I continued with Arabic but was dogged by the feeling that I was being taught a dead language, yet another Latin, which put me off. One of my troubles was that my teachers of Arabic [...] had never, to the best of my knowledge, visited anywhere in the Arab world and their interest in it was confined to its past. [...]---Denys Johnson-Davies, Memories in Translation. A Life between the Lines of Arabic Literature, The AUC Press, 2006, passim.
I remember vividly the experience, when I was in Cairo in the 1940s, of attending a stultifyingly boring lecture by a distinguished Orientalist, and noticing that the Egyptian sitting alongside me appeared to be taking notes—but not at all: he was marking down the number of errors being committed by the great Orientalist in the course of his lecture!