I think my experience was a common one: Arabic soup. You’d mix your modern standard with Egyptian g’s, Levantine flourishes, international-ish noises like “yalla” that were our generation’s “ciao,” and malformed repetitions of words you’d heard your Middle Eastern friends say. What came out of your mouth – I imagine – was the equivalent of, in Europe, if you’d stitched Spanish syntax into phrases you’d heard on Turkish soap operas and added – Achtung! – exclamations of Hollywood German and thought you were speaking pretty good European. This is the Arabic I currently speak, a mutant strain I concocted in which I don’t know what ingredients I’m really messing with.