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Mastering Arabic (Palgrave Master Series) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Apr 2003

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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Finally! An Arabic instruction book with a clear plan 8 Mar. 2006
By Orion - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been self-teaching Arabic for over a year now, using many different types of sources (Pimsleur CDs, Arabic newspapers and texts, many other books and tapes) and this is the first and only "textbook" type of instruction that has a clear and well-constructed plan that can be used by a beginner or novice for self-instruction. It comes with two CDs that are very well prepared, also. I've used "Teach Yourself Arabic", "Al-Kitaab", "Living Language", "Instant Immersion (THE WORST!)", etc., and this is the only text that is clear, well-thought out, and plainly builds on previous instruction. I HIGHLY recommend it--along with other aids such as the Pimsleur CDs, Awde's "The Arabic Alphabet", Wightwick's "Your First 100 Words". Since I mentioned them above, I should point out problems with two particular series: The "Living Language" series is OK--but NO ARABIC SCRIPT! That's a huge fault. "Instant Immersion" (8 CDs) is nothing more than a recitation of words and phrases with their English equivalents--no more helpful than attempting to memorize an entire book verbatim by having someone read it to you. Get "Mastering Arabic" with the 2 audio CDs--Wightwick and Gafaar have done a wonderful job with this.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Best Starter Book I Found 11 Mar. 2005
By Milady - Published on
Format: Paperback
I started with this book, and I had tried loads before. I ended up doing a degree in Arabic and this book was a perfect start. Its important to get a grip of the writing before you do anything else, or you will be hobbled in your studies. Its beautifully presented and the examples are large (you wouldn't believe how many books have tiny examples for you to copy). I would heartily recommend this book.

I also worked in Foyles (charing cross road) which had one of the best foreign language sections in the UK for non-European languages (some really obscure titles!) and I regularly looked through the books available for learning as a beginner. This still looks the best.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A great first step in learning MSA! 26 May 2005
By LanceFR - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book because of it's organization and the two CDs that come with it. It starts out teaching you how to right the alphabet (broken in to two groups of letters which aids in remembering how to write them) and introduces words as it goes. It is grammar heavy but, ummm, it's rather important to know the grammar rules in order to speak MSA properly.

Great book with a great price! I recommend this over Alif Baa any day, it gets you in to the language and using it, my Egyptian and Iraqi friends are impressed with my "accent" and with my knowledge of vocabulary and writing skills. GO FOR IT! It's worth every dime, and is darn cheap on!

Yet another book that I recommend to supplement your formal school studies in Elementary Arabic I! Even the CDs are great, they use a native speaker so you get used to those "intimidating" Arabic sounds and even start to master them.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Mastering Arabic 9 Jan. 2007
By Jotaito - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a language book. It contains 2 CDs that are very high sound quality which is necessary in order to understand exactly how the sounds in a foreign language very different from English should be spoken. It begins with learning the alphabet and continues to progress through words (vocabulary) and then to sentence structure. It then continues to familiar phrases useful to one who might be attempting to use their Arabic in a real life situation (like when traveling in the Middle East). This is not just a business travel "crutch" for emergencies; it seems much better than that. I have worked in several other books on Arabic and they all seem to leave something to be desired but this one (with its CDs) seems to pretty well overcome the other's shortcomings (so far). This is really a little too early to tell since it will be several years before its real benefits are known to me.

I am a typical Mid-west American with some interest in languages and I have studied Spanish, German, with some Hebrew and Russian exposure. I thought I would tackle Arabic because it is an entirely different language in structure and speech than any other language that I have studied. I am 68 also. This is an adventure.

There is also another book to complement this book that looks to be worthwhile. It is called Arabic - Verbs & Essentials of Grammar. It is written by the same authors and appears to be a nice complement to studying Arabic.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Need a review but not bad compared to other Arabic textbooks 3 Oct. 2006
By Anatoli - Published on
Format: Paperback
I only give it 3 stars because of its flaws but I find this book the only one, which is usable to an extent if you learn Modern Standard Arabic on your own.

Considerations for a review:

Needs an Arabic-English dictionary.

English-Arabic dictionary should include all the words used in the text, it's a common practice with language textbooks, otherwise it is the actual exercise. The author says, you need to get a dictionary but the words should be supplied, anyway.

Romanisation is stopped too early. At least, the vocabulary should have it.

Since the hand-written Arabic is not the focus of this book, the hand-written exercise should provide a guide on what is written. I think, the author is not aware of the difficulty of deciphering hand-written Arabic by a European learner.

The ads and newspaper article exercises are also a waste of time, lots of guessing, not learning.

I have experience in learning foreign languages, including Chinese and Japanese but Arabic seems much more difficult, since it's much harder to look up words dictionary and finding the right form of that word or using a form to get the dictionary form, the diglossia and varieties of Arabic, so it would be good to make more explanations to exercises, so that learners don't struggle but concentrate on learning. So grammar notes could have more romanisation and translation as well so that a learner could focus on the grammar, not on reading or looking up words.
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