7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A good start, but don't rely on it too much., 7 Jun 2011
I bought this book as I planned to travel to Saudi Arabia. I have an upper intermediate level in Modern Standard Arabic but wanted to be able to communicate in a local dialect as not to sound too formal.
This book is good starting off point, but as the author mentions, the dialects spoken in the Gulf are so diverse, you can't possibly grasp it until you get to the country and listen to the dialect for yourself. I know this as I managed to befriend a Saudi and test out some of the new words and phrases but found many were not used in Saudi and variants not mentioned in the book are used instead. I find myself having to prepare my own vocab list within the book.
Another thing I found quite irritating is that the book uses transliteration with a poor attempt at incorporating the Arabic script in some parts. If you are a familiar with the script you may find yourself like me, writing the Arabic next to the transliteration.
The audio is very good and the native speakers speak at normal rate which was difficult for me initially. This is good practice though as Arabs do speak incredibly fast.
Overall, this course is a good introduction.