Irish guy going to Brazil to learn Egyptian Arabic through French!

Uploaded by irishpolyglot on 18.09.2012

Hello everyone and welcome to Brussels.
I'm not going to hang around here very long,
because very shortly, I'm getting a flight to Brazil
where I'm going to spend the next 3 months intensively learning Egyptian Arabic
with the purpose of trying to get fluent in 3 months
Alright, so this crazy project is the next natural step for me because I've been traveling for 10 years going to the countries,
and I go to the countries not to learn the language, but because I'm a traveler.
I'm interested in culture. And, going to the country is not necessary if you want to learn the language.
I genuinely believe that. This time I'm going to the wrong country, the wrong continent.
I'm not even going to a major city. If I went to Rio or Sao Paulo, it would be a little bit easier because there are a lot of people there
it's a very culturally diverse country, Brazil. But, Belo Horizonte is not necessarily going to be so easy
it's 500 kilometers inland and yet I'm hoping I can create an environment
which will allow me to learn Arabic fast enough to reach the level of C1 or at least B2 this time in 3 months.
So, why would I go to Brazil? Why not just go to Egypt?
Well, you might remember earlier this year, I tried to learn Mandarin in 3 months,
and I genuinely did learn it; I got to a level B1, which is not fluency; it's about lower intermediate
But, this allowed me to travel through China by train and to talk to random people, the train and to talk to random people;
it was such a culturally enhancing experience; I learned so much.
But I was a little slowed down, even though I was learning the language in the country because for the first few months,
I was struggling to communicate with people. I had problems making friends
and it was a little stressful to be honest, a little bit lonely just for those few weeks and then the last month,
I had enough to really get into it. So, I figured I'd solve that problem by going somewhere I know I'm never going to be lonely
because I love Brazilians. I love Brazil; it's my favorite country.
They're the warmest, friendliest people I've ever met on the entire planet.
So, I'm not going to be very stressed out there, but I'm still going to spend the majority of my day either studying to prepare for or actually speaking Arabic.
And, everyone knows my secret is to speak the language from day 1 and today is day 1
So, right today I'm going to start learning the language and trying to speak it with people.
OK? So, I hope you'll enjoy following along with that.
Oh, wait wait wait wait, I forgot something else.
I'm actually an Irish guy going to a Portuguese speaking country to learn Egyptian Arabic but I'm going to do that through French.
You see, I have found that learning a language via another language has helped me to think in that language faster
because I'm not translating via English. My French is actually very good; I've worked as a translator in French before.
So, I'm going to start with these phrase books; this is the lonely planet phrase book and the Assimil de Poche series.
And, then I've got these 2 because I'm aiming for level B2, C1.
I'm hoping that I'm going to finish this book which is designed specifically for level B2
And if I'm ready for it, I'll go to this one here
And, if I can complete at least one of these books and get my teeth into the next one,
I would consider myself fluent, considering how I interact with people
And every day, I'm going to be speaking via Skype; I'm going to try to meet up with people in person and this time in 3 months
we'll see how it goes. So, this is not a promise.
When I say the whole fluent in 3 months thing, it's not that I have a secret formula.
It's that I'm going to be trying my hardest.
And, this attempt to go to the wrong country is all part of what I feel is the most efficient strategy to learn a language.
It's about what you're doing, how hard you're working, where you're putting your hours in.
It's basically your attitude, not your latitude and longitude. It doesn't matter if you're in the wrong country.
So, I'm going to the wrong country and I'm going to do whatever it takes to create this Arabic environment
so that this time in 3 months, I can speak the language fluently.
You might disagree with my definition of fluency; I might get a little short of that and that's ok,
but the point is that I'm going to go to Egypt. And, I want to experience this culture for real,
not from a tourist perspective, but to really have deep conversations with people.
Now, I hope that you will click this subscribe button because almost every single week over the next 3 months,
I'm going to upload a video of me speaking Arabic with subtitles that you can follow along if you like.
And this will show you the gradual progression. And the fact that I'm working hard,
this is not because I'm smart. I'm not smart with languages. I did poorly in school;
I only spoke English when I was 21. But, the point is if you work hard and you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into it,
don't look for all the easy solutions to learn a language. Put the time in; put the effort in; then, you'll learn how to speak the language.
So, you will see me struggle, you'll see me make mistakes; you'll see that it doesn't come so easy to me,
but I'm going to be working hard. I'm going to be writing about it on the blog.
And, this time in 3 months, I hope to be speaking the language fluently.
OK? So, I hope you'll subscribe and I look forward to your comments, hopefully your encouragement.
And, I hope you'll read along and you'll see that what I'm doing, I don't have any advantage.
I'm going to be in the wrong country, but I'm going to be in the same situation as many of you,
not necessarily learning Arabic, but what I'm going to be talking about applies to any language
that you can learn from a distance and you can speak via Skype and all this kind of stuff.
So, if I can do this, you can do this. Seriously, I don't have any advantage over you;
I don't have any language gene. I'm just working my ass off here ok?
So, I hope you'll enjoy following along with this mission.
And, let me know your thoughts by writing comments below and following along.