A few years back, I took a conversational Arabic class before visiting the Middle East.
I thought I’d use memory palace techniques to re-learn my now-rusty Arabic skills…and go an extra mile and tackle the written Arabic language.
Not an easy task!
I obtained a copy of Rosetta Stone Arabic (levels 1-3) to help with written/oral integration but the Arabic alphabet continues to elude me.
It turns out I’m not alone! Memorizing languages is generally a “whole brain” exercise, where words processed by the “right brain” are integrated to visual images in the “left brain”, but Arabic is an exception: Scientists have now proven that reading Arabic text is exclusively a ‘left brain’ activity.
On the flip side, it also explains how native Arabic speakers have difficulties learning a second language: they’ve grown up essentially just using their left brain for all language activities, and have to “learn” to use both side for non-Arabic languages.
I’m not sure what’s more difficult: trying to shut off half of your brain or trying to use an unused half of your brain!
I’ve spent the past week investigating techniques to learn and use the Arabic written language but have failed miserably so far.