... I have been working here in the United Arab Emirates for a few years, though I can somehow communicate using the arabic language I am far from proficient. I used to learn from my egyptian colleagues - by listening intently while they speak, asking them the meaning of each word I caught, jotting them down in small notebooks and practicing the use of each word and phrase with them. I would have been proficient by now had they not been assigned to other branches or have moved on to different companies, thus lessons were cancelled and my notes gathered dust under my cupboard since then.
... it wasnt until about a month ago that I unearthed and dusted my notebooks for a refresher course!
... in an effort to "enhance" our communication skills - the bank I work for arranged an arabic speaking (and little writing) seminar for non-arab staff. We were basically taught a few banking vocabularies and phrases that would be useful in dealing with clients. We took the 30 hour course in the span of 2 weeks and one month, going to class twice a week for one and a half hour.
...I am not a nerd but it was fun learning really!!! what with the free lunch and red "mumtaz" on my homework!!! haha!