Page:A short guide to Syria (1943).djvu/22

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Syrians. Be hospitable to Syrians whenever possible. Do not turn away callers. Serve them coffee or tea.

Bargain on prices. Don't let shopkeepers or merchants overcharge you; but be polite.

Be generous with your cigarettes.

Above all, use common sense on all occasions. And remember that every American soldier is an unofficial ambassador of good will.


THESE are pronunciation hints to help you in listening to the Arabic language records which have been supplied to your troop unit. They will also help you with the pronunciation of additional words and phrases given in the vocabulary below, which are not included in the records.

Arabic is spoken over a great area in North Africa and the Near East. There are some differences between regions, both in pronunciation and the use of words. The dialect and words you are going to hear on this set of records are Syrian and Palestinian and you will be understood in Syria and Palestine and in the cities of Trans-Jordania and in Cairo and the Egyptian Delta region. If you should go on to other regions, where other varieties of Arabic are spoken, you will be given further information at that time. Don't worry about that now.

There is nothing very difficult about Arabic — except that you won't be able to read Arabic signs and newspapers you will see. That is because they use a different alphabet from ours. Therefore, the instructions and vocabulary below are not based on the written Arabic language, but are a simplified system of representing the language as it sounds. This system contains letters for all the sounds you must make to be understood. It does