Total Arabic (Learn Arabic with the Michel Thomas Method) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"The nearest thing to painless learning" (The Times)
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Guaranteed success, incredible progress and absolute confidence in Arabic.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Lessons are interesting and more engaging than the norm as you are listening to conversations between the teachers and real students. The students follow exactly the same course as you, so you learn at a similar rate. You also have the benefit of repeating each CD several times before you move on to the next, so you end up ahead of the students slightly and picking up on their mistakes, which makes it more engaging.
If you want an easy to follow course that is suitable for complete beginners and doesn't rely on simply listen, repeat, remember then this is for you.
What I've been more disappointed by was the fact that the first couple of CDs were the basic course I'd already heard from the library and so the new content really did not go as far as I would have liked. Effectively it stops at a brief introduction to verbs (this is not as bad as it sounds as there are a lot of basic sentences you can create without actually declining and verbs because they use a slightly different speech form). It is a useful way to get some straightforward spoken Arabic and commonly used constructions and sentences and I find the way the material is presented is largely pretty good. So, I have learnt a fair bit from this and it has helped me to progress and probably helped me to persist in other efforts as it is certainly a way to feel that you are making some progress quite quickly.
The lack of an Arabic script transcription makes it much harder to integrate with other written resources which tend to use MSA (modern standard Arabic) and harder to share with other learners if they're not actively listening to the CDs - it doesn't pretend to be a written course and that's fine, but since it doesn't actually contain a huge content, then to have it written up in Arabic wouldn't be a big deal and would to my mind make it a more flexible and useful resource. There is some stuff briefly written down, it's just all in transliteration with no Arabic script.
It turns out that if you want to go further in this approach you have to by "perfect" Arabic. Well, to be perfectly honest I don't think this one was worth the money as for me it just didn't go far enough, so I don't feel like paying out more...
Here's roughly what you get to learn (I'd have liked to see this before I bought!) - all in sentences with attendant bits of vocabulary.
in the following, as well as "I", the forms for you, (s)he, we and they are also covered...
Yes, No, please, thank you, today, tomorrow, May I have?
How to form the possessive, so asking and giving your name and questioning about various things.
I'm tired, thirsty, happy, busy, wanting, coming, going, seeing, knowing, having, understanding.
how to negate all of the above, telling the time, the questions where, who and when, conjunctions and and because.
shop, house, someone/anyone, something/anything, nothing, everything, office, bank, hotel, taxi, doctor, manager, Mum, Dad, brother, sister, son, daughter, children, school, book, teacher, water, coffee, tea, market, restaurant, near, egypt
In the last CD they get a wee bit into the verbs to drink, to go and to understand with a construction including "necessary".
In fact it seems this "total" Arabic course is a rename of what they used to call "foundation" Arabic (which makes a lot more sense) and they have a free pdf of the material covered in the old course here, which is the same as this one, so if you want to check it out before you buy, take a look: http://www.michelthomas.com/assets/downloads/FOUNDATION%20ARABIC.pdf
I'll continue in my attempts to learn, but pursuing other routes for the time being rather than spending more on this one - I guess if the perfect Arabic edition had also been included I'd have been happier (not that I know it's content) although it still wouldn't cover the Arabic script issue.
I've been intending to learn Arabic for a long time, but only began in Oct 2014 by trying an adult education class. Unfortunately the teacher was v poorly organised and it was a frustrating experience for me and most of my class mates. The positive outcome being that we tried to work together pooling info on resources and trying to find better was to learn. Someone got the beginner Arabic Michel Thomas from the library and it was definitely more accessible than our lessons for a total beginner. I'm trying to learn MSA for reading and writing alongside any widely spoken street dialect. Arabic pod is a useful free resource to start off with and it turned out that learning the script through printing off some online materials and watching youtube videos was more effective than our class teacher, who appeared to have expected us to magically know the whole alphabet after one lesson introducing four letters...
I've also found an a very helpful repository of Egyptian / MSA Arabic here http://arabic.desert-sky.net/index.html
This must be made clear before buying this!
I bought it and listened to all of it, then went into my arabic class knowing the wrong languages.
This is Egyptian dialect not Modern Standard Arabic, don't be fooled by the cover.
The concept is so simple and my knowledge of Arabic is really enhanced by this course.
The teaching is dealt with in an easily understood interaction between Jane Wightwick, her students and an Arabic speaker. The little words and connecting words are easily explained and retained. Straight away you are repeating common sentences which build up into everyday conversations.
I am looking forward to my next visit to Egypt.
I have already ordered the Perfect Arabic because this is so good.
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