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Concise Oxford English-Arabic Dictionary of Current Usage Hardcover – 20 Jan 1983

2.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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  • Concise Oxford English-Arabic Dictionary of Current Usage
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  • Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Subsequent edition (20 Jan. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198643217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198643210
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 2.8 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The most appropriate dictionary to recommend to English speaking students for Arabic composition--in terms of clarity, a reasonably comprehensive word list, and in terms of value for expenditure. I recommend it highly to my students."--Seth Ward, Yale University
"The best reference text available for English-Arabic usage."--Karen C. Ryding, U.S. Department of State



"The most appropriate dictionary to recommend to English speaking students for Arabic composition--in terms of clarity, a reasonably comprehensive word list, and in terms of value for expenditure. I recommend it highly to my students."--Seth Ward, Yale University
"The best reference text available for English-Arabic usage."--Karen C. Ryding, U.S. Department of State


"The most appropriate dictionary to recommend to English speaking students for Arabic composition--in terms of clarity, a reasonably comprehensive word list, and in terms of value for expenditure. I recommend it highly to my students."--Seth Ward, Yale University
"The best reference text available for English-Arabic usage."--Karen C. Ryding, U.S. Department of State



"The most appropriate dictionary to recommend to English speaking students for Arabic composition--in terms of clarity, a reasonably comprehensive word list, and in terms of value for expenditure. I recommend it highly to my students."--Seth Ward, Yale University


"The best reference text available for English-Arabic usage."--Karen C. Ryding, U.S. Department of State



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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I bought this dictionary in the hope that it would supplement Hans Wehr's Arabic-English dictionary as a way to look up English words in Arabic. This book fails to be useful in a number of ways:

Firstly, the typsetting is tiny and illegible. Many Arabic characters look like they have been manually written in rather than actually typeset in a crisp font. This makes reading very difficult, especially for beginner/intermediate learners.

Secondly, there is no vocalization of the Arabic words, making it difficult to get a good feeling for the word. Though it can be argued that once you have the right word, you can look it up in Wehr to find out how to vocalize it, you would expect such an exercise to be more efficient... after all, this is a dictionary!

Thirdly, there isn't any clear organisation and cross-referencing of words. It's just basically a long list of (sometimes illegible) words. For example, looking up "Eat" will give you this big blurb, starting with "AKL" and a whole other bunch of words which the beginner would have no clue how to interpret. So then, does the Arabic word for eat just come from "AKL", or does it include the blurb afterwards?

These three issues seriously cringe any additional productivity this book might offer you. Over the time I've had it, it's served more as a paperweight than a reference.
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If you're thinking of buying this dictionary then you may well be someone like me, i.e. an English speaker who is beginning to learn Arabic, and if this is the case I think you will be disappointed.
The dictionary is simply very basic. It is an English word list with Arabic translations at the side. This means that if you come across a new Arabic word and you want to know what it means you won't be able to find out using this dictionary; you can only look up English words and find their Arabic translation. It does not include romanistations. It does not include any extra material such as a pronunciation guide, introduction to the Arabic script, verb tables, grammatical information or cultural information. There is a one page introduction in English that doesn't tell you anything useful, then the word list, and that's it.
I think this dictionary would probably be fairly useful for a native Arabic speaker with intermediate English. If this is not you then I wouldn't buy it. I bought it and I almost never use it - mainly because there are better dictionary resources freely available on the internet (just do a google search for "Arabic dictionary") that let you search for English or Arabic words.
You may think it unreasonable to expect more from a 'concise' dictionary in this price range, but go look at a concise Spanish-English dictionary - you will get a basic introduction to Spanish pronunciation, you will probably get verb tables and it will have an English-Spanish half and a Spanish-English half.
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Don't buy this dictionary if you're a beginner. You won't like it. The Arabic type is small and not everything is vowelled, making it, I imagine, frustrating if you're trying to get to grips with the language. Also, some of the definitions are given as brief sentences to explain a word's meaning, something the dictionary does to highlight the fact that there's not one word which works for all cases--a sentence you'd struggle to understand as a beginner. If you're at an intermediate level (and by that I mean able to read simple newspaper articles and put moderately complex ideas to paper) then it's a good dictionary to have around. At an intermediate level you'd be familiar enough with the Arabic script to read it (however small) and you'd know instinctively the voweling of letters where vowels aren't placed. Happily, this dictionary includes almost all broken plurals--something I've not seen in other dictionaries and it's small so you can carry it around.

This is not a perfect dictionary, it's much weaker than the Hans Wehr, but for a small dictionary it's still pretty useful. The only real alternative is one of the Mawrid dictionaries, but these don't include broken plurals and the good ones are huge (and expensive). After two years' studying Arabic full-time this is the best companion to the Hans Wehr that I've found. Recommended.
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By fay on 28 May 2014
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Reasonably priced compared to the other arabic dictionaries on sale. Very useful, has most words that you would need to look up and has example sentences inside. Only problem I have is that unlike he French dictionary Collins sell this one does not have a verb table which is a bit disappointing but nonetheless it is a good dictionary- especially for those learning gcse arabic.
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I bought this dictionary a long time ago and generally found its contents reliable. HOWEVER I used to have it as learning aid when I was teaching English to native speakers of Arabic and even they often found the Arabic font way too small and very difficult to read (is it noon? is it za? is it ra? who knows???there are no dots!!!) and were sometimes in a situation where I was trying to explain the meaning of a word (for example, that you call "A, B, C.." "letters") and when I looked up the relevant English word ("letter") they could read the Arabic word for "sheep" instead which really confused them (and me) just because one dot was missing!

I find it would be worth compromising on the size of the book and increase the Arabic font please!

EDIT: I mistakenly wrote the above review about a newer edition of the dictionary and some other users corrected me stating the issues I was referring to have been amended in subsequent version. So just don;t go for this old one!
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