Help for medical Arabic?

  1. Hi everyone--

    I'm at a hospital that sees a pretty good percentage of Arabic-speaking patients, and I'd like to start learning some basic Arabic to be able to communicate. To that end, I'm hoping some of you can give me a few pointers:

    * Where should I look for classes, and/or whose learning materials (books, audio, etc) should I use?
    * Does anyone's class specifically cover medical Arabic?
    * How about Chaldean dialect? Is it worth learning, and are there classes? (I ask because we got burned by that in my CVSICU preceptorship - a heart patient who only spoke that one dialect, with whom the Arabic-speaking cardiologist was unable to communicate, and for which AT&T had no translator. We were completely dependent on the family to translate. It didn't end well.)

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!
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    About murphyle, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 281; Likes: 341
    Clinical Nurse IV / Nurse Clinician; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Emergency, Critical Care (CEN, CCRN)


  3. by   MsPebbles
    Since no one else has replied, I'll try to help as best as I can.

    I'm actually Chaldean, but I'm more fluent in the Arabic language than in Chaldean. Chaldean is an incredibly difficult language to learn, but that doesn't mean it can't be done! As for classes, the only ones I'm familiar with are at the various Chaldean Catholic churches in the Metro-Detroit areas. I don't think you have to be a parishioner there. I'm almost positive St. Joseph Chaldean church in Troy has Chaldean language classes, but I'm not sure about Arabic. You could call and ask...Father Emmanuel is very helpful and I'm sure would help lead you in the right direction.

    Oh, and to answer your question whether the Chaldean dialect is worth learning...I would venture to guess that about 98% of the Chaldean community speaks Arabic (in addition to, or in lieu of Chaldean), so I would personally stick with learning only Arabic, as it's more universal in the Arab community.

    I hope this helps a bit, and good luck to you.