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Ahlan Wa Sahlan: Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners: Sound and Script Workbook Paperback – 7 Jul 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Second edition (7 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140484
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 21.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 570,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Mahdi Alosh is associate dean for international affairs at the United States Military Academy.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bones on 9 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've started learning Arabic at evening classes and I am now a good few weeks in and my grasp of the language is improving. I thought that I would supplement my learning with a 'beginners' textbook. I saw this book online, titled "Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners" and bought it expecting exactly that... a beginners textbook to Arabic. As the other reviewer of this item points out, this is NOT for beginners at all.

For example, I turned to Chapter 1, Lesson 1 and was greeted with five solid untranslated lines of Arabic before the first English sentence told me "Prepositions usually acquire specific meanings from the context in which they are used. In the passage above, the preposition (book shows an arabic word in arabic script) means "on" and (book shows an arabic word in arabic script) means "in"... The prepositional phrase is made up of the preposition (shows arabic letter) added to the noun (more unexplained arabic letters) "side"......."

Er, hang on a second... What about giving me a list of letters of the alphabet, or perhaps telling me how to say "hello" or "how are you"? I don't want to dive straight into the preposition structure of a language that is new to me and very complex! The arabic words aren't even transliterated to help you try to work out how they sound. You're just hit with a line of arabic script (tricky to understand as a 'beginner') and then the English equivalent.

I'm sure this book is excellent for a more advanced student, and the layout and content does look VERY comprehensive. I don't doubt that it will be of use to me in a year or so, but right now, having bought it under the impression it was for BEGINNERS, I have to give it 1 star because it is not what it says it is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luis Morais on 2 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The effort and care put into the creation of the MP3 CD (it is not an Audio CD as a music CD by the way) is literally rubbish, a dog's job from execution to packaging.

Firstly, it is not because the files are in MP3 format that make them ready to use on a iPod. In order for a bunch of MP3 files to be useful and easy to store, find and manage in a player, the publisher (Yale University Press) MUST put some effort to properly tag the MP3s with the following id3 information:

- the freaking name of the album
- the freaking name of the artist (author)
- the freaking TITLE of the track
- the freaking NUMBER of the freaking track

If this information is not provided, the MP3 player won't be able to sort the tracks into albums, sort the order of them against each other and won't display the collection of MP3s in an order that will make sense to humans.

Now multiply the lazy job of Yale University Press by 240 tracks and what you have is a massive mess hindering any attempt for productive learning as you will spend more time trying to find the badly recorded tracks than listening to their crackling, noisy and annoying sound when they are needed.

The geniuses at Yale went a step further to make things even more difficult for us. If it is not enough to completely ignore ID3 tagging, they named the files in the following format:

[track number] [Lesson number (which is from 1 to 24)] [Lesson name] [page number].

Well done Yale, except that by putting the track number before the lesson number you make all the files that start with a track number to bunch up together on an iPod playlist, for example:

...01 - Lesson one - Blah blah - p. 01
01 - Lesson two - Blah blah - p.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By V. Kalantzi on 7 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although this is a very interesting and good written book, by no means would I recommend it to beginners, it will just make things more complicated and tough. I quit reading it, as soon as I realised that I wasn't understanding a thing...!! So, I had to order another book which really was for beginners. This one is best suitable for intermediate to advanced students.
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By Had. A on 4 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the ultimate reference for teaching and learning Arabic for non-native speakers. I am a teacher of Arabic as a second language and have been struggling to find a convenient book. Other books either open from left to right, which is completely absurd, or have explicit mistakes in grammar and conversation. Ahlan wa Sahlan is THE ULTIMATE book to teach Arabic properly!

The second edition divides the process of learning Arabic into two steps. First, in the workbook it covers the alphabet along with simple everyday conversations (name, wellbeing, nationality) then the textbook moves to substantial texts covering the Arabic sentence structure through interesting topics derived from the context of the life of the academic student.

Every little grammar detail I wonder about how to transmit to students is clearly and fully explained. Excellent for those whose first language, or have a knowledge of, English because, when suitable, it contains comparisons and contrasts between the way the two languages deal with a certain sentence structure.

I would recommend the workbook for self-study, but not the textbook. In fact, the textbook cannot be fully covered in a frequency of one session a week. I have to be selective about what to give the students each week. The audio and video bits are accurate, well pronounced and well acted, something which is rare to find in other books. The print is extra clear. Ahlan wa Sahlan made me believe that it is not only possible, but also thrilling, to teach the grammar of the modern standard Arabic to non-native speakers. I am so happy to have found this book!
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