Recently I started seriously learning my third language: Arabic. But Nick, you may ask, why would you do that when you’re a Chemistry major? Are you trying to burn your brain out? Isn’t trying to learn two languages a little bit much? You know Italian pretty well already; why wreck a good thing?
And to answer: I dunno, apparently I do want my brain gone, it is definitely too much, and finally, excuse my phrasing, for poops and giggles.
While all of that may be true, I still don’t regret starting Arabic. I really don’t need to learn another language, but I figured a more obscure language would help me get a leg up in the job market. Plus, what better time to learn Arabic is there but at one of the best universities for it? I’m a little old for that whole Flagship deal, but I still get to reap most of the benefits, and I’ve been learning some fascinating stuff along the way. For one, my name looks way cooler in Arabic: نك جادج definitely beats Nick Gedig, any day of the week. I also get to learn a lot of cool stuff about Arabic culture and the countries the make up the Middle East (more on that in a later post). Times do get tough in Arabic however; wrapping my head around learning both the Egyptian dialect and formal Arabic at the same time can take up a lot of brain space. There’s something really satisfying about actually understanding it at the same time, so it makes up for all the headaches. Arabic is a true brain workout, and I end up accidentally falling asleep in class more often than I should, simply because it tires me out to think like that. In the end, though, I think it will be worth it, because I love the feeling of knowing one more way to communicate in a foreign country, especially beyond Europe. If you’re one of those overachiever people like me who has plenty of credits and wants to take something fun or interesting, I would definitely recommend checking out Arabic. It’s already opened a lot of doors for me and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.