Well I’ve been working on reading Arabic, I think I’m getting pretty good . . . . now all I have left is to learn what any of the words mean 🙂

I have been very fortunate to find a lot of businesses in Kuwait that just “transliterate” the names of their companies from English instead of translating them into Arabic. It gives me a chance to double check what I know without actually having to know any Arabic words. Cake n’ Bake, Marina Thai, Burger King, Next, and a bunch of other stores just put the name of the company into Arabic so it sounds the same but an Arabic speaker would say it just like an English speaker. . .  . sort of.

Tonight Brad and I went to Marina Mall to a nice little Lebanese cafe called “Cafe Blanc.” The food was quite good and the restaurant was nice, quiet and cool compared to the humid weather outside. From my seat I could see some red Arabic letters and after working on it for a while I realized that it was TGI Friday’s. Unfortunately, the transliteration into Arabic is really clumsy, it said something more like “Tee, Jee, Ahee Fraeedees.” I don’t think there is a “dg” sound in Arabic like “Junk” or “Jungle,” it is more of a french “zj” like “Je ne said quoi.”

Brad and I just got our passports back with our names spelled in Arabic. Both of our first names transliterate pretty well. But my last name in Arabic is “Winshib” and Brad’s is “Hoowoord.” More fun with Arabic to come when I have a camera!

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