In-Depth Blog Post: May 10, 2022

Once again, it is time for another In-Depth post.

This time, it’ll be just a small bit of grammar and vocabulary.

Starting off with grammar this time. There were two aspects of grammar I learned, noun cases and adjectives.

I’ll use the word for book “كتاب” to demonstrate.

  Indefinite Definite
Nominative كتابٌ الكتابُ
Accusative كتاباً الكتابَ
Genitive كتابٍ الكتابِ

 

Firstly, I’ll explain some terminology. The indefinite versus the definite is the difference between a specific object or a non-specific object. (Think the versus a).

The nominative is when the noun is the subject of the sentence, or the one doing the action.

The accusative is the object, or the one the action is being done to.

And the genitive is the noun when it is possessed, or modified by a preposition.

It is important to note that the definite article prefix ال sometimes merges with the vowel ahead of it and the consonant after it. (It’s a long story)

Another thing to note is that while there is a distinction between the three cases on the left in Classical Arabic, there is virtually no distinction in more modern varieties, apart from borrowed phrases and words.

Adjectives

Adjectives generally come after the noun. Furthermore, the adjective must have a ة if it is feminine.

كتاب جميل

مدرسة جميلة

Finally, time for some vocabulary.

Professor, (f) أستاذ ,أستاّذة
Pretty, (f) جميا ,جمياة
You all, (f) إنتو ,إنتين
Chair, (pl) كرسي ,كراسي
Paper ورق
Student, (pl) طالب ,طلاب
Female Student, (pl) طالبة ,طالبات
To run (i.e. move at a pace faster than walking) يجري

 

Attached will be some audio files of the above.

As for how my In-Depth presentation will work, it’ll work in the following way.

I will have a poster up with just a few Arabic words and/or phrases on it. At my station, visitors could also ask me a simple phrase, in which I can teach them. While I haven’t made up my mind up on the following, I may include a sheet of paper where I can teach them to write “My name is [insert visitors name]” in Arabic.

Anyways, that’s been all for this week.

Cheers,

Tyler

In-Depth Blog Post: April 19, 2022

It’s time for another In-Depth blog post.

This time, it’ll be a mix of both grammar and new vocabulary.

I’ll start with grammar, move to vocabulary, and hopefully add an example.

The first thing that we’ll start with is conjugating verbs. Below is a table along with some examples of it.

To I You (to a man) You (to a woman) He She
Drink يشرب أشرب تشرب تشربي يشرب تشرب
Go يذهب أذهب تذهب تذهبي يذهب تذهب
Eat يأكل أأكل تأكل تأكلي يأكل تأكل
Live يسكن أسكن تسكن تسكني يسكن تسكن
Read يقرأ أقرأ تقرأ تقرأي يقرأ تقرأ
Draw يرسم أرسم ترسم ترسمي يرسم ترسم
Write يكتب أكتب تكتب تكتبي يكتب تكتب

 

The pattern is the prefix of the word, demonstrated by the patterns in the table. It is important to note that the prefix for to [verb] is the same as the prefix for he [verb] and the same applies for you [verb] and she [verb]. They are distinguished by context. Another rule is that when there are two verbs working together, the prefix have to be the same as each other. So rather than saying I like to drink water in English, you would say I like I drink water in Arabic.

Next, I’ll talk about phrases.

Some of the phrases include:

How are you – كيف هلك

Response – الحمد لله or بخير

How – كيف

How many – كم

Yes – نعم

No – لا

 

Finally, below are some vocabulary I learned since the last blog post.

Bedroom غرفة
Child ولد
Tea شي
Years سنة
Notebook دفتر
Photo صورة
Butterfly فراشة
Pear إجاصة
Lion سبع
Elephant فيل
Boots جزمة
Bicycle دراجة
Bird عصفور
Giraffe زرافة
Sheep خروف
Book Cover غلاف
Horse فرس
Hammer فأس
Bell جرس
Bus حافلة
Nest عش
Bed سرير

 

Attached is an audio file of me going through these vocabulary.

Finally, I’m going to create some sentences using what I now know. There will be audio down below.

You (man) drink tea. تشرب شي.
I like to eat noodles. أحب أأكل مكرونة.
She reads three books. تقرأ ثلاثة كتب.
He goes to school and a store. يذهب الى مدرسة ومحل.

That’s been all for this blog post.
Cheers,
Tyler

 

Note: Attached will be the Reflection Questions

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In-Depth Blog Post: April 1, 2022

Well, it’s that time again. Once again, it’s time for the In-Depth Blog Post. This time, it will be focused on grammar. This time, it’ll be text based as grammar revolves around modifying language to express details, rather than how words are pronounced.

Let’s start with pronouns.

أنا Me
انتَ You (to a man)
انتِ You (to a woman)
هو He
هي She

 

In Arabic, there is a distinction between saying you to a man versus saying you to a woman.

The language also makes a distinction between masculine and feminine nouns, and the grammatical gender of the noun transfers to other parts of the sentence.

With that being said, let’s now look at the possessive variants of pronouns. I will use the word for house to demonstrate.

بيتي My house
بيتَك Your house (to a man)
بيتِك Your house (to a woman)
بيته His house
بيتها Her house

 

In Arabic, short vowel marks are almost never used in day to day life. I have added them in as they distinguish words, but in practice, words like your house to either gender is written the same.

In feminine nouns, they almost always end in ة and are pronounced like ا when not modified. However, when altered for grammatical reasons, it sounds like ت. Here are the same pronouns, but for feminine nouns. This time, I’ll use the word for school.

مدرستي My school
مدرستَك Your school (m)
مدرستِك Your school (f)
مدرسته His school
مدرستها Her school

 

This can be used with the word for “this” to make the phrase “this is [object]” or “this is [possessive pronoun] [object]”. In Arabic, there is no equivalent for is in this scenario. Once again, the word for this distinguishes between m and f.

هذا كتيب

هذه مدرستي

The word “and” is و. This word is used between all of the words in the list, unlike English. (e.g. book and table and house and car and pizza)

Plural

Arabic plurals, to put it mildly, all over the place. Masculine nouns have no pattern as to how to change them from singular to plural. Feminine nouns are a lot more forgiving, although there are still exceptions. Let’s take a look at a masculine noun and a feminine noun.

Sing Plu  
قلم أقلام Pen vs Pens
شنطة شنطات Bag vs Bags

 

Finally, this brings me to my final point. A few weeks ago, I brought you the Arabic numbers. Here’s a recap. Pay attention to the right column this time.

1 ١ واهد واهدة
2 ٢ إثنان إثنتان
3 ٣ ثلاثة ثلاث
4 ٤ اربعة أربع
5 ٥ خمسة خمس
6 ٦ ستة ست
7 ٧ سبعة سبع
8 ٨ ثمانيا ثمان
9 ٩ تسعة تسع
10 ١٠ عشرة عشر

 

The difference lies in that the 3rd column is used with masculine nouns while the last with feminine nouns.

Anyways, that’s been all from me.

Cheers,

Tyler

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In-Depth Project: March 4, 2022

One again, it’s time for an In-Depth Blog.

This time, I learned vocabulary. During this, I tried to steer clear of words that have significant amounts of grammar, as it gets complex really easily. Words like have, to, etc. I also made three audio files for the three sections you’ll see. It’s in order so you can just follow along.

Anyways, let’s jump in.

Let’s start with numbers, then we’ll move to common adjectives and nouns.

0 – سفر

1 – واحد

2 – اثْنان

3 – ثلاثة

4 – أرْبعة

5 – خمْسة

6 – ستّة

7 – سبْعة

8 – ثمانية

9 – تسْعة

10 – عشرة

11 – أهد عشر

12 – اثْنا عشر

20 – اشْرون

21 – واحد واشْرون

30 – ثلاثون

40 – ارْبعون

50 – خمْسون

After learning the number system, I found it quite straight-forward as in the 10s it is (#, 10) and beyond is (# and multiple of 10). Multiples of ten are the root word but changed to –un.

Now for some common adjectives.

Good – جيد

Great – عظيم

Bad – سئ

New – جديد

Old – قديم

First – أول

Last – آخر

Big – كبير

Small – سعير

Interestingly enough, a lot of them follow a consonant-short a-consonant-long I-consonant pattern

And now some common nouns.

Man – رجل

Woman – امرأة

Boy – ولد

Girl – بنت

Note the ة on feminine words or words describing feminine words, similar to French. The sound varies by context but it marks a feminine word. (Oddly enough, “bint”, or girl, doesn’t have a ta marbutah.)

Anyways, that has been this week’s blog post.

Cheers,

Tyler

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In-Depth Project: February 18, 2022

It’s time for the first blog post since the introductory blog post. Since I haven’t completed the writing, phonology, vocabulary, and grammar combination, I can’t write this blog post in Arabic. Nonetheless, I will still be sharing what I have learned so far.

So far, I have learned the writing system.

 

Writing:
The Arabic Alphabet

Arabic uses an abjad which means vowels aren’t represented. In the case of Arabic, it represents long vowels and sometimes represents short vowels. (Side tangent but it’s much less random than English spelling)

ا – Alif
/aː/ or /æ/
Represents other vowels when a word starts with one
Sounds like the a in “father” or “cat”
Often altered with other markings (more on that later)

 

ب – Ba
/b/
Sounds like the b in “bucket” or “Bob”
One dot underneath (important to memorize dots)

 

ت – Ta
/t/
Sounds like the t in “turtle” or “tickle”
Two dots above

 

ث – Tha
/θ/
Sounds like the th in “third” or “think”
Three dots above

 

ج – Jim
/dʒ/
Sounds like the j in “jam” or “John”
One dot underneath

 

ح – Ha
/ħ/
Does not exist in English. Similar to the h in “hat” but further up the throat
No dots

 

خ – Kha

/x/
Does not exist in English. Pronounced like an h but in the position of a k
One dot above

 

د – Dal
/d/
Sounds like the d in “dad” or “Donald”
No dots

 

ذ – Dhal
/ð/
Sounds like the th in “the” or “that”
One dot above

 

ر – Ra
/r/
I can’t roll my r’s 🙁
Does not exist in English. Pronounced as a rolled r
No dots

 

ز – Zay
/z/
Sounds like the z in “zucchini” or “zombie”
One dot above

 

س – Sin
/s/
Sounds like the s in “sing” or “Sally”
No dots

 

ش – Shin
/ʃ/
Sounds like the sh in “shampoo” or “seashells”
Three dots above

 

ص – Sad
/sˤ/
Sounds like the s in “sing” or “Sally” but with a constricted throat (pharyngealisation will become a recurring theme)
No dots

 

ض – Dad
/dˤ/
Sounds like the d in “dad” or “Donald” but with a constricted throat
One dot above

 

ط – Ta
/tˤ/
Sounds like the t in “turtle” or “tickle” but with a constricted throat
No dots

 

ظ – Za
/ðˤ/
Misleadingly romanised as za rather than dha.
Sounds like the th in “the” or “that” but with a constricted throat
One dot above

 

ع – Ayn
/ʕ/
Does not exist in English. Somewhat like how you gargle water (it’s unique)
No dots

 

غ – Ghayn
/ɣ/
Does not exist in English. Pronounced like a h but in the position of a g
One dot above

 

ف – Fa
/f/
Sounds like the f in “fish” or “fortune”
One dot above

 

ق – Qaf
/q/
Does not exist in English. Pronounced like a k but further back
Two dots above

 

ك – Kaf

/k/
Sounds like the c in “carrot” or “car”
No dots

 

ل – Lam
/l/
Sounds like the l in “like” or “letter”
No dots

 

م – Mim
/m/
Sounds like the m in “mom” or “money”
No dots

 

ن – Nun
/n/
Sounds like the n in “none” or “never”
One dot above

 

ه – Ha
/h/
Sounds like the h in “hat” or “happy”
No dots

 

و – Waw
/w/ or /uː/
Sounds like the w in “water” or the u in “dune”
No dots

 

ي – Ya
/j/ or /iː/
Sounds like the y in “yellow” or ea in “eat”
Two dots below

 

ء – Hamzah
/ʔ/
Either on its own or thrown on Alif, Waw, or Ya.
Sometimes in English, in uh-oh or a pseudo-British accent.

 

ة – Ta marbutah
Sometimes /t/, sometimes silent
Used to mark words as feminine

 

ى – Alif Maqsurah
/aː/
Neuter or masculine version of Ta marbutah

 

A bunch of diacritic marks to compensate for the lack of vowels, to geminate, to mark the lack of a vowel, or grammatical case. This is getting a bit messy so I’ll spare the details but here they are:

نّ
نَ
نً
نِ
نٍ
نُ
نٌ
نْ

Anyways, that’s been a rant and a half. Next time around, I will post about some basic vocabulary and maybe some sentence structure and grammar if I can get there.

Cheers,
Tyler

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In-Depth Project: Introductory Blog Post

Hi everyone!

This post will probably be the first of many blog posts for my In-Depth project. But what is my In-Depth project going to be about I pretend you ask for the sake of transitioning?

For my In-Depth project, I will be learning the Arabic language.

I’ve always wanted to learn another language for the longest time. The last time I learned a language was when I learned to speak, and those were Mandarin and English. I have always wanted to experience learning another language as the languages you learn when you learn to speak come more naturally from mimicking others around you, while learning a language later on in life means you actually have to teach yourself. Furthermore, the ability to learn languages is said to greatly diminish after a certain point, so I’ve always felt an urgency to achieve this goal unlike any other goal I want to achieve.

In the past few years, I’ve also been diving down an endless hole about linguistics. For those of you unfamiliar with linguistics, it is the study of languages essentially, and includes, but not limited to:
Phonology, the sounds of a language; Grammar, the rules of a language; Morphology, the changes to a language over time. For these two reasons, I’ve always wanted to learn a third language. I’ve actually tried in the past, twice, but both times I gave up after two days. With the In-Depth project, however, I have more of an incentive to learn.

But why Arabic specifically? Why didn’t I choose to learn Yakut, Guarani, or any other language for that matter? I chose to learn Arabic for three reasons: use, complexity, and novelty. First, use. Arabic is one of the most spoken languages, making it extremely useful, as the more people you can communicate with, the more useful a language becomes. Next, complexity. While it depends on who you ask, Arabic is always consistently ranked as one of the hardest languages to learn for an English speaker, mostly due to their lack of similarities, but also from having difficult features to learn. Finally, novelty. Arabic is very different from English and Mandarin. It is part of a different language family, written in a different script, and generally sounds different from the languages I speak. Thus, those are my reasons for choosing to learn Arabic.

So how will the process look?

I will first start with writing and phonology. After that, I will jump between vocabulary and grammar, progressing from basic to more advanced vocabulary and grammar. Near the end, I will learn about poetry, calligraphy, and dialects of Arabic. To demonstrate my learning, I will be making three short projects. The first project is to record a conversation in Arabic to test my ability to speak and listen. At the end of the conversation, there will be a discussion on how well we understood each other. For the second project, I will be writing a poem in a calligraphy style. Not only will this demonstrate my ability to read and write, but also understanding of the more cultural aspects of the language. My final project will be to create a presentation on what I have learned as a whole. This presentation will include my first and second projects, as well as a presentation within the presentation on a random topic to further demonstrate my learning. Along the way, I will be demonstrating my learning through logs of my learning in Arabic. In these logs, I will list what I have learned since the last log, as well as a short portion on something that has happened in my life since the last log.

That has been my Introductory Blog Post for my In-Depth Project. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Cheers,
Tyler

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The 360° Leader

After watching John C. Maxwell’s The 360° Leader DVDs, and filling out the Participant guide, I can say that it has given me a lot of insight into what good leadership is like. Below are some of the points that stuck with me the most.

The Position Myth

                The position myth is the myth that leadership is based off of the position you hold. It is the myth that your position, authority, and power give you leadership skills. Furthermore, it also gives an idea that being in a higher position slowly builds up your leadership skills, as you use your authority. I chose this point because it is one that I believed for my whole life, and presumably a lot of others as well. I also chose it because it is the myth that the book ultimately tries to debunk, as the book is about being able to lead from all positions of an organization, and not specifically from the top. This relates to TALONS as the position myth is fairly widespread, and in a program in which leadership is a major component, not everyone can become the leader in the highest position, and thus, everyone needs to be able to lead from different positions in the group. Furthermore, if everyone had this idea, then people would fight over authority, thus creating a weak team. This helps me improve my leadership skills because I have a better understanding of leadership. Moreover, this better understanding allows me to become able to lead from different positions, whether that be the top, the middle, or the bottom of the organization. To state that, understanding that this myth is in fact a myth is a fundamental to becoming a great leader, is an understatement, especially in the context of the 360° Leader.

The link below has a lot more information on the Position Myth, under the Position Myth.

https://ceotribe.com/blog/7-myths-leading-middle-holding-back-overcome/#:~:text=He%20writes%3A%20%22360%C2%B0%20Leadership,lead%20up%20and%20lead%20across.%22

Become a Go-To Player

                My next point is the point “Become a Go-To Player”. The concept is like the name suggests, become a player that those around you can go to for help. In the book, it also describes a go-to player as someone who can work when the pressure is high, and resources and momentum are low. Therefore, a go-to player is someone who you can rely on no matter the situation. I chose this point because it suggests that a good leader is someone you can rely at any time. I personally like to think of it this way: Every time you put in effort or skill towards something, you get a score based on how much effort or skill you put in. That means you could be less skilled than someone, and still get a higher score through being reliable. Furthermore, through repetition as a result of being go-to player, your skill level will increase gradually. This relates to TALONS, and everything in general, as leadership, or any responsibility you have, doesn’t have an on-off switch, and is not something you can chose to do one day but not do another day. This also helps me improve my leadership skills because it not only teaches me to be reliable, but to be reliable in any circumstance, even if the circumstance isn’t the best. Being reliable, like stated above, also allows me to improve my skills through repetition.

Place People in their Strength Zones

                My final point is place people in their strength zones. This one is also fairly self-explanatory as it basically says to assign people to positions and jobs where they are the strongest. I chose this point in particular because when people are in their strength zones, they work faster and the fruits of their labour have a higher quality, thus allowing the team to work faster and have higher quality results. In addition, being put in a strength zone means that it is probably the easiest, thus being the less stressful and more enjoyable, relative to other positions. Everyone has gotten a job that was in the middle of their strength zone, that they did not feel as though it was a job before. This builds further onto speed and efficiency of the individual and the team, and could even boost the morale of the individual or at a team level. This relates to TALONS in two ways. The first way is that in TALONS, or any situation in general, you want to maximize quality and efficiency without compromising either, and this is a good solution to that problem. The second relation is not as direct as the first. TALONS uses the Autonomous Learner Model (ALM). The ALM essentially puts you in your strength zone, albeit that explanation is severely oversimplified. This allows me to improve my leadership skills because it gives me a way to achieve both quality and efficiency. Moreover, it can allow people to work with minimal stress.

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Practice Interview Reflection

Over the course of the practice interview, I have learned a lot, through the interview between my partner and I, watching two others interview each other, and the feedback I was given by an observer. To begin with, I learned from my perspective of the practice interview. Moreover, I learned from being both interviewed and the interviewer. For example, I noticed certain things like how I would hold my hands together in a ball just about my lap when interviewing, or how my voice would change to a lower pitch when interviewing. When being interviewed, I noticed that I would stop to think whenever there was a question that I did not have the answer to. Next, I learned ways to improve my interview by observing the other pair. To illustrate, I noticed that the other pair included questions that I would have never thought of. In addition, they included comments and questions to lighten the mood, often humourously. Furthermore, they added questions that would be considered somewhat unorthodox to ask. For example, one of them asked their interviewee what their favourite colour for a reason other than how it looks visually. Lastly, I learned from the feedback I was given by those that were observing the interview. For example, some of the things I learned were that I should connect my questions to make the interview feel more connected, rather than jumping from point to point, through the more liberal use of follow-up questions. Something else I learned from the feedback was to sound less robotic and add more emotion when interviewing. I could correct this by simply adding comments that relate to the answer to sound less monotonous. Thus, this is what I learned during the practice interview.

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