ajnabieh: The McDonalds Arch, with text in Arabic reading "ماكدونالدز مصر"/makdunaldz masr/McDonalds Egypt. (ماكدونالدز)
So, I leave for Egypt in three days. Pretty much my entire brain is chanting MASR MASR MASR MASR MASR MASR all the time; it would be annoying if it weren't so all-consuming. But, as things are starting to slot into place, I thought I'd do a couple of posts on what, precisely, the working political scientist-slash-ethnographer brings with her to go somewhere to do research. With the caveat that 1) I'm only going for two weeks, 2) I'm staying in a big city (Africa's biggest city, actually) and in a decent hotel, so I'll have resources available...

Here's what I'm bringing:


notes on what you see here, and what you don't )

As well as all of the physical stuff, there's also a lot of digital stuff I'm bringing with me...


probably the level of dependent I am on this particular rectangular prism of plastic is not healthy )

So, beloved readers, techies and fieldwork-conductors: what am I missing? What do you bring when you head into the field?

(And, off topic, but: I'm changing planes in Amsterdam with a longish layover, and am meeting some friends for lunch at Centraal Station--anyone have recommendations for things to do near there when you've only got 5 hours and some massive jetlag?)
ajnabieh: The McDonalds Arch, with text in Arabic reading "ماكدونالدز مصر"/makdunaldz masr/McDonalds Egypt. (ماكدونالدز)
I wrote about my trouble getting Arabic learning software for my iTouch 2.0 in a previous post. However, I am very happy to say that the recent releases of the iOS do support Arabic. This has lead to a large number of apps that can help with Arabic learning...and I figured it behooved me to review them. You know. For the sake of the internet. Stop laughing.

Some caveats:

  • I've been studying Arabic, off and on, for about a decade now. My major deficit is in vocabulary; I can go through, say, a newspaper article, and tell you what part of speech half the words are, and how to vowel them (Arabic, like Hebrew, doesn't write most of its vowels; most vowels are predictable by grammar), but I could only tell you what 5-10% of them are without a dictionary. That makes practicing with real texts a real pain in the butt, let me tell you. So I'm concentrating on vocabulary-building apps, rather than ones teaching grammar.
  • This also means that I already know and am reasonably fluid at reading the Arabic alphabet. I looked at a few alphabet apps, but my judgement on them is that of someone very far out from the actual learning of the alphabet.
  • I have an iTouch, and my wife has an iPad. I've tested most of these on the iPad, even the iPhone-only apps. Most apps that are made to run on the iPhone/iTouch can also run on the iPad, but they run smaller (you know, the size of an iPhone). But they can definitely still be used.
  • I was doing this in the US; all prices in USD, all apps available in the US App Store. No idea what's available elsewhere.
  • I've only tested the free versions of apps. Most of them have a pay-upgrade available, with access to more words. I indicate whether or not I would pay for the app.

Apps for all! )


ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
Ajnabieh - The Foreigner

March 2016

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