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on 30 March 2008
I always try to use Dummy guides for subjects i know nothing about. After using them to learn VB6 and C# for work, i decided to fulfil a life long aim and start to learn Arabic. This guide is extremely easy to read and is gentle in the way it introduces you to the language. As the previous review states, there is very little written Arabic text here, which is why i bought a seperate book 'First Thousand Words in Arabic' (which was shown as a book deal) to compliment what i was learning verbally.

This book is definately useful for those who have no knowledge whatsoever, but for those who know some Arabic already it may prove too basic.

In all i enjoy this book (I'm still using it), and would recommend this and any Dummies Guide to those wishing to start out on a totally new subject.
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on 2 May 2007
Arabic for Dummies by Amine Bouchentouf is an excellent resource for anyone starting to learn how to speak Modern Standard Arabic. The text is straight-forward and the vocabulary included in the book is very useful. The layout of the book is also very good, as it is very step-by-step, though you are able to dive into any section and begin learning this beautiful language.

The dialogues on CD are useful for helping you to get your tongue around some of the strange sounds in the arabic language, and there are plenty of tables showing verb conjugation at the back of the book to help with some of, though not all, of the arabic verbs.

The dictionary at the back of the book is a useful compiilation of the words used in the book, though I recommend anyone to purchase a proper English - Arabic/ Arabic - English dictionary, for further reference.

My biggest problem with this book is the exclusion of the arabic script (apart from a small mention of the different letters at the start). This is both good and bad - those wanting to learn just to speak arabic will do fine with using this book, whereas those wanting to be able to read the script will have to learn to write arabic using another source, such as a dictionary, because the author failed to mention that each letter has different forms dependent upon where the letter falls in the word.

There is also a tranlation erorr on page 251 in the dialogue. Where it says "marHaba 'ilaa al-maghrib" this does not translate to "step forward please" it means "welcome to Morocco".

Overall, a good resource for learning Modern Standard Arabic, though not perfect and far from recommended for those wanting to learn arabic script.
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on 8 March 2010
This book is a good introduction to spoken Arabic. It covers the basics like grammar, asking for food, shopping, travel and emergencies. It gives the Arabic (in English alphabet) then the phonetics which is really handy.
It comes with a CD so you can listen to spoken Arabic which is really good for the pronunciation.
No written Arabic but it is sold as a guide to start speaking Arabic which it does do!!
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on 10 August 2014
The book is okay. I kinda skipped through the first pages because I already knew how to read and the basics, but If you don't know any Arabic whatsoever I would NOT recommend this version for absolute beginners. The words are written with Latin letters in a way that makes them impossible to pronounce correctly and the pronunciation part of the Latin letters is even worse. I sometimes have to Google the words just so I can pronounce them correctly. There are also a lot of misspells and wrong use of words. The audio in the CD sometimes uses other words than written in the book.
I instantly regretted buying this version. If you can read a little Arabic BUY THE NEWER version (2nd edition). It is written partly with Arabic letters, making it easier to practice the reading while learning. Moreover the "latinization" of the Arabic words are also more correctly written, so you actually have the opportunity to pronounce the words perfectly. I have had a glance at the newer version and it seems like the author is using some better words for of the translations. Therefore the two versions are a bit different from each other.

However the book is not entirely hopeless. It is very simple, and gives you a lot of useful grammatical tables and useful sentences. It has some great explanations of the Arabic culture, and it is not boring at all. I still use it to learn and I have learned a great deal from it. It is also categorized into different topics with minimal grammar making it more fun to learn. But be sure you pick the right version because a returning/trading it CAN be expensive.
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on 25 August 2012
I knew this was not going to be as simple as it sounds - "learn some Arabic" - but the book does make it easier to follow. The book containes full help on pronunciation and how to actually SAY the words - very helpful.
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on 26 April 2013
Trying to learn Arabic by reading transliterations makes a difficult task twice as hard. I found the explanations incomplete and confusing. Unless you are studying with an Arabic speaker I would recommend you avoid this one.
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on 29 March 2013
I ordered the kindle version because I was already overseas but this version is not very helpful so haven't read much of the book, what I have read though is well laid out and easy to understand.
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on 13 March 2013
This book is not convenient to use on the Kindle. The content is good but cross-referencing is difficult and the vocabulary lists are not easy to read.
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on 2 June 2013
No audio files supplied on Kindle. Book is quite good, but missing the CD or audio files on Kindle making it fairly redundant.
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on 19 April 2013
I'm just starting to learn Arabic using an online course which is great but I felt I needed something to answer some of the grammatical questions I had. This book has been a great reference for me just starting out in the language and has really helped firm up the learning I'm doing online.
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