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Mastering Arabic [Paperback]

Jane Wightwick , Mahmoud Gaafar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Mastering Arabic 1 and CD Pack Mastering Arabic 1 and CD Pack 4.4 out of 5 stars (74)
£21.69
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Book Description

23 Mar 1990 0333490371 978-0333490372 1990 Edition with two cassettes
This book teaches the modern standard Arabic which is the universal language of the Arab world, understood by all the Arabic speakers. It is also the language of almost all written material, formal TV programmes, talks etc.

Frequently Bought Together

Mastering Arabic + Mastering Arabic 2 (Palgrave Master Series (Languages)) + Mastering Arabic 1 Activity Book
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1990 Edition with two cassettes edition (23 Mar 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333490371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333490372
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 296,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Author

A modern and accessible book
This is my attempt to transfer and adapt the best of EFL and modern language teaching methodology to Arabic. If you have been put off by dense, over-grammatical courses, try this! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar share many years' experience in a combination of teaching, educational publishing and commerce in the Arab world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Way to Learn Arabic 26 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback
I have been teaching Arabic for some years now, using various workbooks. I must say that of them all, Mastering Arabic is the students' favourite. My students ages range from ten to eighty-eight years old and they all enjoy the well-paced lessons and variety of things to do found in this book: crosswords, fill-in-the-gaps, dialogues, etc. I also add more grammar elements onto the texts for the more advanced students. I heartily recommend this book to all those taking their first steps in the Arabic language, those who know a bit more, those teaching them and anyone pre-GCSE. A fun, well-made book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good 20 July 2011
By Shah
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It took me about 6 weeks, 2 hours a day to memorise the vocab and grammar and work through the exercises in this book. It's not a grammatical approach to learning a language and at times it is irritating as there's no getting around the very badly drawn comics which form a part of the exercises. These comics are difficult to understand because they are so poorly drawn, and they get in the way at times. Also, as another reviewer has mentioned, there are mistakes in this edition. They are serious enough to delay making progress through the book. For example the vocab given at the beginning of Chapter 12 (which you need in order to work through that chapter) in my copy is completely mixed up and wrong, so you have to look at the end of the chapter for the glossary with the correct meanings.

Having said that, it teaches a fairly useful (although minimal) vocabulary set drawn from a variety of (mostly) commonplace things you might encounter in everyday life. It is fair to say that this book won't have you chatting in Arabic to Arabic speakers. However Arabic is nothing like a European language and 'la buddu an' learn the basics of grammar such as masculine, feminine, dual, word order, 10 types of verbal forms, nominal items from verbal roots etc. In the end it deals with the basics of these things, and the simple past, present and future tenses. So in my view this book gives you a good start but at times irritating if you just want to get to the pithiness of the grammar and vocabulary and find yourself confronted with cartoons that just don't make sense until you read the description along with the glossary.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent course book 4 April 2007
By MS-R
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent course book and is the basis of a course I have been studying for the last 6 months. However, it does require input from a teacher for additional examples and practice. I have also found that Masterin Arabic Grammer is a necessary companion, along with the CDs and a good dictionary. All in all, an excellent book but probably not for the DIY student.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
126 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading and conversational primer for BEGINNING student 11 Jan 2004
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The title of this book is misleading, since to me, "Mastering Arabic" implies gaining complete fluency, while this book is targeted at students who have little or no Arabic ability. So if you have already had an Arabic class or two and have some ability in the language, look elsewhere. This isn't a book for raising the fluency of existing Arabic students to the next level.
For its intended purpose, however, "Mastering Arabic" is pretty good. It starts out by teaching you the Arabic script (necessary for any serious student -- stay away from books that transliterate everything into English letters). Then in each chapter, there are some short grammar lessons, a number of activities, and some new vocabulary. The activities range from fill-in-the-blanks exercises to reading newspaper headlines to matching pictures with sentences to crossword puzzles, and so on. All are at a pretty basic level, but they do provide you with "authentic" Arabic usage.
"Mastering Arabic" is really intended to be used in a classroom, or with some tutoring by a native speaker. If you are learning Arabic for self-study, the lessons do proceed gradually enough for you to be able to use this book on your own. However, in that case, I would recommend buying the accompanying audiocasette tapes (you can order them through Hippocrene's website).
This book is at an "Intro to Arabic" level, but it is far above the level of your average phrasebook or "Arabic for Business Travelers" or similar books intended merely to teach you some basic conversational phrases. When you finish this book, you should be able to handle "survival Arabic," which is to say, you'll be able to manage simple sentences and communicate everyday ideas, and your vocabulary will be adequate for basic communication. If you want to go beyond that, such as being able to read newspapers or watch Arabic TV or carry on more complex conversations, you'll need to find more advanced books and learning resources.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent text for study of Written and Spoken Arabic 12 Feb 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have taught Arabic for over 15 years and have written my own texts on the subject. I feel that this book/tape combination is an excellent tool for those who are serious about studying the Arabic Language. There is very little emphasis on grammar, which is a weakness, but it does give a good solid introduction to the language. The style is enjoyable, the use of graphics imaginative and the continuity of the study subjects flows smoothly. I highly recommend this book. Make sure that you get the accompanying tapes.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to buy the tape...read on. 23 Sep 2001
By David Shamma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the tape in a local Arabic/Islamic bookstore (IQRA Book Center - iqrabookcenter.com, and they had a lot but I can't find it on their site, so you may have to call the store or look for a local Arabic bookstore in your area. The ISBN is 0-87052-984-6.
The tapes make the book a perfect language learning tool and will have you conversing Arabic in no time flat.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important review correction not rating 4 Jun 2004
By Sam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The website for Arabic/Islamic resources mentioned by a reader earlier is not iqrabookcenter.com, it is infact iqrabookcenter.ORG
I usually don't post correctional reviews, but I felt this was important in the name of expanding everyone's resources.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mastering Arabic 18 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a good introduction to Arabic. Regretfully, the book is useless without the audiotapes. The tapes are inexpensive, and available online through Hippocrene Books' website. Without alot of drills and exercises in each chapter, it is necessary to repeat the same audio exercises over and over again to absorb pronunciation, and, as a result, very little vocabulary is learned. This is still a good foundation course for further study.
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