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‘I fell in love with Arabic’: Meet a Korean girl who speaks the Emirati dialect fluently – News


Published: Sunday, November 5, 2023, 3:10 p.m.

Last update: Sunday, November 5, 2023, 11:17 p.m.

Janna Kim was an ordinary girl growing up in South Korea. When she decided to study Arabic on a whim, she never imagined how it would change her life. She now works as an interpreter at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), where South Korea is the guest of honor. Her perfect Arabic skills along with her command of the Emirati dialect have earned her star status at the show.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, he admitted that he came across the Arabic language by chance. Janna, a student at the foreign language institute, was embarrassed that she was the only one at the university who didn’t know languages ​​other than Korean and English. “She was looking to learn a new language,” she said. “Many of my friends were learning other European languages ​​like German and French, but I wanted to do something different.”

The girl who loved Arabic.

It was her desire to be different that led her to Arabic, however, that changed when she began her lessons. “When I started studying the language, I fell in love with Arabic and Arab culture,” she said. “So I started learning fus’ha, classical Arabic at my university. Then I started learning some dialects. First, I learned the Egyptian dialect. “Then I started focusing on Rams al Arabiya, or the Emirati dialect.”

He said his family was surprised when he started taking Arabic lessons. “They didn’t know anything about the language,” she said. “I was asked why not choose a European language, but I stuck with Arabic. The beauty of the language conquered me.”

At that time, he said that Arabic was not very popular in Korea and not many people learned it. However, she says that has changed a lot since then. “Now there are a lot of people who want to learn Arabic and are signing up for classes,” she said.

hard trip

He admitted that the path to learning the language was extremely difficult. “It was very difficult,” she said. “I put all my energy into it. It took me more than a year to master the language. “Then it took me another three years to start working as a performer.”

To help her study the language, Janna changed her phone’s interface to Arabic. “I just wanted to immerse myself in the culture,” she said. “And switching my phone to Arabic helped me learn more. It is a continuous process. Even now, I don’t consider myself someone who is fluent in Arabic.”

Now here as part of the South Korean team, Janna also hosts an Arabic podcast about SIBF. She said that she is in love with the United Arab Emirates and that her dream is to live here. “This is my third time coming here and I love everything about this country,” she said. “The language, the culture, the people. I really hope I can find a job and move here. I love this place.”


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