Teach Yourself Arabic (Teach Yourself Languages) (Arabic) Paperback – 31 Oct 2003
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The Arabic taught in this course is the standard written language of more than 150 million inhabitants of the Arab states, ranging from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east. The language in this course is based on the kind of material seen in Arabic newspapers and magazines or heard on radio and television news broadcasts. In modern everyday life in the Arab countries, so-called vernacular or dialect Arabic has supplanted Standard Arabic for spoken communication, but all these dialects derive from the parent root. If you have a grounding in Standard Arabic it should be easier to learn the modern local dialects which are based on it. The course begins with a guide to Arabic script and throughout the book there is an English transliteration (English letters) to help you with reading and pronunciation. The 18 thematically written units are carefully graded and present new language via dialogues, which are also recored. These are followed by questions and exercises to help you check your progress. The new vocabulary is given in both Arabic script and in transliteration.In addition to clear and full explanations of new grammar, you should find cultural tips which highlight some fo the social and cultural aspects of life in the Arab world and which you should find useful on any trip. At the end of the coursebook there is a glossary of grammar terms, a grammar summary of the main structures of the Arabic language, a set of verb tables and reference sections of Arabic numerals and plurals. Finally there are Arabic-English and English-Arabic glossaries so you can look up words alphabetically and a grammar index to help yo look up specific points.
Top customer reviews
This book is an excellent one to have as part of your collection, if you are serious about learning Arabic. It is one of the best books available, especially for self-study. This is because the contents are well structured and the student is never expected to know anything that has not been covered already, which sets it apart from many other popular books, including the Al Kitaab series (Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya). One reviewer says that the transliteration is a distraction. Maybe, but there is Arabic script throughout and my own experience is that with time one soon learns to ignore the transliteration, but some colleagues of mine who do not intend to learn the Arabic script like having the transliteration. Another reviewer says that there is not enough vocabulary in this book. It has 26 pages of double column dictionary in the back, 13 of Arabic to English and 13 of English to Arabic. A serious student will always need a good dictionary, one for each direction. The best I have found so far are Hans Wehr for Arabic-English, and the Oxford English to Arabic.
If you are serious about learning the language then I recommend getting the CDs that go with this book. Amazon lists another item which is this book together with the CDs.
I am not a linguist, but I am succeeding in learning to read and write Arabic and this book is one of my main resources, together with its accompanying CD. Other books I find valuable are: Schulz et.al _Standard Arabic_, _Teach Yourself Gulf Arabic_, Dasouqi _Arabic Reading, Writing and Speaking_, the Cambridge _Elementary Modern Standard Arabic_, the Asterix and Obelix cartoon books in Arabic, Ladybird books in Arabic, the iPhone app from Declan Software _Arabic Flash Cards_, the iStudy iPhone app "Arabic Alphabet", and Badawi et al _Modern Written Arabic_, together with the audio tapes wherever they exist and flash cards showing verb declensions by Dr. Imran H Alawiye _Gateway to Arabic_. I also use the two dictionaries listed above, together with Google Translate and some of the iPhone app dictionaries.
I also believe that this book is exceptionally good because I gave a copy to an employee of mine at the start of a flight from London to Dubai, and by the time we landed she was speaking a few phrases of Arabic. The employee is a professional linguist, but even so, not bad from a standing start.
Overall, this is one of the very best books you can buy for learning Arabic, based on my experience of trying over twenty of the main contenders.
(And if Amazon had not stripped it out, I would have finished this review by typing in Arabic atakallam araby, fil mish-mish.) Good luck - it's a wonderful language!
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One serious disadvantage is limited number of words.
No support website so no for videos, printables, etc
i would recommend however the mastering arabic series however which has really helped me re-find my passion for learning arabic.
some of the print is very small aswell (the arabic letters) and when your trying to learn they need to be bigger and clearer.
I learnt alot more of the basics from youtube videos.
I'd try something else if your a total beginner like me, I might come back to this book after I've learnt more elsewhere and see if it's any use then.
If you really want to learn Arabic it shouldn't be your main source. I wouldn't dream of teaching an Arabic speaker about English without teaching them ABC. As the book is transliterated into our alphabet as you progress I found the transliteration confusing. I started again and learnt to read and write Arabic and now find it easier to recognise words and say them. In the long run the transliteration becomes a stumbling block and it is hard to progress. However in the short term its ok.
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