Two of our lovely caseworkers, Eppie and Sara, are both learning Arabic. On Arabic Langauge Day, find out why...

Why I am learning Arabic

My name is Sara and I am one of the  Caseworkers at Prisoners Abroad. I have always been interested in learning new languages and currently use French and Spanish regularly in my work here at Prisoners Abroad. I have always wanted to learn Arabic but kept putting it off as it was so hard. However, in January 2015, I visited Morocco with Prisoners Abroad and realised how useful it would have been if I could have spoken Arabic. I spoke French which meant that I could communicate easily with those I needed to throughout my visit but if I had been able to speak Arabic (or at least made an effort!) I am sure it would have been greatly appreciated.

So, two years ago I started learning both spoken and written Arabic at an evening class in London. I told myself that it would be a ten year project for me to get to a conversational  level  of Arabic. Two years on I have revised this to a twenty year project but it already gives me enormous pleasure to communicate with Arabic speakers with the little Arabic I can use at this point in my studies.

- Sara

‘our charity works with British people in prison or detained abroad’ 

Eppie and Sara

What interested me in learning Arabic

I’ve always loved learning languages and wanted a new challenge so two years ago, decided to start a weekly Arabic evening class.

In the casework team, we support a number of family members whose first language isn’t English, several of whom feel more comfortable talking in their native Arabic, so I’m hopefully going to be able to use my newly acquired language skills soon to communicate more effectively with some of these family members.

Many of the people we’re supporting struggle with a language barrier in prison. Often they are the only English speaker and this can be frustrating and extremely lonely. We send prisoners dictionaries and phrasebooks to help them communicate with prison staff and their fellow inmates and we also provide English language materials such as newspapers, magazines and novels to help British prisoners feel less isolated and closer to home.

- Eppie