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Mastering Arabic 1 (Palgrave Master Series (Languages)) Paperback – 19 Oct 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition edition (19 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230013104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230013100
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.1 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review


 
"The new edition of Mastering Arabic is particularly exciting. The first edition has long been an oasis in a dry landscape. The quirky cartoons, the straightforward explanations and the clear layout have been very good reasons for teachers to go back to it continually as their textbook of choice... this new edition has confirmed Mastering Arabic's status as the most suitable book for beginners. It is ideal for anyone who wants to offer an enjoyable course that will take their students from zero to lower intermediate level." - Haroon Shirwani, Independent Schools Modern Language Association Newsletter
 
"It is so refreshing to see a language series so well thought-out, which goes really in-depth yet at the same time is easy and enjoyable to follow. I tried several arabic learning materials before finding this one, and it is by far the best on the market!" - Mark Trevarton

About the Author

JANE WIGHTWICK and MAHMOUD GAAFAR run their own publishing company and are the authors of several successful Arabic titles including a new title in the Routledge Colloquial series. Through their company they attend many conferences and exhibitions and also visit mosque schools and shops, and community colleges to promote their titles.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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For anyone who wants to learn to understand, speak and/or write Arabic, I would happily say this Book+CD pack is the best package you could buy.

Brilliantly explained in simple style with the goal to get you to express simple ideas, needs and wants without compromising on understanding the grammar. The exercise are so well embedded with the text that you will actually enjoy doing them. The CDs supplied will augment the learning process. They contain, the vocals to the conversations in the book and pronunciations to words - the narrators are really good and bring the scenarios to life.

Ofcourse, to succeed one will need to have the commitment as with anything. But this book is probably the best way to start - it will give you the confidence to build on your Arabic skills. After finishing the book, if you want to be able to understand Arabic writing properly, or watch Arabic television you will definitely need advanced Arabic text books together with plenty of practice in reading and understanding (buying children's Arabic books are a good idea), those in an Arabic speaking country or among Arabic speakers will have an extra advantage of practicing speaking. Using children's Arabic TV channels will help.

Some people, especially non-Arab Muslims can read Arabic (but not understand it) as they learned to recite the Qur'an when young...this book is a good starting point for them to learn to understand the Arabic language if they are interested in understanding the Qur'an in the Arabic language. And for those with absolutely zero knowledge of Arabic, who wish to start learning it for the first time for whatever reasons, its great for them as it assumes zero knowledge and starts right from the Arabic letters and pronunciations.
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