ... And ... is only, I think there's a whole bunch of rather key little words like that that are quite different in Danish than they are in Swedish. So I went through listening to the 25 mini stories and discovered that we only have 25.
So I'm hoping we can get the rest of them done. I think we should get all the mini stories completed at LingQ in those languages where they aren't complete, but it's also an example of how we have to enjoy what we're doing. And if along the way, while I'm doing my Arabic, I'm attracted by Danish or as happened with Turkish, I'm doing Arabic and Persian and then my wife is watching a Turkish series. So I go in and learn a little bit of Turkish and I'll probably do that again at some point. Uh, so that's kind of the way my week's been going. And the typically I'll get on my stepper and listen to one of my Arabic, uh, contents. If, if it's Arabic week. And then I said to myself, uh, you know, where I have my stepper, we actually have another TV.
So I said, geez, I gotta to see if I can find a movie in Egyptian Arabic. And, uh, I found this movie called Asmaa. It's about a woman in Egypt who, very complicated story, but has AIDS and encounters difficulties. And it's a great movie. And so I'm watching this and I don't really understand much of it, but again, it's part of getting into the atmosphere, the culture, the mood of the language. So I am continuing to, you know, I've set myself rather minimal goals. I want to go 13... I want to create 13 LingQs a day and I'm doing it, I sort of get up and get started on that in Arabic and Persian. In Arabic it's not difficult to do because I just have to go onto YouTube or somewhere to find something.
Um, you know, uh, France 24 interview, Uh, capture the, you know, the URL, put it on this website I have a YouTube to MP3, download the MP3 file, take the MP3 file over to Happyscribe, Happyscribe. But I get the transcript. I import that as a lesson and in Arabic, there's always lots of words, blue words.
It's more difficult to do that in Persian because there isn't so much stuff available on YouTube in Persian, um, and in Persian, for whatever reason, there are fewer blue words. Like Arabic has so many words. There's always words I get full of yellow words now, that I don't know. Whereas in Persian, there are fewer of them.
I don't know why that is. It just seems like Arabic has a lot more words. Anyway, so I, I quickly get to my 13 LingQs, uh, created, although today, uh, I've gotten sort of, I've got 30 LingQs created for Arabic because I get into an article and very quickly I'm creating these LingQs. Whereas in Persian I haven't yet started today.
So my Persian is lagging behind. I see that on the sort of Streak with Steve, uh, challenge I'm like at rank 1,560 or something. Uh, I'm not very high up because there are people who are, you know, working harder. In my case, I have to have a streak. I'm not sure how the system works because I'm doing two languages, but I've set a rather low level, a low bar.
So to that extent, I'm keeping up with my goal, but the main thing about the sort of making sure I get my 13 LingQs created every day is that it just, it just triggers me. It starts me off. Okay, and next week I'm going to do more Persian. I'm going to have a conversation with Sahra. I'm going to do more Persian content, but still keep the burner going on Arabic so that I don't slip too far behind.
And that's kind of my situation. That's what I've been doing. And we'll see how the next week goes. And, uh, I'm curious to know how everyone elses challenge is proceeding. Bye for now.