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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great approach to learning Arabic!!
I really like this book, which is the second editition and was completely updated: You learn the alphabet in little chunks so that you are not overwhelmed by the Arabic script. The layout of the book is very clear, you have lots of excercises and listening comprehensions.
With this book you even learn how to learn - the authors show you how to learn vocabulary easily...
Published on 20 Aug 2007 by laetitia27

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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed beginner's course
I do wonder if all the other glowing reviews of this book are by users who have assiduously done this course from start to finish. First, the book comes in an attractive package with the CDs. The first six lessons do a good job of teaching the Arabic script, incl. basic instructions on handwriting. Overall, they have done a good job of teaching all the main grammar points...
Published on 18 Aug 2009 by Mr. William J. Arrowsmith


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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great approach to learning Arabic!!, 20 Aug 2007
I really like this book, which is the second editition and was completely updated: You learn the alphabet in little chunks so that you are not overwhelmed by the Arabic script. The layout of the book is very clear, you have lots of excercises and listening comprehensions.
With this book you even learn how to learn - the authors show you how to learn vocabulary easily and never forget it, which I find especially helpful since my schooldays are long over!
The only downside for me personally: I purchased the book without the audio cds (since I'm a bit advanced), but if you want to be able to do all the excercises you really need them, although this was not pointed out directly. Then also there is no book for the advanced pupil (yet?), but at least the authors give you advice on how to take it from there once you've worked your way through this book.
All in all a very recommendable book for those who want to learn Arabic the fun way!
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed beginner's course, 18 Aug 2009
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I do wonder if all the other glowing reviews of this book are by users who have assiduously done this course from start to finish. First, the book comes in an attractive package with the CDs. The first six lessons do a good job of teaching the Arabic script, incl. basic instructions on handwriting. Overall, they have done a good job of teaching all the main grammar points throughout the course, yet it is marred by a number of things. Despite all the pictures, the book is basically a grammar course - not enough thought has been given to the most important, useful vocabulary a beginner might need. The verb is introduced far too late, so that the derived forms, weak verbs have to be introduce all in a rush towards the end, which is terrible from a memory perspective. The weakest part however, is the concentration on political vocabulary half-way through the course. Now I can say "minister of education", "convene a meeting", yet I barely know how to communicate. Also, I do feel galled at the quite large number of errors that have gone uncorrected despite being in the second edition. This is simply sloppiness, and rather unforgivable in a course where beginners need to rely on what is written. Finally, the course is poorly indexed and some of the grammar points could be better explained.

I am on the final lesson and I won't be too sad when this is over. I do hope they've done a better job with the second book - I want to master Arabic, and this course is not making it too easy.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 3 Feb 2008
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The best book I know of for introducing Arabic and to give the user a solid base. I went on to do a degree in Arabic after using this book. I found this book the easiest to understand and use, and I am aquainted with the whole range availabe (after having worked in one of the best language departments in London (Foyles) in its heyday). Now multimedia is around, there could be some interesting ways of teaching, such as the online schools, but this book would still be a good and practical way of learning. Activities such as actually using a pen and writing are essential and some of the multimedia based learning is not going to use that much, if at all.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good intro, but not to the spoken tongue, 1 Dec 2007
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I used this prior to undertaking my Arabic degree and it gave me a good introduction to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)its structure, grammar and vocabulary. However, it won't help you in the streets of an Arab city as no one speaks MSA as it is a very complicated language the more you get into it, even for Arabs. The spoken tongue is much simpler, has different sentence structure, easier pronunciation and often completely different words. They are, in effect completely different languages. As I say a very good course, but you need to spend time in an Arab country to pick up the spoken tongue.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clear and well laid out, 11 Sep 2007
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Ms. L. Anderson (london, UK) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this set recently having only a very little knowledge of arabic (I did a few classes about 5 months before I bought the set) and I found 'mastering arabic' very clear and easy to follow. The book progresses nicely and introduces letters and grammar bit by bit. The audio CDs really help with pronounciation and are vital. It gives exercises that help with reading, writing and speaking, which i found very helpful. It teaches Modern Standard Arabic and the book is clear that it is a starting point for beginners to gain a good basic knowledge of arabic and is not just a phrase book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 2 Jun 2009
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Caroline H (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This book is by far the best Arabic course that I have seen, and I have tried quite a few. It is fun and easy to use and understand. I will definitely be going on to book 2 once I have completed this one. Would recommend it to anyone. Whether you know the basics or not, it can be used according to your own level.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential beginers arabic book, 6 Sep 2011
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This book is nothing short of brilliant for learning the arabic language. Its excellently structured, and having known very very little arabic before reading this book i have learnt huge amounts from the couple of reads i have done. I am only on unit 2 and can read simple arabic names and any arabic words that have only the letters that i have so far been taught. This book teaches both vocabulary and how to read and write arabic. It contains fun exercises that make you practise your hand writing and make learning arabic fun. I really cant wait to get through the whole book and learn the arabic language, inshallah. I really recommend this book to anyone looking to master the arabic language.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and easy to follow, 6 Aug 2012
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RPK "RPK" (Nicosia, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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It is a well structured book starting with the basics and moving on to more complecated staff. It is full of useful exercises, tips and user friendly sketches. It helps the reader understand and discover the logic behind the arabic language. If you are studying at home on your own you definitely need the audio CDs that accompany this book, as the correct pronanciation is crucial.I suspect out of my own mistake I did not get the CDs and I am very disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well structured and presented, 20 July 2012
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Arabic is a difficult language to learn, with a new script to master. The book takes a logical approach, laying a solid foundation before getting stuck into conversational Arabic. It is also attractively presented, making for an excellent all-round package.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great beginners guide, 14 April 2009
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This book is simplistic and yet manages to capture the basics of Arabic with its user-friendly format. Would definitely recommend this to anyone who is at beginner level and wants to learn - the best thing is this is a do-it-yourself book but can equally be used as a textbook for a formal arabic class.
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