“learn Arabic like a spy”
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 13, 2009
I know how much you love Lebanese spam, H emailed me the other day. After forwarding me a gem of an ad from his Gmail account, H emailed me again.
Look what just came up as an ad on my Gmail toolbar, he wrote.
Oh, Google AdWords. Once again, your sense of targeting and timing is so close – and yet so far. H doesn’t need to learn Arabic, and he certainly isn’t aiming to be “like a spy”.
Nor, to be honest, do many of us who have spent time in the region have any confidence that speaking “like a spy” implies any degree of fluency. Or even proficiency.
When I looked into the “Pimsleur Approach”, I must confess that I was a bit disappointed. Apparently “Learn like a spy” is Pimsleur’s generic tag line, although I’m not sure that its as successful with other languages. To me, “Learn Spanish like a spy” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
In any case, if you’re looking to learn Arabic, I suggest you think twice before paying for any program that promises to help you speak “like a spy”. How about a program that teaches you to speak “like a native”? After all, one major trouble with being mistaken for a spy is that your reception among native speakers is likely to be less than welcoming🙂 .