This afternoon I completed lessons one and two in Beginner’s Dari (Hippocrene’s Beginner Series). I had to stop after lesson 2, as my hand was cramping up. There is a learning curve, and the group of letters jeem, che, he and khe were causing me a bit of difficulty to execute with any sort of similarity to their printed beauty. Then again, I think my green Sarasa pen does add a certain je ne sais quoi to the study of Dari.
Lesson one covered only one letter, aleph. Lesson two, as you can see above, covered two groups of similar looking letters. The first set was be, pe, te and se, which all look like bowls in their final forms, with varying numbers of dots (1, 3, 2 and 3, respectively). The second set was the one causing me to grip too tightly, resulting in some sore digits. Best I can describe them as is a rather Tolkien-esque ‘T’, again with a varying number of dots (1, 3, 0 and 1, respectively). At least, that’s what they look like in final form.
To me, the flow of the book seems a little out of joint. They want you to practice writing words, but are including letters that they haven’t explained how to write yet (like the ‘g’ in jag (“pitcher”), especially in joined form. I certainly attempted to mimic, though I am finding the print size and ink-bleed to be less than helpful!
Luckily, I’ve practiced Arabic script before, so it is not so much “first time” as “catching back up to speed”. It has been quite a while, though…