Double Major in Arabic and Judaic Studies Dreams in Arabic
Talia Jacobson, a double major in Arabic and Judaic Studies, and a student adviser for Study Abroad, had an unusual but delightful dream the other day. In her dream, she was transported back to Morocco, where she had spent the previous spring studying. There, she found herself conversing with another about the colors and their names; both she and her conversation partner were speaking in Arabic. On waking up, Talia was "endlessly happy and surprised. It is an amazing experience to dream in another language. Finally, the Arabic is setting in!"
Talia was rewarded with this dream after two years of intensive study of Arabic at Binghamton University and elsewhere. In the course of those studies, she has worked with Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, and Moroccan Arabic. So it may come as no surprise that Talia, who also speaks Hebrew, thinks language study is "awesome." But why does she study Arabic as intensively as she does? According to Talia, it's because the language is "so vital to the survival of our world. It's really a cool thing to be able to communicate with someone from another background. It opens up another world."
But how does Arabic fit into Talia's professional growth? "Arabic is now another skill that I have. It's important because it so largely influences today's world." No wonder, then, that it's a skill much in demand, one that opens doors of all sorts.
As for Talia's study abroad experience, she attended the the CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) program in Rabat, Morocco. Why did Talia go to Rabat? Not simply for the chance to immerse herself in a language. CIEE also had her living with a local family. That gave her lots of opportunity to speak Arabic, but it also allowed her to experience Moroccan culture in a more up-close and personal way. Indeed, it was living with a local family that made the experience "really cool" - check out her pictures.
Clearly, that Arabic immersion experience was very special for Talia, so special, in fact, that in a certain sense, it never really ended. Take her dream. "It's not the first time it's happened to me," she explains, "but I thought it was amazing that I was so immersed in what I was studying that it came into my dream. If you ask my friends, I'm thinking about Arabic all the time, and my dreams prove that I am." So does her fondness for Egyptian songs. In Egyptian Arabic, which Talia takes from CNES Professor Mary Youssef, students learn songs. Those songs Talia then sings to her friends. So it seems that Arabic is always with her, whether waking or sleeping.