Thursday, January 17, 2008

I know that Aha! moment

I felt a warm rush of gratitude to the speaker, a bespectacled doctor. It made no difference that he was Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda’s No. 2 man, or that he was threatening to slaughter large numbers of Americans. He spoke a slow, clear fusha, the formal version of Arabic I had been struggling to decipher on the page for 10 hours a day. Even better, his words matched my limited vocabulary: arsala, “to send”; jaish, “army”; raees, “president.” I was almost drunk with exhilaration.

Robert F. Worth, Beirut bureau chief for the NY Times, in the Sunday Book Review. (The rest here.)

1 comment:

Bernardo said...

I had that AHA moment trough the years while I was learning English.

Sometimes, watching the japanese channel I recognize some kanji. But my japanese is very poor.

bernardomoraes.blogspot.com