Any Arabic speakers? (re: Learning Arabic at DLI and DLPT exam)

SexyBeast

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Hey everyone, I was curious, is MSA the "dialect" taught at DLI and used in DLPT exams?

I am prior USN AD, and I am looking into signing up for the USNR to at least be doing something for this great nation. Teaching myself elementary Arabic is a development that took place after my honorable discharge from AD, so when I go back in, I imagine they will want me to take a few exams, etc.

I know MSA isn't a dialect in and of itself, but was just curious. I do okay in Egyptian colloquial but wanted to make sure I was studied up on the proper area of Arabic for any exams I will need to take.

Thanks!
 

SexyBeast

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Okay I managed to dig up a prep guide for the Egyptian Dialect. I guess basically that answers my question. lol

I would still appreciate anyone's insight into how to best prepare for this type exam. I hear it gets a little silly (ie native speakers getting a 2/2 proficiency because of obscure and uber nuanced grammar rules, etc).

Thanks!
 

Florida173

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I attended DLI for Arabic for all of '06 and '07. The school house teaches Modern Standard Arabic with familiarization of Syrian, Egyptian, and Iraqi dialects. The DLPT for arabic has been recently updated and has proven to much more difficult for us Arabic linguists. The problem isn't neccessarily with the grammar rules, it is with the questions that require you to understand the passages on a higher level.

As far as usage. I am currently deployed downrange doing HUMINT work and have done plenty of meetings and key leader engagements without a terp. My success rate for fluency with uneducated locals is limited, but generally everyone can understand me and what I want from them. If you have any more specific questions I'd be happy to respond.
 

car

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FYI -For y'all's information.......we're looking at going to the former method of instruction - 46 weeks of of MSA, then howevermany weeks of dialect training.

The 'smart guys' haven't figured it out yet, but we are moving (back :doh:) that way again.
 

AssadUSMC

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That's what they did when I was there... too bad it F'ed up our DLPT when they did the dialect class BEFORE the tests.

FWIW, NO ONE speaks MSA in the real world. Maku mushkela?
 

Florida173

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Been in Iraq now for like 7 months... I've had very little problem out on the streets with my MSA. I've done a couple meetings with no terp.. and have done one interrogation without a terp. All have gone better than I would have expected, but obviously depends on their education level.

My opinion.. get rid of the program that attempts to create a good tourist and separate the HUMINTers like me from the listeners. Tailor the course to be more functional. I do appreciate the ability to speak about a variety of subjects to build rapport with LNs, but I would have really liked some better training and famliarization on how to butter up or intimidate them depending on the situation.

As far as dialect training. We should have weighed more on the Iraqi side than bothering ourselves with Syrian and Egyptian.
 

SexyBeast

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Been in Iraq now for like 7 months... I've had very little problem out on the streets with my MSA. I've done a couple meetings with no terp.. and have done one interrogation without a terp. All have gone better than I would have expected, but obviously depends on their education level.

My opinion.. get rid of the program that attempts to create a good tourist and separate the HUMINTers like me from the listeners. Tailor the course to be more functional. I do appreciate the ability to speak about a variety of subjects to build rapport with LNs, but I would have really liked some better training and famliarization on how to butter up or intimidate them depending on the situation.

As far as dialect training. We should have weighed more on the Iraqi side than bothering ourselves with Syrian and Egyptian.

Thanks for the info, FL. Very helpful!
 

Paddlefoot

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I've been out of the loop for awhile as far as DLI and the new DLPT are concerened, but I found I was able to get tuned into the Gulf dialect fairly quickly back in '91.

I was listening to a couple of SANG troops talking after a training session, about a verboten subject (religion), and even though I wasn't really familiar with the vocab they were using I pretty understood exactly what they were saying, word for word. I didn't even have to think about it, it was like listening to English, almost.

Enough that when I repeated what they said back to them and told them they shouldn't be talking about it, they were more than a little surprised. That's when I knew DLI had provided a good base for going further with the language.
 

Florida173

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I've been out of the loop for awhile as far as DLI and the new DLPT are concerened, but I found I was able to get tuned into the Gulf dialect fairly quickly back in '91.

I was listening to a couple of SANG troops talking after a training session, about a verboten subject (religion), and even though I wasn't really familiar with the vocab they were using I pretty understood exactly what they were saying, word for word. I didn't even have to think about it, it was like listening to English, almost.

Enough that when I repeated what they said back to them and told them they shouldn't be talking about it, they were more than a little surprised. That's when I knew DLI had provided a good base for going further with the language.



I've was talking with a SANG captain while at a school recently and had no issues talking to him. Seems that Gulf dialect is closest to MSA, but Iraqi Dialect is one of the furthest, other than those french people in Magreb. Iraqi has too much Farsi influence, but don't tell the Iraqis that, the Sunnis hate that shit.
 
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