And may I add, Ultramarine, that you will actually be able to understand ‘Darija’ a lot sooner than you will be able to produce it yourself. Understanding precedes production, always. Why, may I ask, have you chosen to concentrate on the dialect of North Africa in particular? Were you assigned to the region? Do you have friends whose dialects you feel motivated to learn? Were the Middle Eastern dialects less challenging? Have you already mastered MSA?
I am asking you these questions because I, too, am a non-Arab by ethnicity who chose to study Arabic at University, and I find it interesting to meet others who are following similar trajectories. The year I graduated, there were (their were, perhaps?) (just joking; you will have to examine the forum to understand the joke…) …there were exactly two graduates who had majored in Arabic; myself, and an ethnic Pakistani woman who had grown up in the USA. The University I attended, I might add, is no small time institution; there are upwards of 50,000 students enrolled. I graduated in 1995, and, for obvious reasons, interest in Arabic has skyrocketed since then, but the first Gulf War had already taken place by then. In fact, I decided to start wearing hijab almost exactly prior to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. I found out about the invasion while at a restaurant. I was sitting there, nervous in my new garb, with a friend of mine when the men at the table behind us began an unnecessarily loud discussion of what Saddam Hussain was up to now. They wound up asking me why I was wearing a table cloth on my head. That was in my first days with the scarf, and I must say that I can not think of any incidents which came later on which rivaled it in terms of sheer direct insult aimed specifically at me by another person in regards to my clothing…
But I digress.
Welcome to the forum!!!