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1. The Arabic Alphabet: How to Read
2. Build Your Arabic Vocabulary:
3. Focus on Contemporary Arabic (Conversations
4. Easy Arabic Grammar
5. Basic Arabic Workbook: For Revision
6. Starting Out in Arabic
7. Pocket Guide to Arabic Script
8. Easy Arabic Script
9. Arabic-English Dictionary: The
10. Arabic (Eastern), Basic: Learn
11. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
12. Your First 100 Words in Arabic
13. Arabic (Egyptian), Comprehensive:
14. Arabic (Eastern), Conversational:
15. An Introduction to Spoken Standard
16. 501 Arabic Verbs: Fully Conjugated
17. A New Arabic Grammar of the Written
18. Arabic For Dummies
19. Ultimate Arabic Beginner-Intermediate
20. Arabic (Egyptian), Q&S: Learn

1. The Arabic Alphabet: How to Read & Write It
by Nicholas Awde, Putros Samano
Paperback: 95 Pages (2000-10-01)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$5.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0818404302
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Ever greater numbers of people are learning Arabic and/or coming into some kind of contact with the Arab world. Anyone who wishes to learn the language faces a hitherto formidable initial challenge: the alphabet.

This book proceeds, step by step, through all the letters of the Arabic alphabet, showing the sounds they stand for and how they are combined into words. Nothing essential is left out, and no unnecessary complications added. Readers will make rapid progress and will be surprised at the relative ease with which they master the first steps towards command of this increasingly important world language.

The Arabic Alphabet: How to Read and Write It belongs on the desk of every student of the language; in the luggage of every visitor to the Middle East; in the briefcase of business people with Arab clients; and in the back pocket of every employee of British or American companies working in Arab countries.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (104)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome beginner book for learning the arabic alphabet
This has been the first book I've purchased on the Arabic language.This book is fantastic, very helpfull and makes it fun as well.I recommend this book to anyone interested in arabic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Arabic Easier!
Another good tool in my box of self-study Arabic
I'll first go for the spoken then go to learning the
alphabet.Same approach I use in spoken Mandarin!
Although, I find one still starts to "pick up" some
alphabet/characters as one progresses through the spoken
language study, at least, I do!I'd recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise, Yet Elaborate
I recently decided to stimulate my cognitive system by learning a language that differs significantly from Latin based languages, Arabic.

I purchased the Rosetta stone software, $280 or so, however, that was nearly useless for a beginner due to a lack of attempt to initially acquaint the student with the alphabet and grammatical rules, which I believe are most essential aspects of a language.

The book contains information that is easy to comprehend and encode. Each alphabet and rule for writing is described relatively concisely and yet elaborately.

I would highly recommend purchasing this book prior to wasting money on Rosetta stone or pursuing a college level of course in Arabic.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lots of inconsistencies
This books seems to present the letters in a clear and easy to follow fashion.

My only concern is that there seem to be several inconsistencies in the text.The author introduces a new letter (or set of similar letters) then gives you several words to practice the new letter plus letters that you have already learned.

There are many times when a practice word does not follow the rules set forth in that lesson.For example, sometimes the zero vowel symbol is used when creating a diphthong and sometimes it's not.There is no explanation given for why it is used in one case and not another.There are many other small inconsistencies.I don't know if these are accurate (but poorly explained) or mistakes.Either way, it makes you doubt what you've been learning.

Also, in many printed sources of Arabic Ive looked at, the vowel markers aren't used at all.For example, the DK Arabic-English visual dictionary uses no vowel markers (neither do some online translators like google translate).As a person new to Arabic i can't say which is correct.I'm inclined to believe that maybe I'm just missing something (as the majority of reviews are very positive).Either way, it makes me wonder how much this book will help with reading real Arabic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Plain on the outside, amazing on the inside
This book is incredible. I can't believe I bought it for such a cheap price, it's almost a steal. I planned on learning how to read and write the alphabet before learning to speak it so I chose this. Before this book, I rented out this book from the library: http://www.amazon.com/Sugar-Comes-Arabic-Beginners-Letters/dp/1566567572/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273868834&sr=8-1. Very misleading so I turned to this one. It's worth the money and has me reading the alphabet and other words of Arabic almost as fluently as English in just a couple weeks with practice and memorization. It is very important that you read every single word in this because the more you read the better you'll comprehend it. Even if you know what it's saying still read it. I suggest you also keep a notebook and a fine ink pen and write down the alphabet. Each letter should have it's own page and written on it should be it's different forms (Initial, Medial, Final, and Isolated) and write the words given in regular font and translate them to Arabic font as a challenge to learn. You'll understand it better if you write it as you learn it. Again, an incredible book! If you don't understand something, read it again and again and use the internet to help you make sense of some concepts. This was a bang for the buck. 100 stars! ... Read more

2. Build Your Arabic Vocabulary: 1,000 Key Words to Move Beyond Beginner Arabic
by Haroon Shirwani
Paperback: 144 Pages (2006-11-28)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$10.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071478760
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Communicate in Arabic with confidence!

To take your understanding of Arabic to the next level,you need to be equipped with a broad range of words and phrases. With its easy-to-follow guidelines for memorization, this bookmakes vocabulary building faster and easier than ever. In no time, your growing vocabulary will give you the confidence to communicate.

Build Your Arabic Vocabulary gives you:

  • Hundreds of bilingual flashcards to help you remember your new Arabic vocabulary
  • Modern examples of how the language is used every day in the Middle East
  • Engaging exercises and activities to reinforce what you have learned
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is great, because teaches your a lot of useful words. It is not boring. Also has flashcards that you cut and carrywith you for study on the go.
But I think that in next edition is a good idea to include a cd to hear the how the words are pronounced.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book, one of it's kind, but could be better
I've got this book in my hand for some weeks ago. I have bought, during the years, other arabic grammar books of different levels. This book is really one of it's kind. It really fills it's purpose and should be in the bookshelves of all arabic students. But it could be better. I've studied the words of the 10 first chapters closely.

Some advice: if you are not going to study arabic seriously, you can buy this book. But if
you are planing to study arabic for some time, wait a while before you get this book. Why?
See my points below.

Negative points about this book:

1. It does not define want kind of arabic it uses: MSA or dilect or both?

2. It does not distinguish between MSA-words or dilect-words (there are some few).
You have to have studied arabic for some time before you can distinguish words
that are not MSA.

3. It does not inform what kind of vocalization scheme it uses.

4. The vocalization differs, especially when the words end with shadda-ya. You
have to look in the dictionary yourself to find out.

5. There are some words (less the 5 % though) that are wrongly spelled:
mostly it's the vocalization that's wrong. But sometimes the grammar is totally
wrong: example: page 55: Safraa'a is spelled in dual Safraayaan and not Safraawaan.
Sometimes you find verbs that don't just exist: 'tahabbaka' (F.V, to knitt) it should be 'habaka'(F.I).

Having said this, I really feel that the book gives me alot of usable words
under very well chosen topics. I miss one, though: computers and data.

Hope the next edition will be better,


5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, this book helps
This books helped me get a better grade in Arabic class, it is a must for a beginner

5-0 out of 5 stars essential and basic vocab
i like this book because it provides organized and useful essential and basic vocabulary that Al-Kitaab omits.

5-0 out of 5 stars does what it does very well
This is a very helpful book to have if you have already learned some Arabic.It is obviously not a stand-alone;there isn't any coverage of grammar and the book is organized into different sections that have extensive word lists for a number of everyday topics- family members, rooms of a house and furniture, different forms of transportation and so on.So once a learner has completed a good introductory level course, it's pretty easy to take this new vocabulary and build sentences with it. Other pluses- it's affordable and portable. ... Read more

3. Focus on Contemporary Arabic (Conversations with Native Speakers)
by Shukri B. Abed
Paperback: 304 Pages (2006-11-06)
list price: US$44.00 -- used & new: US$26.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300109482
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Focus on Contemporary Arabic is the fifth volume in the Conversations with Native Speakers series, which strives to offer pioneering multimedia language materials to students at the intermediate and advanced levels. These programs consist of a slim, user-friendly student textbook and an accompanying DVD that contains interviews with a variety of native speakers filmed in the target language. These speakers represent all areas of the cultural spectrum, offering a realistic view of the diversity of the native-speaking populations of the target language. The interviews on the DVD broach an assortment of socially and culturally relevant topics and present students of the language with a glimpse into the complexity of both the language and the culture.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars An unconventional approach that really works well
This is a book that achieves the all too rarely realized goal of teaching Standard Arabic as a living language. It is a set of progressively graded self-introductions by Arabic speakers with a generous variety of life stories, experiences and points of view, as they discuss a number of different and interesting topics. A learner who has reached the point of being able to make use of it should try to resist the temptation of reading the text first, but instead should go straight to the DVD- at least to see how much he or she can understand. The printed material can serve as a backup. One potential source of difficulty is that although it is basically standard Arabic that is presented, the speakers do sometimes mix colloquialisms in-but this is in fact something that happens quite often in real life and these lessons are a fairly gentle way of getting introduced to this phenomenon. The majority of speakers on the DVD are Levantine speakers, a pretty accessible dialect if one has been working on Standard Arabic.

My only quibble is that it would have been nice to have some exercises in Arabic (instead of English), but that hardly affects the book's usefulness in developing listening skills- and it doesn't make it any less rewarding to work with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect supplemental material to improve oral comprehension
I've been using al-Kitaab for some time, but recently have not dedicated enough time to study much. Hence, I was looking for some fresh faces and texts to change things up and get me motivated again. This is perfect for what I needed. It is a great tool to refresh your Arabic skills or to hone your listening comprehension on your own.

**Do not expect it to replace formal lessons, however. Do not buy this book if you are a pure beginner. You must have some knowledge of the language for this to be useful.**

The exercises at the end of the lesson are free-form, so you cannot check your work against an answer key. Nonetheless, it does offer a structured means for practicing your oral skills and writing ability without attending a class. The vocabulary lists are also useful for review.

I imagine, with time, that this book could grow with you and offer continual challenges for the intermediate student interested in conversational Arabic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Please make available for CD and/or MP3
I have to fully agree with "Eastern Approaches" on this. I have been trying like the dickens to get this either on my ipod or as a CD to listen in my car. For me, ipod is best because I usually fall asleep listening to language lessons (odd I know, but it's effective). I STRONGLY URGE Yale University Press to make it available on cd or ipod. I too would purchase it again just for that.

All that being said, I have studied Arabic for 11 years. I own or have previewed just about every Arabic (among other languages) course book and dictionary you can find. Without a doubt, this is the best Arabic language tool I have come across yet! It is not for beginners, which is a good thing. One of the toughest and most bitter pill an Arabic learner has to swallow is the fact that Arabic contains so many spoken dialects. I attended the Defense Language Institute in the 90s and even the teachers there were hesitant to speak everyday spoken Arabic because the the focus was on MSA; something they didn't always feel comfortable speaking.

Hopefully Dr. Abed comes out with a follow-up or a revised version.
To make this product or a future product even better I would suggest the following:

1. Make available in CD and/or MP3 format as mentioned earlier
2. List the new vocabulary either alphabetically at the end or beginning of the lesson. Or... list new vocabulary in order of appearance after each segment. I usually highlight the Arabic words in the text and then highlight the English in the vocab list to practice understanding and producing new words.
3. List every word, as a dictionary of sorts (except the most basic words) at the very end of the book. This would help a lot. Dr. Hill does this for his Persian language books and it really helps.

The above are really minor critiques, as the book is very, very helpful. If you are a student of Arabic and want something more advanced, you have to buy this, bila shak!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I agree with much of what was written by Mr.Cummings in this thread.

I would add that if you have the technical ability, it is very useful to extract the audio for CD and to play it in the car as you travel. (Note: I am not advocating piracy - just playing the audio from the DVD as you drive if you are able).

I've found that this was an excellent way to develop my ear training. Read the texts, watch the DVD (numerous times) and listen to the audio over and over whenever driving. It never gets tiresome but instead is revelatory the way you start to develop a better ear and make morphological connections in your own thinking. ("Ah, so that's why you use x word for x" etc)

By the way, I contacted Yale and asked whether they would consider releasing the segments for iPod download as videos or just audio. They said that they are considering it but it would be a way off. I hope they do so (I'll purchase it again to replace my rough job) and also that they release follow up editions on more complicated subject areas. This is a really excellent resource for self-study and I recommend it highly.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great material, well-organized
There are tons of dialogues from different speakers, some of whom are very easy to understand and some of whom are a little more difficult.The book provides fully vowelled transcripts of all the dialogues.This is great practice for a lower-intermediate to intermediate student.Much better done that some of the other Arabic learning tools out there. ... Read more

4. Easy Arabic Grammar
by Jane Wightwick, Mahmoud Gaafar
Paperback: 160 Pages (2005-06-14)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071462104
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

An exceptionally clear and accessible reference and workbook for anyone who wants to learn Arabic

Easy Arabic Grammar is both a handy grammar reference and a primer/workbook for beginning to intermediate-level students of Arabic. Clear structural explanations and practice activities make it a perfect companion for formal language classes as well as any self-teaching course.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good starting Arabic grammar book
I just started this book and so far is great. It is very easy to follow.The whole book is filled with activity after each unit. Another great book to study basic Arabic grammar.

5-0 out of 5 stars strictly for beginners
Start by learning to read the Arabic alphabet. Then follow up with Easy Arabic Grammer.
I bought The Arabic Alphabet and Easy Arabic Grammar as a pair of companion volumes. Great combination for a beginner like myself,

1-0 out of 5 stars Borefest
This grammar book is boring. Since it is written from English to Arabic, I only wish this book could help enunciate each word a little better, like the one from Naglaa Ghali, "Arabic Grammar Unravelled". Such as the Spanish learning tool books, you have to be skeptic about the author if Arabic isn't their native language (Jane Wightwick???). You cannot possibly learn to communicate with this book and instead, I recommend the "Alif Baa with DVD's", Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds" before any grammar book for all beginners. I don't understand why some people gave this 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, Concise, Great Overview
I just learned Hebrew this past year and wanted to learn Arabic.However, I first wanted to see how similar Hebrew and Arabic were, both being Semitic languages.This book was great for a quick overview of Arabic and let me know right away what carried over and what new things I had to make room for.I think the authors make a great team putting together materials for people trying to learn Arabic.My only recommendation would be more exercises, although, since this book was intended to be quick and dirty, I understand why there aren't more.Great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, pedagogical and well-organized
This is a well-written book which will teach the beginner the basics of the grammar of the Arabic language.
The explanations are clear, pedagogical and well-organized and the book can be used in language classes and otherwise.

Joyce Akesson, author of The Complexity of the Irregular Verbal and Nominal Forms & the Phonological Changes in Arabic ... Read more

5. Basic Arabic Workbook: For Revision and Practice
by John Mace
Paperback: 350 Pages (2006-11-24)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0781811260
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars valuable and contemporary
This book is a much-needed resource for learners of Standard Arabic. The coverage of grammar is extremely straightforward and the author illustrates it with many examples. Mace has a particular talent for cutting to the chase, even while illuminatingdifficult grammatical points.A particular plus is that ultimate rarity in books on Standard Arabic in English- a well-chosen vocabulary, well-grouped by topic. Words that are invaluable in Arabic mass media and in business and political life are introduced. This isn't the language of the Qur'an or of classical poetry, (case endings, for instance, are barely mentioned) but for someone trying to get up to speed in the modern language, it is one of the most useful works to have. Another plus is that although the book can certainly be worked through sequentially, it isn't really necessary to do so- one can just as well jump around according to one's particular interest or need. The price is right, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and tremendously helpful!
I've been studying Arabic from a variety of sources, and this book has clarified much of the grammar I was confused about. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners, but for those who need to clarify Arabic's overwhelming grammar rules and review and organize what you may have learned in your courses, it's tremendously helpful. Its layout is simple and straightforward, and the exercises are helpful too.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic resource for self-teaching -- but not for beginners
As a self-taught student of Arabic, I can't say enough good things about this book.I flip through every new Arabic book I can find at Borders, but most of them are either too easy (ie the Teach Yourself series) or require ateachers (ie Arabic Connectors, Al-Kitaab, etc).John Mace has finally produced a book that allows you to understand the grammar, learn and pronounce relevant vocabulary, and do short but very effective exercises.

However, don't use it as your first book!In my case (and I'm a language nut) I used a couple of Jane Wightwrick's books, Let's Read the Arabic Newspapers, 1000 Arabic Media words, and Kalila wa Dimna first.Otherwise, this book would have done me in: a) it is quite dry, with the majority of exercise sentences being something like "The conference of experts rejected the report of the Ministry".b) it introduces not only the relevant grammar, but also many exceptions / variations in endings / etc at the same time, so that you really need to read carefully in order to get it all.I have gone through most of the chapters 2 or 3 times, including all of the exercises.c) the pace is pretty brisk, as with present tense of all verb types in a single chapter (sound, doubled, initial-waw, 3 variants of hollow, 3 variants of ending-defective, and 6 doubly defective verbs)

A minor problem, there are a number of typos in the exercises, usually in transliteration, sometimes in the arabic spelling, or a wrong word used, etc.Most are not too hard to spot but, when I don't understand why my answer is wrong (since I don't have a teacher to ask) I often wonder whether it is my mistake or the book's...

5-0 out of 5 stars Azeem!
I'm quite impressed with this book. The exercises given in each chapter are short, but effectively review each concept. The pace is good--knowledge of both vocabulary and grammar will increase at a reasonable speed. The transliteration of all Arabic words is a good touch to ensure one's pronunciation is correct. Also, no previous knowledge of grammar is needed to grasp the Arabic within this book (although knowing what a subjunctive or jussive tense, etc., certainly helps). I also purchased his "Arabic Verbs" and plan on buying the next book in this series once I complete this one.

My one caveat is that there are a few spelling errors sprinkled throughout, which in my experience is normal with grammars. Also, you won't learn phrases like "Hi, what's up?" And etc. This will more prepare you to read media Arabic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Correctly titled "Simple"
A good instruction to simplify fus-ha/formal grammar without quite crossing the amiyya/colloquail border. For spoken communication purposes it's best to learn the actual amiyya of the region, but for spoken transregional purposes or just for the casual speaker this is great. ... Read more

6. Starting Out in Arabic
by Living Language
Audio CD: Pages (2008-04-08)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400024676
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
All the Arabic you need to get started in a simple audio-only program!

Starting Out in Arabic is a beginner-level program on 3 CDs, and it includes short and simple lessons and dialogues. It covers all the basics, with plenty of repetition and practice so it is ideal for audio-only learning.

Starting Out in Arabic is perfect if you want to learn while commuting, running errands, or at the gym, as well as if you want to learn at home and simply prefer an all-audio course. If you want to refer to written material, you can go online to download the audioscript. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning Arabic
Great program !!! All you do is listen and repeat. Then slowly you actually begin to pick up words, then phrases and finally sentences. ... Read more

7. Pocket Guide to Arabic Script
by Fayeq Oweis
Paperback: 92 Pages (2005-11)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$2.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078181104X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Middle East and other Arabic speaking regions are of central importance in the world today. This handy booklet, designed to be carried in one’s pocket, presents the basics of reading, writing, and understanding Arabic script. The complexities of reading and writing the characters in the Arabic alphabet are presented clearly, in detail, and with numerous examples. Readers are shown how to write each letter, how to recognize it regardless of its placement in a word, and how each is written in the major styles of Arabic calligraphy. The volume is rounded out with a concise treatment of Arabic word structure and sentence grammar. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Damond
Great publication to assist the beginner to learn the Arabic alphabet. It provides a brief explanation for each letter and assist with very basic grammar.
I like the publication and find it useful for beginners.
4 stars - 1 star missing because it does not provide various ways for you to practice. In addition, the user will find certain limitations when discovering the Arabic alphabet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Super Little Book
Two facing pages are devoted to each letter and they contain all the basic information you need as well as a writing guide to help you reproduce that letter. Each letter is also shown in various calligraphic styles. I love the way the author designed the bar across the top of each page, listing the whole alphabet, but with the use of a black background, progressively indicating which letter is being addressed on any one page. It is a wonderful addition to Arabic language books you may be using or collecting.

5-0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING!!!!
If you're learning Arabic, or just want to keep a handy reference on the writing, you can't do better than this book.

The first and hardest thing to learn in Arabic is the writing system. This book helps you learn it better than anything else out there. It presents each letter on facing pages. The left-hand page shows you what the letter looks like and how to write it no matter where it's placed in a word. The left-hand page shows you how to link the letter with other letters in a word, how it looks with vowel and other markings, and samples of how it looks in various words and calligraphic styles. And it packs all this information in clear, easy-to-read pages. The low price makes it an incredible bargain; it's more informative and helpful than books on the subject that are two or three times more expensive. ... Read more

8. Easy Arabic Script
by Jane Wightwick, Mahmoud Gaafar
Paperback: 160 Pages (2005-06-14)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071462090
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

An exceptionally clear and accessible reference and workbook for students of Arabic

Whether you are a complete beginner or just want to sharpen your writing skills, you’ll learn quickly from Easy Arabic Script. Clear explanations and graphics, along with exercises and activities will help you develop fluency in both reading and writing Arabic.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars IT IS EASY...

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprising results
This is the greatest first step I could have made to learn writing in Arabic.

"Easy Arabic Script" was so much helpful not only in teaching me write in colloquial arabic but as well in reading handwritten texts. Everything seemed so easy after having completed this book and even my teacher was surprised with the improvement such a book may help students make.

Recommended to anyone who wishes to learn write and read Arabic.
Having purchased three books teaching calligraphy -"the Arabic alphabet" and "Write it in Arabic" - I would say this is by far the best one of its kind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recent Order
The service was great. I ordered my book 5 days before my class started and the package arrived promptly and the book was in excellent condition, looked brand new. The price was absolutely the best. I will definitely order future books from this company.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful introduction
This book was extremely helpful.It is concise, and very easy to follow. My daughter is using it as a precursor to a formal college course.She has found it very useful.We reviewed a few, and this is hands down the best we found.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful addition
I am very happy with my purchase. It has assisted me greatly in learning to write Arabic. ... Read more

9. Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic
by Hans Wehr
Paperback: 1301 Pages (1993-05-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$38.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879500034
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Its scholarship, accuracy and reliability make it one of the most significant contributions to Arabic lexicography. It is hoped that this masterpiece will point the way ot wider use of modern lexicographical principles in the compilation of dictionaries for earlier periods of the Arabic language. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (72)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not for average use
Remember it's Arabic-English, not English- Arabic. You have to know your Arabic to use this book. Other reviews explain it's strong points eloquently.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's a must owned Arab-English Dictionary
I'm happy with Amazon for its swift delivery of my order. Accordingly I'm supposed to receive the book latest 29th July but instead I got in a matter of ten days.Thank you Amazon.

Now for the book - I've got several arab-english dictionaries that I switched from on another whenever I need to search for a word. But The Hans Wehr dictionary proved otherwise.It is easy to use and the user gets the benefit of several definitions explained and examples to show its usage. Based on the three letter root of Arab language words are easily searched.

The only gripe I have is it's pages.They are thin and delicate and can be easily torn through everyday usage.I do not know if you have the hard cover version, I have not seen one and bought the paperback version then. Another plus is the clear printing easy to read format.

Nonetheless I'm happy with it and find it valuable as recommended by many authors of Arab Language authors.Its a 'must owned dictionary'.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for Islamic language studies
A wonderful resource.No personal library or Islamic language study center should be without a copy.You won't be disappointed in your research for root meaning of words.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful reference for Arabic study
Even the best Arabic language course benefits from being supplemented by a proper Arabic-English dictionary like this one.It is useful as well as interesting to see how each Arabic word is related to other words derived from a common three consonant Semitic stem.For such a purpose I find Han Wehr's dictionary to work quite well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very thorough and easy to follow dictionary
I've only been studying Arabic for two semesters now but this dictionary in my opinion is very easy to use if you know how to navigate the root system. ... Read more

10. Arabic (Eastern), Basic: Learn to Speak and Understand Eastern Arabic with Pimsleur Language Programs (Simon & Schuster's Pimsleur)
by Pimsleur
Audio CD: Pages (2005-10-03)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$13.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743550749
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This Basic program contains 5 hours of audio-only, effective language learning with real-life spoken practice sessions.


What is the Pimsleur® difference?

The Pimsleur Method provides the most effective language-learning program ever developed. The Pimsleur Method gives you quick command of Arabic structure without tedious drills. Learning to speak Arabic can actually be enjoyable and rewarding.

The key reason most people struggle with new languages is that they aren't given proper instruction, only bits and pieces of a language. Other language programs sell only pieces -- dictionaries; grammar books and instructions; lists of hundreds or thousands of words and definitions; audios containing useless drills. They leave it to you to assemble these pieces as you try to speak. Pimsleur enables you to spend your time learning to speak the language rather than just studying its parts.

When you were learning English, could you speak before you knew how to conjugate verbs? Of course you could. That same learning process is what Pimsleur replicates. Pimsleur presents the whole language as one integrated piece so you can succeed.

With Pimsleur you get:

  • Grammar and vocabulary taught together in everyday conversation,
  • Interactive audio-only instruction that teaches spoken language organically,
  • The flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere,
  • 30-minute lessons designed to optimize the amount of language you can learn in one sitting.

Millions of people have used Pimsleur to gain real conversational skills in new languages quickly and easily, wherever and whenever -- without textbooks, written exercises, or drills.

The 10 lessons in the Basic Arabic are the same as the first 10 lessons in the Pimsleur Comprehensive Arabic Level 1.

The 10 lessons in Basic Arabic are also the first 10 lessons in the 16-lesson Conversational Arabic edition.

Pimsleur learners progress from either the Basic or the Conversational to the Comprehensive Level 1, and not from Basic to Conversational edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Syrian/Lebanese version ... should be made clear
From the very first words that came out of the narrator's mouth ... "you are speaking to a woman from Syria..." I knew this was usless for me. Anyone who's into Arabic in the slightest degree first learns that the most common forms are Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic. So to advertise a program as only 'Basic Arabic' is beyond deceptive. Also, as everyone knows with Pimsleur you don't have any written material. I don't understand why they won't incorporate that into the programs. Arabic is hard enough to mimick with all the glottal sounds without considering doing it with no written reference. Cheapskates I guess. Anyway its a good technique IF you want to learn SYRIAN arabic or have a glossary with you to search every word used which goes against the convenience of listening in the car.

5-0 out of 5 stars My daughter loves this program
I got this for my 11-year-old daughter to prepare for an immersion camp in Arabic this summer.She really loves it.She listens to it at night, and is very happy with the entry-level material.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get what you pay for
This is a great find, inexpensive and easy to follow. You definitely get your money's worth out of this. Only thing that would make this better would be if it came with written instruction as well, but like I said, considering the price, I can see why it's not included.
Would definitely recommend this product to others learning how to pronounce commeon words and phrases.

5-0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars
This is a 10-lesson set on 5 CD's, 1/2 hour per lesson.The lessons have an English-speaking narrator with two native speakers, a man and a woman.

I bought this set because I had used Pimsleur to learn Russian several years ago, and I found the Russian set effective.Like the Russian lessons, these Arabic CD's are good too.

The Pimsleur philosophy involves repetition, and starts out with practical words to learn.Often when I encounter foreign-language educational media, the words being taught are not the most important to be learned first.Also, often I encounter rote memorization.But not with the Pimsleur CD's, everything is built around sentences and phrases and conversation.When you first come to a country, you want to know how to say, "excuse me" or "can you speak English," etc.I only wish the Pimsleur CD's included things like "How much does this cost" or numbers.

One thing which would also be nice is an accompanying booklet, just to see what the words look like in print.Arabic uses a different script as you may know, so this is difficult, since many Arabic consonants are not found in English, (making it difficult to write in Latin script) or there might be two different consonants which represent the same sound, only one is given more emphasis; for example there is "seen," soft "s" like "sit" and "Saud," a louder "S" like in "Snake."And then there is "ayn" and "ghayn" etc. which have no equivalent but sometimes show up in words in the Pimsleur CDs.

But it is part of the Pimsleur philosophy that you learn the language like the native speakers do: by speaking first.But I think it is a good idea to have some printed material as well, because the speakers are not always 100% clear. Plus I think they use vernacular: for example, they will say "kif ek" for "how are you" to a lady, but elsewhere I see "kif halak."Also "nayn" instead of "ithnayn" for "two."

At some points there is a steep learning curve; probably the first one you encounter is where you have to pronounce "good morning;" "sabaH al-khayr" which needs lots of work to get right, and I don't think enough time is spent in the lesson.Although there is plenty of repetition in the CD's, I recommend going through each lesson 4 or 5 times before proceeding to the next.Or, as I do, stagger the lessons so it doesn't become too boring; for example in the following order: 1,1,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,3,2,3,2,3, etc.

A small annoyance you might find with these CD's, if you're female, is that in some cases, the narrator asks for a response from you and then when the native speaker repeats the correct answer, it is given in masculine form only.So if you are a female, it is not the correct response.In many cases, the CD's will offer both responses, but not always.

One last small annoyance is that the package does not make clear what dialect of Arabic is taught on the CD's. It is the Syrian/Lebanese dialect.They should make this clear on the package.

But overall, I was pleased with this product. ... Read more

11. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Arabic
by K.F. Habel
Paperback: 416 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$13.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592577032
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A basic primer to an influential world language-with a CD!

Based on Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)-the most common and accepted version of this splintered language-this helpful guide teaches beginners and those who need a refresher the essentials of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation. Includes English-to-Arabic and Arabic-to-English appendices.
• Includes a 60-minute CD
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars First hand experience with author
I had the privilege working with the author while we were both stationed in Iraq.His knowledge of the language were very impressive, especially with the locals.I can't wait to use what I have learned from this book and cd on my travels.A definite buy!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I've been interested in learning more about Arabic for several years now.This was a great book to help me start learning the basics.If you're interested in starting to learn, I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellant primer for a difficult language
I have found this book and CD to be a very excellant starter for someone who has only dealt with romance languages.Habel does a great job of taking a difficult language system and making it intelligible.I expect to spend many more hours with this book. ... Read more

12. Your First 100 Words in Arabic : Beginner's Quick & Easy Guide to Demystifying Non-Roman Scripts
by Jane Wightwick
Paperback: 80 Pages (1999-08-01)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$6.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0844223956
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book is designed to teach the beginner a basic vocabulary of 100 Arabic words--covering 8 everyday topics: around the home/ clothes/ around town (including transportation)/ countryside/ essentials/ opposities/ animals/ parts of the body. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great start!!!!!!!!!
This book was a great choice. The words were organized by category, which made learning them easier. The tear out practice cards were handy, and I keep them in my handbag. This book was practical, clear and helpful.

5-0 out of 5 stars A refreshing book
The book helps me in refreshing my memory on earlier knowledge of arabic alphabets and how they are used. It is recommended for those who want to learn arabic language from zero point.

5-0 out of 5 stars ECELLENT BOOK!

4-0 out of 5 stars Mumtaaz
I think it's an excellent book for beginners.The only problem is the transliteration for the tough Arabic letters (Ayn, Ghayn, Khaa, Ha).Overall it's a solid building block.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good place to start
This is a good beginners book.If you already know the alphabet and want to incorporate some simple vocabularly this is for you.
It helps if you can already read the Arabic script, but its not necessary as the book gives the transliteration too.

I found it most useful for teaching children.The flash cards and simple exercises keep it interesting. ... Read more

13. Arabic (Egyptian), Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Egyptian Arabic with Pimsleur Language Programs
by Pimsleur
Audio CD: Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$345.00 -- used & new: US$124.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743506596
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Comprehensive Arabic (Egyptian) includes 30 lessons of essential grammar and vocabulary -- 16 hours of real-life spoken practice sessions -- plus an introduction to reading.

Upon completion of this Level I program, you will have functional spoken proficiency with the most-frequently-used vocabulary and grammatical structures. You will be able to:

* initiate and maintain face-to-face conversations,

* deal with every day situations -- ask for information, directions, and give basic information about yourself and family,

* communicate basic information on informal topics and participate in casual conversations,

* avoid basic cultural errors and handle minimum courtesy and travel requirements,

* satisfy personal needs and limited social demands,

* establish rapport with strangers in foreign countries,

* begin reading and sounding out items with native-like pronunciation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must if you want to learn the basics!
but... why does it stop at Level 1???

bring out level 2 & 3 please!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great resourse for spoken Arabic; wish level II & III were out.
It is very hard to find resources for spoken Arabic as opposed to formal Arabic. I was very pleased with how this product helped me to improve my vocabulary and understanding for basic conversation. I am very disappointed though that levels II and III are not yet available. I would buy them right now if they were, which says a lot about how I feel about this program after 30 lessons.

5-0 out of 5 stars Looking forward to Level 2!
I have recently started this program and forced my boyfriend to join me in my Arabic-learning escapades. We've been able to start easy conversations in Arabic and kind of throw a few Arabic-speaking people for a loop because we can start out a conversation fine before the "whoa! that's all I know!"

You're only learning phrases. It's conversational. You could stop here... BUT if you realllly want to LEARN the language, I suggest attempting to learn to read it. I recently picked up Rosetta Stone after struggling with "100 words in Arabic" .. My boyfriend hates Rosetta because you just get thrown into the mix and are supposed to figure everything out blindly. This worked well for me. I liked the alphabet that was available and the ease of use for the program.

He has enjoyed the "100 words in Arabic" book because he's great at memorizing word and associate them with the images.

As for writing, my has sloppy handwriting in English, so his Arabic scribbles leave much to be desired--- but he has it down. I'm able to write one letter after maybe a minute and a few mistakes. You're writing backwards. But knowing that I can write a word and visualize what I'm hearing in Pimsleur helps*

I know I got off topic, but this program is quick, painless, and highly useful. I hope they continue to focus on EGYPTIAN Arabic in the future. It's hard to find-- and in my particular location in the States, there are a lot of Egyptian people for me to practice my newly acquired speaking skills.

Although Rosetta and 100 words are not in Egyptian Arabic, they're great for learning to read! It's all the same in writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Course for Beginners and Intermediate Alike
Very nice structure and style of lessons. I was impressed. The course is on the pricey side but it's well worth it.
You may want to download Egyptian Arabic Vocab Clinic from www.egyptianarabic.com with over 3000 words and expressions. It's about $50, but in combination with Pimsleur you got yourself an excellent language course.
There are some ambiguous, not commonly spoken expressions used on the CD's (very few though), so check with other sources, other Egyptians maybe :) before memorizing them.
Again, this is a VERY strong course for the beginners, I highly recommend it. But, like other users mentioned, it lacks vocabulary and verb rules. All of which you can get from Vocab Clinic. I've used both with the great success. Love it!

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Supplement
I'm working my way through the "short course" (5 CDs, 10 lessons ... which I don't see on Amazon).Prior to this I had one semester of Arabic in college, many years ago, and had worked my way up to half a dozen hard chapters of a "Teach Yourself Arabic" book.

Pimsleur is awesome as a supplement to this.I could make very basic sentences in standard Arabic, but it was stilted and formal. As it is, this course is giving me an excellent intro to casually speaking in the actual rhythms of spoken Egyptian Arabic. I'm having a lot of 'a-ha!' moments. It's great for confidence boosting, and I have a sense that my base is much stronger, and that I will be able to speak that much more quickly when I actually land in Cairo.

I'd give it five stars if you use it with a text book, three if you use it as your sole introduction to Arabic. I imagine that I'd be quite lost with Pimsleur if I didn't have any background.

I leave in two weeks ... I'll learn how effective Pimsleur really is soon! ... Read more

14. Arabic (Eastern), Conversational: Learn to Speak and Understand Eastern Arabic with Pimsleur Language Programs (Pimsleur Instant Conversation)
by Pimsleur
Audio CD: Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074355048X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This Conversational program contains 8 hours of interactive audio-only instruction, effective language learning with real-life spoken practice sessions.


What is the Pimsleur® difference?

The Pimsleur Method provides the most effective language-learning program ever developed. The Pimsleur Method gives you quick command of Arabic structure without tedious drills. Learning to speak Arabic can actually be enjoyable and rewarding.

The key reason most people struggle with new languages is that they aren't given proper instruction, only bits and pieces of a language. Other language programs sell only these pieces -- dictionaries; grammar books and instructions; lists of hundreds or thousands words and definitions; audios containing useless drills. They leave it to you to assemble these pieces as you try to speak. Pimsleur enables you to spend your time learning to speak the language rather than just studying its parts.

When you were learning English, could you speak before you knew how to conjugate verbs? Of course you could. That learning process is what Pimsleur replicates. Pimsleur presents the whole language as one integrated piece so you can succeed.

With Pimsleur you get:

  • Grammar and vocabulary taught together in everyday conversation,
  • Interactive audio-only instruction that teaches spoken language organically,
  • The flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere,
  • 30-minute lessons designed to optimize the amount of language you can learn in one sitting.

Millions of people have used Pimsleur to gain real conversational skills in new languages quickly and easily, wherever and whenever -- without textbooks, written exercises, or drills.

Conversational Arabic includes the 10 lessons from Pimsleur's Basic Arabic plus an additional 6 lessons.

The 16 lessons in Conversational Arabic are the same first 16 lessons in the Pimsleur Comprehensive Arabic Level 1. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great product -- diffiult language for me!
I have used Pimsleur products to learn Spanish and Italian.Having some previous background in both languages, they were easy to work with.The Pimsleur method really works!

However, even through I have considerable exposure to the Arabic language, I still am finding mastery of the language pretty difficult.BTW, the dialect of Arabic used in this product is Syrian/Lebanese.That is what I was looking for so it worked out well for me.

I definitely love the Pimsleur method.Also, I really like the Language Secrets company from whom (through Amazon) I purchased this product.They have great prices and ship faster than you can imagine!

4-0 out of 5 stars I'm on lesson 4 and still going ;)
I am an audible/verbal learner, and it is very nice to be able to hear how a word is spoken- they break it down.It's also nice how they'll go over something, move on to something else, and then go back to what you learned before.Read all the information about it... it's true to what they claim.Although they did say to move on to the next lesson if you only got 80% of the lesson, I did go back over the lessons again, but they say that it is important to keep moving to keep motivated.I'm using some of what I've learned already with Arabic speakers.

The only problem that I've run into (yes, you do have the dialect problem, but you'll have that with every language program) is that sometimes I may not know exactly how to pronounce something, of course the Arabic/English speakers are able to correct some of those problems.(ie- there was a very silent "m" sound before a word that I was saying, and I didn't hear it on the CD, but my friends helped me.

It has given me the confidence to try out what I know with those I come in contact with.

2-0 out of 5 stars Why to avoid
After going up to CD 4 and listening to all previous CDs approximately 20 times each, I got this nailed down very well...
Then I started attending the local mosque and tried to dialog with a few people. Often I found that people didn't understand me and I wondered why. Later I started attending Arabic classes and my teacher pointed out to me that I have been learning slang and that the pronunciation is wrong. This set claims to be for Egyptian dialect. My teacher is born and raised in Egypt. Unfortunately for me, I wasted my money and I don't want you to do the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars EASTERN Arabic
As most Pimsleur programs this is an excellent one on EASTERN Arabic spoken in Syria and Lebanon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for Beginners!
Perfect for beginners wanting to learn Arabic. The lessons proceed at a reasonable pace, and the pronunciation is clear and easy to understand. Each lesson is 30 minutes and you do only one lesson a day. Don't exceed this recommendation and try to squeeze in an extra lesson or two a day. The reason for one lesson a day is to allow the learning to sink in before moving on. However, you should budget an hour a day for the lesson, because if you are like me, you will want to repeat the same lesson again that day.The CDs teach the "academic" form of Arabic, rather than any regional dialect.As explained, this is roughly akin to learning British English.It might sound a bit unusual in the U.S. or Australia, but it would not hinder communication.Again, this product is ideal for beginners, but anyone with some exposure to Arabic might find the pace a bit slow. ... Read more

15. An Introduction to Spoken Standard Arabic: A Conversational Course on DVD, Part 1 (Book & DVD)
by Shukri B. Abed
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-09-14)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$44.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300144806
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

This text-and-DVD package can be used to improve the conversational skills of second- to third-semester beginning Arabic students. It helps students as they begin to express themselves in the Arabic, guiding them through language functions such as introductions, describing people and places, and discussing typical daily activities.
... Read more

16. 501 Arabic Verbs: Fully Conjugated in All Forms
by Raymond Scheindlin Ph.D.
Paperback: 584 Pages (2007-10-01)
list price: US$18.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764136224
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
BarronÂ's 501 Arabic Verbs is printed in Arabic script with exemplary sentences in English for each verb. To reflect correct Arabic style, 501 Arabic Verbs has been printed back cover to front and back page to front. Verbs are arranged alphabetically in a table format, one verb per page with English translation, and conjugated in all tenses and forms. The bookÂ's additional features include common idioms with example sentences to demonstrate verb usage and a grammar review. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great tool for advanced learners
In short, this is a very important book for people who are learning advanced sentence structures in classical and Modern Standard Arabic. You have to get used to the way the verb tenses are organized, but that won't take too much time. I will say, however, that you need to have an intermediate-advanced understanding of the vast amount of verb tenses and rules in Arabic. If you're a beginner, you'll have a tough time with this.

You're given an index of every listed verb in the order of its root (jazar), and with each verb you are provided all tenses (including the passives) with all case markings, along with the verbal noun (masdar), active participle (ism faa'il), and passive participle (ism maf'ool). You are even given sample sentences of said verb in differing contexts. Each root is organized by the form number in chronological order and the number of listed verbs per root is dependent on which verbs are important and relevant to the actual language. Anyone who asks for more than this is not appreciative of the enormous amount of dedication and diligence required to come up with such a reference guide.

Like I said before, this book will be difficult to use if you are a beginner. Those who are complaining about the lack of an English-Arabic index are either beginners or lazy. Those who need to come up with translations from English to Arabic-- for the sake of understanding how to phrase their own expressions-- are still at a level where much of the Arabic vocabulary has not been retained. In order to solve this problem, you must study the language effectively and rely on other books and resources to build your vocab. There are plenty of dictionaries and online resources that will translate an English word into Arabic-- this book is not one of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Barron's 501 Arabic Verbs
I have purchased this book, but haven't received it yet. Can't seem to delete it from my Wish List!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but room for improvement...
Some other reviewers have already hit on my main faults with this book:
First, and most important, there is no English index at the back of the book.If you want too look up a word, you will need an English-Arabic-English dictionary to find the infinitive in Arabic.Why this sin was even committed is unfathomable.Presumably if you know Arabic you wouldn't be purchasing this book to begin with.If you have other verb books in the Barron's series it's very disappointing because you already know that that was the entire formula for its original success.
Secondly, all of the other books in the series use the one page, one verb concept.This particular version lets the verbs mingle on different pages.When you couple this with the fact that the layout is opposite from normal Western books it creates unnecessary confusion.Again, why did they leave their successful formula?
It is still a useful tool and I like the fact that the vowels are included, because for a beginner, Arabic words are almost completely unpronounceable without the vowels.
If you don't need the book immediately you may want to wait for a revised and presumably improved future edition otherwise it can be a useful investment in its current flawed state.

5-0 out of 5 stars a very valuable reference
For many years Arabic learners had to make do with '201 Arabic Verbs', which was this book's predecessor in the widely used Barron's series of books on verbal conjugations in different languages.Now Arabic has (belatedly) made it to the big time in the arena of foreigh language education in English, and this work will make itself very useful to its students- and not just to those in the beginning stages of Arabic study.

The Arabic verb mirrors the character of the language itself- based on very simple and logical principles which turn out to be complex and daunting in practice. There are basically two tenses and an imperative (the future, subjunctive and jussive are basically just small and entirely predictable variations of the imperfect), practically no irregular verbs to speak of, and verbs with more complicated and abstract meanings are derived from the basic forms by means of a small number of again quite predictable formulas.

So how does it get hard? The answer basically lies in the forms of some of the three-consonant roots that Arabic uses not only to build up almost all of its verbs but its entire lexicon as well. Roots which include hamza (the glottal stop), waw and ya, or which include a double root (second and third consonants are the same) follow much more complicated rules and it is easy to forget the details of them if you don't see a particular form for a while.So that's the real reason why a reference work like this is so important to have. The verbs themselves have been well-chosen, there is a preliminary section that, although brief, explains all of the essentials of how Arabic verbs work, and along with the tables of conjugations illustrative sentences for each verb are given.The verbs are indexed both by alphabetical order and by root (a system that learners should master as soon as possible because it is the system used by the best Arabic dictionaries). It would have been nice to include an English index as well, and it wouldn't have added a lot of extra space. Hopefully a future edition will correct this omission. But in the meantime this is still a very helpful reference to have handy- learners will continue to turn to it long after they have passed their beginning stages.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better and worse...
I am afraid I have to agree with other reviewers that this book is both an improvement over the earlier 201 Verbs volume but at the same time also falls short of that work in a few respects.

It goes without saying that the inclusion of 300 more items is a plus. The introduction is also longer and provides information on the various forms of the Arabic verb, their meanings and usage. The Arabic font is a tad larger but far more legible, and the new layout of forms on the page is also a big improvement. The inclusion of example sentences for each verb is also a welcome addition.

Unfortunately, the larger font/new layout and new examples result in the content for each verb no longer fitting on a single page. This means that it is more difficult than with the earlier volume to search for a given verb by riffling through the pages. I suppose the Index of Verbs in Root Order and Index of Verbs in Whole Word Order were included to make up for this.

Finally, the Index of Verb Patterns included in the 201 book, which I found extremely helpful, is strangely missing from this one. The pattern information is included in the heading of each entry, of course, but having an index of them was convenient.

I would like to give this book 3.5 stars, but I'm going to round down. It falls short of the much better reference it could have been. ... Read more

17. A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language
by John A. Haywood, H. M. Nahmad
Paperback: 687 Pages (2000-06)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$28.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 085331585X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars grammer reference for beginners
A very handy reference grammer. Not as extensive as Wright's with a relatively more modern treatment. Best suited for a beginning student as a reference grammer. More advanced students of classical arabic should consider wrights.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to those who adorn their houses with flowers
This is the kind of translation exercise you get in this book. Other reviewers have commented on the stilted language and subject matter, both in English and Arabic. How about, "I have seen many spiders. The beys' and pashas' rooms must be swept afresh," or "Follow the well-known plan and put the olives in the barrels."These are not sentences from 1965, the date of the first edition, but from the British mandate.

If you want to learn Arabic, you need to use a text book, not a grammar book. There are lots of good ones available, and there are lots of grammar books available with more authentic examples.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good grammar reference
This book is excellent in explaining the labyrinth of Arabic grammar. It wisely introduces the verb forms in groups that have consistent vowelling and participle formation which is the easiest format I've seen so far. It's explanations are remarkably clear. I think the advantage is since one of the authors is not a native speaker they are able to explain clearly to other non-natives what native speakers probably take for granted. It is also consistently and scrupulously vowelled (essential for a grammar text book.)

As other users have remarked however, the book is not without flaws. The conjugation charts are wretched. Everytime I look at them, I get confused and forget how to conjugate verbs. The print quality, as others have said, is not the greatest. The vocabulary at the end of each chapter is bizarrely not in alphabetical order (English or Arabic) and the order seems quite random so looking up words is a pain (there is a decent root-based dictionary in the back however.) And indeed the sentences in the exercises are quite stilted. Check out this gem:

"We have described all these events to you so that you may know that piety is preferable to despair, and we have put our ideas in our many letters to you during a period of two years."

Come again?? (And this was BEFORE translation.) Still, they are designed to illustrate and reinforce grammatical concepts and they do that quite well. Interestingly my teacher, who is a native speaker, hates the book because of the stilted wording and bad examples-e.g. to illustrate the 10 verb forms, they use some verbal variants that don't actually exist.

Finally, it really bugs me that they use the Egyptian style of printing the final "ya" which means they don't put the dots underneath. Thus, it looks identical to the character alif maqsura. There is a whole chapter about defective verbs (those that end with wow, ya or alif) and the authors actually say "Look how the ya changes to alif maqsura in some of these examples." Well, actually I can't tell guys because you didn't dot your letters. Absolutely unacceptable that a grammar book designed for non-natives would make this omission.

Despite this book's flaws, this is an excellent guide to Arabic grammar especially considering other options and for the Amazon price you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal. If you are studying on your own, there is also a teacher's manual available.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Best Arabic Learning Book Around
John A. Haywood, the author, spent many years as a British civil servant and academic in Sudan.His grammar is the outcome of a lifetime of study of Arabic.Haywood and Nahmad, as the grammar is affectionately called by students of Arabic, came out in 1965.It is used in universities all over the world, and has been translated into Spanish.

The grammar gives the English grammatical terms, so it is also a useful grammar for anyone teaching English in the Middle East where English can be simplified by pointing out its differences with Arabic.Arabic is a much older language than English and has dropped most of the awkward complexities that English still has in favor of a logical simplicity that was, one might say, codified, in the Abbasid period in Iraq in the 9th century AD.The enumeration of the differences between English and Arabic for the purpose of making English easier for Arabic speakers has yet to be done, but Haywood's grammar would provide a starting point and a skeleton for such an endeavor.

Haywood and Nahmad provide the Arabic terms in brackets (one time) for the grammatical points he mostly describes in English, of course.You have to know your English grammar from the old school pretty well.There are none of the modern English grammar neologisms such as "Demonstrators" for indefinite or definite article, or "helping verb" for present and past perfect.There is no present or past perfect in Arabic.As in yet another language which is older than English, French, these problems have dropped by the wayside in the Arabic language, and Arabic has only the present, the past, the future and the "command" forms. A better example of what I mean by the fact that you have to know the "real" basis of English grammar, and not the neologisms, to appreciate this book, is that you have to know what subjunctive and jussive mean, for example.

Some of the most judiciously researched parts of the book are the introduction and the selections from Arabic Literature.His selection reads like high points of Arab, and thus, "humanity's" culture:Ibn Khaldun, The Arabian Nights, Tawfiq al-Hakim's "Diary of a Country Prosecutor," for example.

I also benefited from his overview of the differences in the Arabic dialects, which included some differences in Sudanese Arabic as well as the more familiar Iraqi, Egyptian, Palestinian and Syrian dialects.

All in all, Haywood and Nahmad is a book one can come back to often and pick up many tidbits one might not have noticed in that first intensive Arabic summer courses.

2-0 out of 5 stars Circumlocutive, dry, boring, hard to read
abandon this book and get eckehard shultz's a students grammar of MSA. It is far superior to this book in every way: it is more concise, the examples are much more pertinent and plentiful, the printing and paper is better so the type (both english and arabic) is much easier on the eyes, and the concepts are explained in straightforward, easy to understand english, punctuated with excellent examples for all grammatical situations, none of which are archaic and outdated. This book sucks. It will waste your time and have you re-reading passages. Shultz's is the way to go, no question. ... Read more

18. Arabic For Dummies
by Amine Bouchentouf
Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-05-01)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$11.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471772704
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Regarded as one of the most difficult languages to learn for native English speakers by the U.S. State Department, Arabic is gaining both prominence and importance in America. Recent world events have brought more and more Americans and other English speakers into contact with Arabic-speaking populations, and governments and businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of basic Arabic language skills. Arabic for Dummies provides you with a painless and fun way to start communicating in Arabic.

Why should you learn Arabic? Well, besides the fact that over 200 million people in more than 22 nations use it to communicate, there are tons of reasons to get up to speed this 1,400 year old language, including:

  • Nearly all of the Middle-East speaks Arabic or one of its dialects
  • Basic Arabic skills are extremely useful for anyone traveling to, doing business in, or serving in the Middle East
  • It is the language in which the Koran is written
  • There is a rich, centuries-old literary tradition in Arabic

Arabic For Dummies presents the language in the classic, laid-back For Dummies style. Taking a relaxed approach to this difficult language, it’s packed with practice dialogues and communication tips that will have you talking the talk in no time. You’ll get the scoop on:

  • The Arabic alphabet, pronunciation, basic grammar, and the rules of transliteration
  • The history of the language and information on classical Arabic and its dialects
  • How to make small talk and make yourself understood when dining, shopping, or traveling around town
  • How to communicate on the phone and in business conversations
  • Handy words and phrases for dealing with money, directions, hotels, transportation, and emergencies
  • Arabic culture and etiquette, including ten things you should never do in Arabic countries

The book also includes an Arabic-English dictionary, verb tables, and an audio CD with dialogues from the book to help you perfect your pronunciation. Written by a native Arabic speaker who helped start a year-round Arabic department at Middlebury College, Arabic For Dummies is just what you need to start making yourself understood in Arabic.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

1-0 out of 5 stars Misrepresentation
Sorry, but anyone who claims that standard Arabicis actually used in conversation by friends and families in relaxed settings is misrepresenting the language completely (which is a nice way of saying he's a complete liar).

You can't start to learn a language based on lies. You can I suppose start with some simplifications. Also not distinguishing between hamza and ayn? Really? Give me a break. Go spend your money elsewhere. I don't care how good the CD is.

2-0 out of 5 stars Arabic For Dummies

The author of Arabic For Dummies is very thorough and educated.
My problem is that I need a teacher because Arabic is NOT for dummies.

2-0 out of 5 stars Buy it for the CD
The story of Macbeth is the story of a great man brought low by one fatal flaw. The story of Arabic for Dummies is the story of a good book brought low by... well, by... a number of small but deadly flaws that could so easily have been avoided.

First, the good points. Arabic for Dummies does an excellent job of laying down the basics of grammar in chapter 2. With irresistible brio, Amine Bouchentouf zips through nouns, adjectives, prepositions, the negative, and both present and past tenses. All with clearly-worked examples and terse, admirably lucid explanations.

In one swoop, the student has enough grammar to carry him through. Compare this to the nervous-Nellie approach of other books: Living Language Ultimate Arabic does not get to the present tense until chapter 6; and the New Arabic Grammar sidles up to the Arabic verb for the very first time in chapter 12.

What's more, the assigned vocabulary consists of useful everyday terms, directly related to the topics at hand. This is a simple principle which nonetheless eludes many Arabic textbook writers.

Now for the bad. The author is not a trained linguist, and sometimes it shows. In chapter 13, for instance, he manages to be profoundly mistaken about tense, mood, and the auxiliary verb, all within the space of three paragraphs.

Moreover, certain assertions in the book are tricky to reconcile with reality. For instance, from chapter 1: "M[odern] S[tandard] A[rabic] is the language that [...] friends and families use to socialize with one another."

Friends and families?! If you want to understand how gob-smackingly improbable that statement is, just read this anecdote:

"Parkinson relates the story a friend who was a passionate supporter of fuSHa [Modern Standard Arabic] and who decided to stick to it exclusively in his family in order to give his children the full advantage of having it as a native language. Getting on a busy Cairo bus with this friend and his three-year-old daughter, the two of them, father and daughter, were separated and the yelling that was necessary to reestablish the contact took place in fuSHa making the entire bus burst out in laughter."
(from http://www.languagehat.com/archives/002788.php.)

But these are merely isolated defects. We have not yet come to the most deadly flaw. You see, Arabic for Dummies does not use the Arabic alphabet. That in itself is fine: it's a valid choice for a beginner text.

But unfortunately the chosen transliteration scheme - fatally, inexplicably - does not differentiate between the letters hamza and ghayn. This is a bit like dropping the letter "d" from the English alphabet and recommending to the student that it be pronounced as "t". That sount like a goot itea to you?

At a stroke, this whimsical decision renders the book's excellent wordlists almost useless to the serious student. It means you will be running to the dictionary every few words to check whether that middle consonant is meant to be hamza or ghayn. You might as well keep that dictionary open, pick up a pen, and write your own damn wordlist.

Oh, and one more thing: Sorry, Wiley Publishing, but learning a language is tough. It's drill, drill, drill. Then drill again. Your readers will not, not ever, absorb the grammar of a lesson if they get one single exercise at the end of the chapter, and that exercise consists of a - fun! try it! - five-item crossword puzzle.

So with all these flaws, you might wonder, why am I granting this book a full two stars, instead of just one?

It's because of the CD. The CD is excellent. Useful dialogs with bang-on vocabulary, clearly spoken by native speakers, using exactly the right amount of pause and repetition. I have played this disk over and over, and learned much from it. If you can afford to, buy this book for the CD alone.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too Confusing!
I usually think the "Dummies" series is incredibly helpful.... but I have not used one for a foreign language before so perhaps the series is simply not suitable for learning a language.

My main problem was that the CD did not follow the way the transliteration was spelled! Reading the other reviews, it seems that perhaps this has to do with the difference between MSA and how real people speak - which while understandable, does make learning rather impossible for a beginner!

The speakers were also way too fast - the first reviewer says there were two settings on the CD - where?!!

Lastly, I think the text jumps around too much - it's as though the author is not clear whether the book is for tourists or for beginning serious students.

1-0 out of 5 stars It's truly for complete dummies
The book is friendly, but it has no arabic script at all! I was very surprised at how a language can be taught without first studying the alphabet and then some words, and the trying to write it all down... but this book just doesn't cover the script (which is so beautiful %)). It just tells you how to pronounce words and what they mean, but you will never learn how to read and write in Arabic with this book. I decided it's a worthless way of learning. ... Read more

19. Ultimate Arabic Beginner-Intermediate (Book and CD Set): Includes Comprehensive Coursebook, 8 Audio CDs, and CD-ROM with Flashcards (Ultimate Beginner-Intermediate)
by Living Language
Paperback: Pages (2009-07-28)
list price: US$79.99 -- used & new: US$46.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400009766
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Learn to speak, understand, read, and write Arabic with the most complete and up-to-date program available!

Developed by the experts at Living Language, this deluxe Arabic language course has everything you need to learn Arabic from scratch or to revive the Arabic that you learned years ago. Ultimate Arabic is a comprehensive, multi-media program that includes 8 CDs, a book, and a bonus interactive CD-ROM. It’s the perfect way to learn for school, travel, work, or personal enrichment.

Ultimate Arabic contains lessons in the Modern Standard Arabic as well as four regional colloquial dialects. Arabic script is taught and used in all Modern Standard Arabic lessons. The course also includes an hour-long audio phrasebook for each dialect.

In this package you’ll find:

1 comprehensive coursebook with 40 lessons. Each lesson contains a lively and authentic dialogue, vocabulary, grammar and usage, cultural highlights, and plenty of practice. The book also contains review sections, a grammar summary, a glossary, and more.

8 Audio CDs
*4 CDs for use with the book
*4 more CDs that expand upon what you learn in each lesson, designed for review, reinforcement, and practice on-the-go

that contains flashcards with over 500 vocabulary words and phrases. You can see the word and its English translation, and can hear the word spoken too. Includes both learn and practice modes. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beginners Course
I have been trying to study Arabic for months, and this was the first book I found presented in such a way that the alphabet and structure of words, including vowel marks, is actually easy to understand.Due to its inclusion of many local dialects rather than a more extensive study of Modern Standard Arabic, I would highly recommend using this in conjunction with a course (there are many free online) that are more vocabulary intensive to round out your education.The speakers on the CD's are very clear and easy to understand, while speaking at a normal pace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Happy I purchased both ''Ultimate Arabic'' and ''Complete Basic Arabic''
I wanted to go back to both Farsi and Arabic (well... ''go'' would be more adapted since I had like NO memory and never learned the script!), and had a hard time on the web to find what I was looking for.

I just tried the Living Language Farsi method for a few days and was so convinced that I went straight to purchase the Arabic one also at LL. Before that I asked some advices straight to LL themselves and they were available, patient and very clear in their advises.

I bought both methods ''Complete Basic Arabic'' and ''Ultimate Arabic'' and I am happy I did.

If you have already notions of Arabic you might want to go straight to ''Ultimate'' to refresh your vocabulary and grammar. If you are starting from zero you would rather get ''Complete Basic Arabic'' and to go slower and get the basics (but the content covers so much that actually it is really strong basics). If you get both you can use ''Basic'' the first time and then alternate. That's what I appreciate: the ''Basic'' allows me to get slowly in motion, familiarize myself with the lesson without feeling lost. Then I go to ''ultimate'' and I can review things I may forget, and refresh a lesson I may not have work so much on for days or weeks...

One reviewer was critical about the choice of focusing on ''Modern Standard Arabic''. I personally would argue the opposite, it is a good choice! I needed an arabic that I can use as much when I meet a Palestinian friend or a Tunisian one. I learned Tunisian when I was young (forgot everything) and it is more difficult to make conversations in arabic dialects with a person from another dialect. If you learn the standard one, everybody will understand it and your friends or encounters will be here to enrich your vocabulary by giving you more ''local'' terms and accents. Also this method actually regularly highlights differences (pronunciations, accents, vocabulary and even culture) from one side of the Arabic world to another. So really this shouldn't be a barrier.

The only ''dark point'' might be the small size font but I am sure that is something they can solve in a next edition, and still, I have glasses and can manage, so I am pretty sure it is doable for anyone

4-0 out of 5 stars good resource, a little too broad in scope
The revised version of this course is decent, but you will want to supplement it with others. There is a good balance here between conversation and grammar, something not always found in Arabic learning materials. The course text also retains the harakaat (characters indicating short vowels) for an adequate length of time in order to accommodate learners not familiar with Arabic pronunciation, but other resources are available which retain harakaat much longer. Also keep in mind that the treatment of Arabic script in this course is not nearly as comprehensive as that provided in other resources, such as Georgetown University Press Alif Baa.

Be aware that this course changes about halfway through the text, switching from Modern Standard Arabic (MSA, or "Fus-Ha") to a series of short survey exposures to four different dialects. This is ideal for someone who has not yet decided upon a dialect to study, but it accomplishes it at the expense of a more comprehensive treatment of MSA. Anyone serious about studying MSA will want to supplement this course with other resources, for exposure to more pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Examples include Georgetown University Press Al-Kitaab series, Yale University Press Ahlan Wa Sahlan series, the Madinah Islamic University Arabic Course for its large repository of online audio files, as well as the Arabic Between Your Hands series available from Saudi Arabia. (These latter two courses provide valuable guidance in pronunciation, but should not be attempted until the script and some basic vocabulary is thoroughly mastered.)

You'll also want to keep close at hand a good Arabic-English dictionary (e.g. first Al Mawrid, then eventually Hans Wehr after the Arabic root system is learned) as well as a decent English-Arabic dictionary which provides harakaat, such as the Oxford Dictionary of Current Usage.

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting and novel introduction to Arabic
The version that I bought is just a little older than this one in that it does not include a CD-ROM.It does, however, include the textbook and 8 CDs.The course provides an introduction to Modern Standard Arabic as well as to the Egyptian, Iraqi, Lebanese, and Saudi dialects.

Four of the CDs correspond to the dialogues in the text.There are 15 dialogues in Modern Standard Arabic, as well as five dialogues in each of the four dialects--giving a total of 35 dialogues.There are also four other CDs in which various greetings, numbers, and short expressions are given for each of the four dialects.The four CDs with the greetings are not very useful.The four CDs with the dialogues are very interesting and helpful, however.The subjects of the dialogues are interesting and the voice acting is very good.You can measure the disgust in the voice of one woman when she finds that the wedding that her friend attended did not have a live band and served only common everyday Lebanese food.Other dialogues include the contradictions and trials of everyday life.A young Lebanese Shiite man is frustrated by his family's refusal to allow him to marry an Maronite woman (they want him to marry his first cousin instead)--although in the next dialogue you learn that his father is a huge fan of the female Maronite singer Fairuz.(I guess this would be something like members of a white American family, who, though uncomfortable with interracial marriage, are nevertheless big Motown fans.)

The text has a reasonably detailed introduction to the grammar of Standard Arabic and to the grammar of the four dialects.The glossary, however, only includes Standard Arabic, and has no dialect words.The reader would do well to look up words in a proper Arabic-English dictionary to make up for a lack of a proper glossary.In addition, I should note that it is useful to see how each Arabic word is related to other words derived from a common three consonant Semitic stem.For such a purpose I find Han Wehr's dictionary to work quite well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Arabic
Thus far I like the textbook. I would have preferred one that didn't devote about 50% of the material to Arabic dialects but it is a good text, nevertheless. ... Read more

20. Arabic (Egyptian), Q&S: Learn to Speak and Understand Egyptian Arabic with Pimsleur Language Programs
by Pimsleur
Audio CD: Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$9.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743508165
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pimsleur egyptian arabic
Like they say on the CD box it's Quick and easy and it is. It's the best I have seen, I might do the full program.

5-0 out of 5 stars Egyptian Arabic compact discs.
These introductory compact discs are thorough in instruction, well planned, and well executed. I believe that anyone who wishes to start learning Egyptian Arabic will benefit greatly from these discs. I already had some knowledge of how to speak Egyptian Arabic before buying this program, however, listening to these discs still taught me new ways to say phrases that I was already familiar with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conversational Arabic
I am learning so much very quickly!The authors' detail the pronounciation, plus the cd's make learning easy in the car, to play over certain hard words.I just wish it had come with a handbook, for quick reference while traveling.(I had to write out on paper different sentences and words I wanted to memorize away from the stereo.)Overall, I am very glad to have found this program.Great for beginners, and the price is good, too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very basic but great for vacationers
My wife and I used the 4 hours of lessons to get just enough Arabic to be polite and to ask very basic questions.If that is your goal, then this will work great.If you want something more comprehensive, then I would have to recommend something else as it will not teach you enough to bargain in the souks (markets) or to order food in a restaurant.We like the repetitive nature of the lessons where every lesson is repeated over and over with increasing complexity; some people don't but it's the only way I can remember the basic phrases in the short amount of time I had for the lessons. Bottom line: if you don't have a lot of time to learn the language, but want to at least make a valiant effort at the basics during a one week trip to Egypt (like us)...buy it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Another Dissappointment
I was very dissappointed after completing Pimsluer's "Quick and Simple Egyptian Arabic." The set includes 4 compact disks with 8 30-minute lessons. However, about 10 minutes of each lesson is a review of the previous lesson with a couple of new words introduced. Review is always good, and it's the only way to learn a language, but couldn't one just rewind the tape? I feel like I only learned about 10 words. In truth, I probably learned about 60, so that works out to about 33 cents per word since I paid $20.00 for it. The disks don't teach anything about grammar, tenses, and writing, of course. I don't even feel like I've sratched the surface of the language. Perhaps I should have purchased the Egyptian Arabic I audio, but it is extremely expensive. In short, if you are looking to learn Arabic, I'm sure you could find something less expensive and more worth your time. ... Read more

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