15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2009
The Usborne First Thousand Words in Arabic book is big, colourful and contains loads of pictures and words; I didn't count them but I assume 1000. It looks like a children's book but so what? It is a long time since I left school but, as a novice learning Arabic, I find it invaluable.
There are 50 pages of pictures with accompanying Arabic words and their phonetic equivalents. So, you can choose your topic- home, beach or supermarket etc- and find a variety of relevant words there along with how they sound in English. The Arabic words sometimes seem a little small for me but this might just reflect my lack of expertise in reading Arabic.
The back of the book also holds an Arabic alphabet followed by an index of the English words used with their pronunciation plus Arabic translation.
Overall, I use the book regularly, think it attractively priced and would recommend it to other beginners of all ages.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2005
I bought this for my seven year old daughter who has really enjoyed it. The book is very clear and fun to use. Any adult learning Arabic would also find this book useful. Each picture has the arabic word written underneath plus the transliteration so you can say the word even if you cannot read arabic. A great way to learn!! Reminds me of Richard Scarry's style with bold, fun pictures and words.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2009
I bought this book for my children whom I am teaching Arabic. It's not bad, the concept is great but a number of unnecessary blunders have ruined it from being an essential and worthwhile buy. To proceed, there is a number of spelling mistakes in the Arabic script, likewise marred by a more voluminous amount of wrong and confusing transliterations into the Latin script.
I wouldn't advise buying this title unless one is either:
1)a native speaker,
2)an advanced learner
3)or cannot find anything else better out there.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2008
I actually owned the english version of this book when i was a child, which helped me learn to speak my own language. When i saw this as a deal on a Dummies Guide to Arabic, i jumped at it. It's a very simple way of learning; on every page is a picture of a situation (for instance, rooms in a house) and around the edge of the pages are small pictures of each componant of that scene, and the name for it. So for instance if you were looking at a bathroom scene, around the edge would be a picture of a bath, sink, sponge, shower curtain etc. At the back of a book is an alphabet list and an index of words (useful if you can't tell what a picture is).
These books are fantastic for picking up words fast, and give clear and fun examples of grammar and verbal trends. Although as stated, it can sometimes be unclear as to what the pictures are referring to, it's not hard to either check it up at the back of the book or look the Arabic word up on the net to find the real meaning.
In all, along with the Dummies Guide to Arabic this book has served me very well, and is a pleasure to own. It's also a lovely throwback to my childhood :)
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2007
As mentioned by previous reviewers this book has much to commend it: it's very well presented, groups vocab by subject matter (an excellent way to learn) and includes the Arabic word transliterated next to the picture for those unfamiliar with the Arabic script.
However one big drawback is that, in terms of English, all that is given is the picture - the word in English isn't (understandably given space and visual considerations) thus where the picture is ambigous you aren't really sure exactly what its suppose to represent in English. The dictionary at the back doesn't help because it is organized alphabetically and starts with the English word!! For example what is shara on P29? The new learner might assume from the picture its sun or smile -I only knew this wasn't the case from previous Arabic knowledge
and not being willing to painstakingly check through each word in the dictionary at the back still dont!! Very frustrating!
Had the back of the book been arranged better (e.g.translations of each page I would have given it 5 stars)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2012
I love this book! The pages are bright and colourful and instantly recognisable if you've ever seen one in a different language (for example first thousand words in English). I like that it is just unapologetically exactly the same, without making any cultural, social or ethnic changes to the pictures. The book includes an Arabic alphabet with helpful explanations of how to pronounce the sounds. Each word in the book comes with the Arabic spelling and an English translation, so you don't have to get to grips with the alphabet before starting to learn new vocabulary.
Overall a fun and entertaining way to begin learning Arabic, particularly for children or families.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2013
As others have pointed out, this book has some flaws.
Even though every object pictured has Arabic script and with roman pronunciation, you might not know what you are trying to learn. Is it a pillow or a cushion, sheet or blanket, quilt or duvet, poster or picture or portrait? Is there even a difference in Arabic? You won't know unless you flip to the back of the book where you'll find an english/arabic dictionary and index, which is ordered by letter, not by the pages in which they appear, so have fun trying to think of all the possible English synonyms.
The book uses plurals in some cases, but you'll have to guess that from the pictures. And where the singular is used, no mention of (quite complex) pluralisation is given. This isn't unexpected, but it would be nice to have both singular and plural.
Since the last few pages of the book have both the English word and Arabic script, they seem to be of most use to an active learner, leaving no confusion over meaning, but also unfortunately making every page before that pretty useless (Amazon even previews most of these pages with its "Click to look inside!", so if you want a near complete list of words to work with, save some money and look there).
There's no mention if the book uses a particular dialect of Arabic, or if they adhere to the Modern Standard, which you might assume. Assumption is not something I like using when learning anything.
The book's use as a tester is limited as text appears all around the edges. Having pairs of images, with text and without, would have at least increased its worth once the words have been learnt.
I thought this might be an easy supplement to learning Arabic, but I can only imagine it's cynically aimed at children, who will spend umpteen years mastering the language, by which time this book, and the damage it will cause in learning the wrong meaning and/or having to re-learn for pluralization, will be long forgotten.
At best it's a pretty picture book, at worse it may actually hamper learning. "It's just a book for Children" is not an excuse when learning a language passively takes a very long time; this book can only lengthen it. If you read it with a child, and know Arabic, you may already be filling the gaps this book leaves.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2012
On the plus side, this book is fun, information packed, appealing for younger learners, and has good sets of vocabulary. My daughter likes looking at the pictures and finding things on the pages when I prompt her.
On the down side, a number of the words are offered as the local dialect version rather than the modern standard (fus-ha). If you know about modern standard Arabic, you will be able to identify these words. I'm not saying that this is a major detraction from what is a good book, but it should be made clear in a preface or introduction. If you purely use this book for learning vocab, you will therefore learn some words which are not appropriate for the item being described.
on 27 July 2013
Great book, great quality.
There are many different settings - with practically everything in the setting around the borders with the word in Arabic and in English the way it would be pronounced.
Fun way to teach children Arabic words and increase their vocabulary.
Giving 4 star as the English pronounciation as written not perfect match to how its pronounced when reading the Arabic word itself.
on 28 February 2013
I used to purchase Usborne knitting book in the past. Photos were clear, colourful and lovely. Same thing with this picture dictionary where I find it lovely as well. What is n ice is, it comes with the Arabic spelling as well, which I find very helpful. This book is not only for children but adults whom are new to Arabic would find it helpful. Shipping was fast. Thank you Amazon!