Saturday 25 August 2007

On my last trip to Essaouira I started speaking a little Arabic using a Teach Yourself CD that I had previously downloaded to my iPod. I managed to learn a few words and conntructions, mainly around greetings and simple requests, but I found that even being able to say a few words in Arabic was a great help and the Moroccan people really appreciated the effort. The Arabic dialect used on the CD was that used in Egypt and the Gulf states, so, I was not always understood. It came therefore as a great find when I discovered which has a web-site decicated to speaking the Moroccan dialect or Darija as they call it. has rich vocabulary section with an easily understandable transliteration system and they also show the Arabic spelling too. It has many situational lessons which are oriented around learning by reading since there are no sound clips. These would, I think, be a great addition to the site and I'll try to find out if they have plans to change that.

If you plan to visit Morocco - maybe for next year's Essaouira festival - pay a visit to and try to pick up a few words of Darija - it'll be well worth it.

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