So You Want to Speak Hijazi?

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Before they are sent abroad, most US diplomats would ideally take a course in the language of the country where they are headed. The Washington DC-based Foreign Service Institute (FSI) at the Department of State offers courses in many language, including many flavors of Arabic. One of these flavors is Saudi Arabia in the urban Hijazi dialect. The textbook of that course is embedded below.

As the cover shows, this course was printed in 1975 and it was authored by Dr. Margaret K Omar of the FSI linguist staff after two trip she made to Saudi Arabia where she collected material and conducted research for the textbook. Omar says in her introduction that the student should have attained a “working” proficiency in the language after finishing the course, meaning they will be able to converse in general subjects and comprehend speech at a normal rate of speed.

In addition to the textbook, the course is also available as audio files that can be found here.

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