Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Sound Victory

This post has been in the draft folder for ages. I've, unsuccessfully, been trying to upload a sound folder to illustrate it.

BK1 and I were talking about Arabic letters and sounds yesterday, during the mayhem that is bedtime with three children. 

All of a sudden, she  looked at me and said: "Listen maman, ح ",  just like that.

It's official, our 8-year old BK1 is no longer a khawaga. She can say haa ح, one of the most elusive sounds in the Arabic language!

Khawaga is a somewhat condescending label, usually given to foreigners who speak Arabic as a second language, but who struggle with the haa sound, substituting it with the easier kha خ sound.

In Algeria, my children with their fair hair/skin and funny accents, are often dubbed khawaga, les étrangèrers, les émigrées etc. These epithets do irritate me. I sometimes want to retort: "Look, my girls can speak four languages. What about you?"

Well now at least one of them should not be called khawage anymore. Ha.