Tuesday, July 06, 2004
I went to a wedding this weekend and sat at a table with an Army tank trainer. He's being deployed to Iraq next April & I asked him if the Army was teaching Arabic to the cavalry. He seemed surprised by the question & explained to me that most everyone over there speaks enough English to communicate. He said if they didn't, that they would just go to the Tribal Elder to get interpretative assistance. I didn't say anything to him about it. After all, I've never been to the Middle East. But I am willing to bet that there are profound benefits to speaking at least a wee bit of Arabic. Today I was happy to stumble upon this site on DefenseTech about the Tactical Language Project. Troops can learn Arabic now via Video Game! No offense to the Cavalry soldier, but no amount of spit & vinegar is going to help you find the bathroom when you've got a cous-cous attack from that Banks of the Tigris hot-dog stand if you don't speak some Arabic.