Books to study Arabic!

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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby shprakh » 2011-08-11, 8:40

Hugo: Arabic in Three Months
Spoken Arabic. Levantine, I guess. No script, no dialogues, but I guess it's better than nothing for a dialect course.

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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby shprakh » 2011-08-11, 15:40

Hugo: Arabic in Three Months does have dialogues. My mistake.

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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby Meera » 2011-08-11, 19:20

Where can I get the hugo course? Its for Levantine/Lebanese?
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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby shprakh » 2011-08-11, 19:39

Salam, Meera.
Well, the author is from Jordan, so I guess it's Urban Palestinean Arabic, which it's considered Levantine, right? I don't know much about this.

I'll send you a PM.

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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby Meera » 2011-08-11, 19:55

Yes it is Levantine :)

Thanks for the PM.
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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby Ser » 2011-08-12, 2:29

Shadad wrote:Hugo: Arabic in Three Months
Spoken Arabic. Levantine, I guess. No script, no dialogues, but I guess it's better than nothing for a dialect course.
There's quite a number of books of better quality for Levantine dialects than this book you mention, but I've no intention to make a comprehensive list of them...

Mark Cowell's A Reference Grammar of Syrian Arabic with audio CD (based on the dialect of Damascus) is outstanding for its comprehensiveness and professionality though. You can read its Google Books preview here, though I haven't checked how much of the book is available.
Last edited by Ser on 2011-08-15, 3:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby Meera » 2011-08-13, 17:54

Serafín wrote:
Shadad wrote:Hugo: Arabic in Three Months
Spoken Arabic. Levantine, I guess. No script, no dialogues, but I guess it's better than nothing for a dialect course.
There's quite a number of books of better quality for Levantine dialects than this book you mention, but I've no intention to make a comprehensive list of them...

Mark Cowell's A Refernce Grammar of Syrian Arabic with audio CD (based on the dialect of Damascus) is outstanding for its comprehensiveness and professionality though. You can read its Google Books preview here, though I haven't checked how much of the book is available.


Is Syrian multi-intelligle with Lebanese?
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Re: Arabic learning resources

Postby Ser » 2011-08-13, 19:24

Meera wrote:Is Syrian multi-intelligle with Lebanese?
As we've discussed before, mutual intelligibility isn't a yes/no matter but rather a gradient. Generally speaking the more in contact two dialects are the more mutually intelligible they are, and as far as Damascus and Beirut Arabic go, they're quite intelligible. :)

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Books to study Arabic!

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-08-14, 9:23

السلام عليكم,

So here we gonna share our book tips! I'll start with mine:

Dictionary of Modern written Arabic: Arabic-English
by Hans Wehr and J.M. Cowan

The best dictionary available! The book you absolutely need to have if you only buy one! Although i find the Arabic-Dutch and Dutch-Arabic dictionaries from Nijmegen better when it comes to Modern Arabic.

Dictionaire Arabe-Français
by A. De Biberstein Kazimirski

If you wanna specialise in Classical Arabic, i have it on my pc and could send it to you, though it's in a pdf-file and not easy-accessible

Arabic-English Lexicon
by Edward William Lane

If you wanna specialise in Classical Arabic, i have it on my pc and could send it to you, though it's in a pdf-file and not easy-accessible

A Student Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic
by Eckehard Schulz

The best basic grammar for Modern Standard Arabic in my eyes

A Grammar of the Arabic language
by William Wright

A good grammar when it comes to classical grammar, although the remarks of and comparisons with all other semitic languages sometimes drove me crazy.

L'arabe tout de suite
by Bissane Tabriz-Hubert

Only good to have some basic sentences, as a sort of phrase book

Landmarks in Linguistic Thought III, The Arabic Linguistic Tradition
by Kees Versteegh and C.H.M. Versteegh

A general and easy-read introduction to Arabic linguistics

The Arabic Language
by Kees Versteegh

Extensive and detailed introduction into Arabic linguistics

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Re: Books to study Arabic!

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-08-14, 9:32

الأيام
طه حسين

Great novel of the famous Egyptian author! I think it's accessible for basic-intermediate students.

عمارة يعقوبيان
علاء الأسواني

Another great novel by a famous Egyptian author! It's turned into a movie with the same title and also translated into a lot of foreign languages. It's also easy to read, though there are some Egyptian colloquial sentences in it.

الخبز الحافي
محمد شكري

A great and controversial novel by a Moroccan author! It's autobiographical and translated from English into Arabic. There are some very vulgar scenes in it and there's some influence from the Moroccan colloquial.

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Re: Books to study Arabic!

Postby Ser » 2011-08-14, 18:40

First I should mention layla_n's list of books at her website:
http://arabic.desert-sky.net/faq.html

In the "Learning Arabic" section, click on the blue text reading "What are some good books in Arabic I could read to practice?" and "I want to learn Arabic on my own. What are the best textbooks to use?".

Some comments on her reviews:
layla_n wrote:I recommend Karin Ryding's A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic; it's clear and concise, but still quite thorough (and relatively cheap too)
I couldn't agree any more on both points. If you need a good reference for verbal conjugations in particular, don't look any further (though the books deals with a lot more than verbal morphology).
Haywood's A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language is supposedly very stilted and dry, but an excellent reference with clear, thorough explanations of grammar.
An interesting thing about Haywood and Nahmad's grammar is that it works more like a textbook than a reference grammar. I had never seen a reference grammar with vocabulary lists and exercises before, and this goes on all the way to the end, finishing with several texts for you to read. It even includes a glossary.
Modern Written Arabic: A Comprehensive Grammar by Adrian Gully, unlike Haywood, focuses on modern standard Arabic without including the classical variety, and is also very thorough (albeit littered with typos).
This is, out of the many books I've consulted, by far the best for the modern written language. Very comprehensive.

"Littered with typos" is an understatement though. The typos layla_n refers to are mostly in the Arabic script of the examples; I have the theory they originally planned to use no Arabic script, but it was added at the last minute by a student they hired in a single afternoon. Not joking, I haven't made a proper formal calculation with a sample, but subjectively speaking there's about 3 typos every 5 pages (though I've been able to spot 3 typos in a single page). Fortunately, all examples are provided with a romanization, and this has much fewer typos (as I said, I believe this is how the examples were meant to be shown in only).

I wish they published a new edition with all typos corrected so I could fully recommend it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Hannahanneke's books:
Hannahanneke wrote:Dictionary of Modern written Arabic: Arabic-English
by Hans Wehr and J.M. Cowan
The best dictionary available! The book you absolutely need to have if you only buy one! Although i find the Arabic-Dutch and Dutch-Arabic dictionaries from Nijmegen better when it comes to Modern Arabic.
The Hans Wehr is good but beware 1. the latest Arabic-English edition, the 4th one, was published in 1979 so many concepts from the past 30 years are missing, especially technology; and 2. it's Arabic -> English only.
A Student Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic
by Eckehard Schulz

The best basic grammar for Modern Standard Arabic in my eyes
Wow, Cambridge produced a book of its Student Grammar series for MSA? Why wasn't I informed? :P I'll check it out later...
A Grammar of the Arabic language
by William Wright

A good grammar when it comes to classical grammar, although the remarks of and comparisons with all other semitic languages sometimes drove me crazy.
I found his literal translations of Arabic grammatical terminology into Latin really interesting though. :P

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Re: Books to study Arabic!

Postby Meera » 2011-08-15, 5:05

My favorite Arabic book is Ultimate Arabic
http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Arabic-B ... 259&sr=8-2
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Re: Books to study Arabic!

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-08-15, 12:19

Serafín wrote:
Haywood's A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language is supposedly very stilted and dry, but an excellent reference with clear, thorough explanations of grammar.
An interesting thing about Haywood and Nahmad's grammar is that it works more like a textbook than a reference grammar. I had never seen a reference grammar with vocabulary lists and exercises before, and this goes on all the way to the end, finishing with several texts for you to read. It even includes a glossary.
Modern Written Arabic: A Comprehensive Grammar by Adrian Gully, unlike Haywood, focuses on modern standard Arabic without including the classical variety, and is also very thorough (albeit littered with typos).
This is, out of the many books I've consulted, by far the best for the modern written language. Very comprehensive.

A Student Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic
by Eckehard Schulz

The best basic grammar for Modern Standard Arabic in my eyes
Wow, Cambridge produced a book of its Student Grammar series for MSA? Why wasn't I informed? :P I'll check it out later...


Serafin: Would you recommend one of these 2 grammars for the exercices? Or do you believe it's not worth it?

I love the student grammar, 'cause it contains almost everything, very shortly and clearly explained and with some examples. There are no exercices and no texts in it.

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Re: Books to study Arabic!

Postby Ser » 2011-08-16, 3:07

Hannahanneke wrote:Serafin: Would you recommend one of these 2 grammars for the exercices? Or do you believe it's not worth it?
:?: Only one of the two books has exercises: Haywood and Nahmad's.

Yeah I believe you'll like it. Beware its Arabic is a bit classicizing (if you're into mostly common vocabulary in modern written Arabic, hey, it even includes a discussion of Arabic punctuation across centuries :P ) but as a grammar textbook it does a good job. The information is somewhat scattered though (finer details of the topics that were first dealt with are continuously given throughout the following chapters, instead of presenting them altogether), so if you were looking for a reference grammar I'd rather say you should get El Badawi et al.'s (if you can pardon all the freaking typos, that is......).

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Re: Books to study Arabic!

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-08-17, 18:47

@Serafin: Thanks a lot for your comment! I think i should try to get it somewhere! :) It's probably a good (& new) way to repeat all the grammar.

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Re: Books to study Arabic!

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-05, 7:25

Old thread, I know, but I just thought maybe I'd mention my own favorite book so far for studying Arabic (MSA): Mastering Arabic by Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar. :)


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