Language Barrier

Well, I am happy to say that I have officially survived one full week here in Morocco! This past week has had it’s ups and downs, but overall, I have learned a great deal and have absorbed a lot about the Moroccan culture. Besides falling ill, my greatest struggle thus far is the language barrier. Although I am extremely impressed by the diversity of languages here, it has made things even more complicated for me as a foreigner.  The dialect spoken here is Darija, but most residents understand classical Arabic, but the business language is French (none of which I speak). A big shout out to Maggie and Jen for being my French to English translators at every restaurant! I don’t know what I’d be eating without you guys…

My host mother and father speak Darija, but are also fluent in French and Spanish. We also have a host cousin, Nadia, who speaks only Darija. So, they speak Darija to eachother, French to my roommate, Kavya, and occasionally will try to get my attention with some Spanish.     It takes me awhile to even realize that they are speaking Spanish to me because all these different languages are so intertwined and spoken so fast! Trying to communicate with my host family often becomes a twisted game of charades that nobody wins.

Luckily, as a part of this program, we have 3 hours of Darija every morning. Hopefully by the end of our stay, I’ll be able to have basic conversations in Darija but right now it’s a HUGE STRUGLEEEEE. Attempting to pronounce some letters and words usually gives my host family a good laugh. I guess that’s part of learning a new language though! I can only improve from here.

Well, nsufk mn baad!

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