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Arabic For Dummies [Paperback]

Amine Bouchentouf
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 May 2006 0471772704 978-0471772705 Pap/Com
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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Pap/Com edition (12 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471772704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471772705
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Your survival guide for everyday words and expressions Your fun and friendly guide to Modern Standard Arabic This unintimidating guide will help you start speaking Modern Standard Arabic — beginning today! Whether you′re a student, a traveler, or you work in business or government, you′ll find it′s packed with practical lessons, cultural facts, and handy references — including coverage of written Arabic, an Arabic–English mini–dictionary, lists of vital verbs, and more! Discover how to Have everyday conversations in Arabic Make sense of Arabic grammar Improve your pronunciation Use idioms and popular expressions Get around in Arabic–speaking countries

About the Author

Amine Bouchentouf is a native English, Arabic, and French speaker born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco. Amine has been teaching Arabic and lecturing about relations between America and the Arab world in his spare time for over 4 years and has offered classes and seminars for students at Middlebury College, the Council on Foreign Relations, and various schools across the United States. He runs and maintains the Web site– (which means “gateway” in Arabic). Amine graduated from Middlebury College and has always been interested in promoting better relations between the West and the Middle East through dialogue and mutual understanding. Amine published his first book, Arabic: A Complete Course (Random House), soon after graduating college in order to help Americans understand Arabic language and culture. He has written Arabic For Dummies in an attempt to reach an even wider audience with the aim of fostering better relations through education. He holds a degree in Economics from Middlebury and has extensive experience in the arena of international investing. He is a registered investment advisor and is a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers. Amine is currently working on his third book, Investing in Commodities For Dummies (Wiley Publishing). Amine is an avid traveler and has visited over 15 countries across the Middle East, Europe, and North and South America. Aside from his interest in languages, business, and travel, Amine enjoys biking, rollerblading, playing guitar, chess, and golf. He lives in New York City.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
MarHaba (mahr-hah-bah; welcome) to the wonderful world of Arabic! Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arabic for Dummies 2 May 2007
Arabic for Dummies by Amine Bouchentouf is an excellent resource for anyone starting to learn how to speak Modern Standard Arabic. The text is straight-forward and the vocabulary included in the book is very useful. The layout of the book is also very good, as it is very step-by-step, though you are able to dive into any section and begin learning this beautiful language.

The dialogues on CD are useful for helping you to get your tongue around some of the strange sounds in the arabic language, and there are plenty of tables showing verb conjugation at the back of the book to help with some of, though not all, of the arabic verbs.

The dictionary at the back of the book is a useful compiilation of the words used in the book, though I recommend anyone to purchase a proper English - Arabic/ Arabic - English dictionary, for further reference.

My biggest problem with this book is the exclusion of the arabic script (apart from a small mention of the different letters at the start). This is both good and bad - those wanting to learn just to speak arabic will do fine with using this book, whereas those wanting to be able to read the script will have to learn to write arabic using another source, such as a dictionary, because the author failed to mention that each letter has different forms dependent upon where the letter falls in the word.

There is also a tranlation erorr on page 251 in the dialogue. Where it says "marHaba 'ilaa al-maghrib" this does not translate to "step forward please" it means "welcome to Morocco".

Overall, a good resource for learning Modern Standard Arabic, though not perfect and far from recommended for those wanting to learn arabic script.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction! 8 Mar 2010
By Nikki B
This book is a good introduction to spoken Arabic. It covers the basics like grammar, asking for food, shopping, travel and emergencies. It gives the Arabic (in English alphabet) then the phonetics which is really handy.
It comes with a CD so you can listen to spoken Arabic which is really good for the pronunciation.
No written Arabic but it is sold as a guide to start speaking Arabic which it does do!!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read... 30 Mar 2008
By Kairra
I always try to use Dummy guides for subjects i know nothing about. After using them to learn VB6 and C# for work, i decided to fulfil a life long aim and start to learn Arabic. This guide is extremely easy to read and is gentle in the way it introduces you to the language. As the previous review states, there is very little written Arabic text here, which is why i bought a seperate book 'First Thousand Words in Arabic' (which was shown as a book deal) to compliment what i was learning verbally.

This book is definately useful for those who have no knowledge whatsoever, but for those who know some Arabic already it may prove too basic.

In all i enjoy this book (I'm still using it), and would recommend this and any Dummies Guide to those wishing to start out on a totally new subject.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this version, buy the newer one 10 Aug 2014
By Issa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is okay. I kinda skipped through the first pages because I already knew how to read and the basics, but If you don't know any Arabic whatsoever I would NOT recommend this version for absolute beginners. The words are written with Latin letters in a way that makes them impossible to pronounce correctly and the pronunciation part of the Latin letters is even worse. I sometimes have to Google the words just so I can pronounce them correctly. There are also a lot of misspells and wrong use of words. The audio in the CD sometimes uses other words than written in the book.
I instantly regretted buying this version. If you can read a little Arabic BUY THE NEWER version (2nd edition). It is written partly with Arabic letters, making it easier to practice the reading while learning. Moreover the "latinization" of the Arabic words are also more correctly written, so you actually have the opportunity to pronounce the words perfectly. I have had a glance at the newer version and it seems like the author is using some better words for of the translations. Therefore the two versions are a bit different from each other.

However the book is not entirely hopeless. It is very simple, and gives you a lot of useful grammatical tables and useful sentences. It has some great explanations of the Arabic culture, and it is not boring at all. I still use it to learn and I have learned a great deal from it. It is also categorized into different topics with minimal grammar making it more fun to learn. But be sure you pick the right version because a returning/trading it CAN be expensive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No audio on Kindle 2 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
No audio files supplied on Kindle. Book is quite good, but missing the CD or audio files on Kindle making it fairly redundant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version not recommended 29 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I ordered the kindle version because I was already overseas but this version is not very helpful so haven't read much of the book, what I have read though is well laid out and easy to understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arabic for dummies 13 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is not convenient to use on the Kindle. The content is good but cross-referencing is difficult and the vocabulary lists are not easy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars got my work cut out here !! 25 Aug 2012
By Terri
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I knew this was not going to be as simple as it sounds - "learn some Arabic" - but the book does make it easier to follow. The book containes full help on pronunciation and how to actually SAY the words - very helpful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great help
Excellent help in learning Arabic, would be better if had more examples on cd . Easy to follow clear text
Published 2 months ago by cobweb
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple
This book makes learning Arabic simple. But the problem is it mainly provides the Latin written of Arabic. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Holiday5151
5.0 out of 5 stars arrived quickly and as described
Arrived in great condition and exactly what I was looking for. Now to try and start learning this interesting language
Published 13 months ago by Phil B
5.0 out of 5 stars New language
I also have the Arabic phrases book and to be honest they both have the same stuff in them so far. I am only at chapter 2 so hope they diverge a bit otherwise I will feel a bit... Read more
Published 16 months ago by belinda potter
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not match expectation
Trying to learn Arabic by reading transliterations makes a difficult task twice as hard. I found the explanations incomplete and confusing. Read more
Published 16 months ago by BHS
4.0 out of 5 stars Good kick start for learning Arabic
I'm just starting to learn Arabic using an online course which is great but I felt I needed something to answer some of the grammatical questions I had. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mr DCP
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use and Understand
Easy to use and understand, makes a very hard language that bit easier to understand as its broken down. Would recommended this for others.
Published 20 months ago by Scottishspangle
1.0 out of 5 stars Fakse Advertising
I bought this book from previous reviews that stated the CD came with the product. I downloaded the kindle edition and presumed the CD or an emailed audio file would follow, but... Read more
Published on 6 May 2012 by Annoyed
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