Posts tagged language
How I Learned Moroccan Arabic + 5 Ways to Self-Study Any Language

I have written briefly in the past about my language-learning adventure, first with French and then with Darija. However, I still have so many people constantly asking me, “How did you do it?” How have I gotten to the point where when I speak Moroccan Arabic people frequently get confused and ask me if maybe someone in my family is from Morocco? 

The truth is that it boils down to one thing. The fierce determination to feel like I belong. 

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Moroccan Almond + Semolina Coconut Cookies | When Words Fail

Since learning to write poetry at a young age, I have fallen in love with the beauty of words. The satisfaction of certain sounds merging in humming perfection and meaning something that possibly has the power to effect emotional change. However, while I will always have that love and curiosity about the way letters can come together, something happens to it when you move to a foreign country and all at once find that your beautiful words fail you.

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A Story in Language Learning + Humility

“It can be safe to say that when we learned to speak to, and listen to, rather than to strike or be struck by, our fellow human beings, we found something worth keeping alive, worth possessing, for the rest of time.” -Eudora Welty. Growing up in Minnesota, language was something I generally took for granted. I never had any problems communicating what was needed, asking for help or using my words to connect with others.

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Zaalouk | Moroccan Eggplant Dip

Early on in my traveling life, I realized that I have a strong aversion to the word tourist. It evokes, to me, the image of someone who is on the outskirts, gawking and snapping photos of what is within. I have always preferred trying to dig a bit deeper wherever I am, learning the customs, rhythms and language that are local to a place. This characteristic has served both positively and negatively throughout my travels and living abroad. At my best, I converse with locals, impressing them with colloquialisms and walk around the city as if I know it by heart.

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