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Prince Charles struggles to grasp the Arabic language

By Maryam_Qaiser  |  Posted: March 15, 2013

Comments (6)

Prince Charles, who is currently touring the Middle East, is struggling to grasp the Arabic language.

He has been having private tuition for six months to learn it, but revealed today that it "goes in one ear and out the other". 

Charles was in Doha, Qatar, at a reception for Qataris who attended UK universities when he told guests: "You all speak such good English."

He has mastered French, speaks German and attempted Welsh, but Prince Charles may have met his match with Arabic.

Learning the language, which is used in the original form of the Koran, could help in his efforts to encourage communication between religions.

After leaving the Qatar-UK Alumni Network he visited the Williams F1 Technology Centre, where he tried out a Range Rover driving simulator. 

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6 comments

  • lindenengine  |  March 16 2013, 3:03AM

    Encouraging communications between the religions eh! I think that was most likely quoted as part of that typical old British entente or bonne hommie for the popular press consumption ! Actually don't need to be able to read the Koran to do that! In our own bible contain phrases which amount to the same thing and found direct equivalents in the Koran. In fact I have used them when I worked in Iraq during the Hussein regime. "Like God (Allah) favours the merciful and compassionate" unquote. Indeed to break the culture/religious barrier try eating with Palestinians in Jerusalem (Al Quds) who are both Christian and Arab. The food like Turkish Meza table and Musakhan a finger food basically a chicken dish. Sitting down on the floor with food spread out on a carpet will quickly break those cultural & religious divides. Anyway for me better to learn Farsi for a good read; a nice sing song language which puts the verb at the end of the sentence like German. Farsi shares the Arabic script for the most part but is entirely different in language. Not to mention the guttural throat sounds as you find in Khalige (Gulf Arabic) which is difficult for English speakers . Much more adaptable for English Arabic students is Egyptian Arabic, much less guttural. Reading Persian verse by the likes of Umar Khyam and his Ruhbiat (quatrains) are far more interesting and true to life even today! Here's one:- #25 Ah, make the most of what we may yet spend, Before we too into the Dust descend; Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie; Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and -- sans End! Based mostly on wine women and song more to my liking even if it was written in in the 11th century. Enjoy its meanings even today.

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  • bonzaharris1  |  March 15 2013, 10:44PM

    "goes in one ear and out the other". That was pretty much how my french lessons went at school forty odd years ago. Learn't how to swear in french, taught by the local lads on french trip easily enough though, but they were far younger and better looking than our french teachers !!

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  • bonzaharris1  |  March 15 2013, 10:43PM

    "goes in one ear and out the other". That was pretty much how my french lessons went at school forty odd years ago. Learn't how to swear in french, taught by the local lads on french trip easily enough though, but they were far younger and better looking than our french teachers !!

  • Bonkim2003  |  March 15 2013, 10:31PM

    'encourage communication between religions.' - why should Prince Charles encourage communications between religions? How many religions will he help connect if he learns fluent Arabic?

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  • sticks_stones  |  March 15 2013, 10:04PM

    Learning the language, which is used in the original form of the Koran, could help in his efforts to encourage communication between religions." Pathetic - YAWN - yet another, non-story.

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  • lindenengine  |  March 15 2013, 1:08PM

    Well I can understand the difficulty with Arabic, and the often said expression that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. He's a month younger than me and attempting to learn something new like a strange language at 60 plus isn't easy. I can speak both Arabic and Farsi but I learned it firstly at a language school when I was in my late twenties and then followed it with twelve years living and working in the region. With any language that isn't of Latin source you have to learn it phonetically then learn the script. It took me about 10 years to lean to read and write these languages when I was much younger. Still top marks for at least having a try.

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