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A Basic Course in Moroccan Arabic (Richard Slade Harrell Arabic Series) Paperback – December, 1965

ISBN-13: 978-0878400058 ISBN-10: 0878400052

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Product Details

  • Series: Richard Slade Harrell Arabic Series
  • Paperback: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press (December 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878400052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878400058
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,237,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Arabic

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book could be an excellent introduction to Moroccan Arabic, but it suffers from a few flaws. The main flaw is the author's method of transliteration (i.e. using English letters to represent Arabic letters). The method is rather confusing and not the one that is commonly used. If one did not already have a general knowledge of the Arabic language, its sounds and even some vocabulary, one would be at a loss to make sense of the transliteration (i.e. using an "z" to represent the Arabic equivalent of "j" and other oddities). However, once you've deciphered the rather odd transliteration, the book is rather useful. Even though written in 1965, the basics of the Moroccan dialect are well represented in the text, even though it might be called a more formal Moroccan dialect than the one generally heard. My suggestion to anyone wanting to learn any dialect of the Arabic language is to first learn to read and write the Arabic script. That way you don't have to waste your time learning different methods of transliteration. As it stands now, I don't know of a major text dealing with Moroccan Arabic for English speakers that uses Arabic script, so this book seems to be the best for now. I suggest getting it if you need it, but you might need a Moroccan to help you with the transliteration at the beginning. The book mentions that cassette tapes are also available that go along with the text, so they might help also.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Sosville on March 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
the format used of drills for pronunciation is boring and the subject matters of the exercises are not relevant to today's Morocco. Outdated language is used much to the hilarity of my husband's family who are educated Moroccans. Examples of sentences taught are " I gave the rifles to the judge" and "she hit the dog". It's useful for the basics and the grammer but the choice of vocabulary taught means that whilst I know how to construct a sentence, I don't have the vocab! It has inspired me to learn Moroccan and then write a book for English speakers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Renee Gagnon on January 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is very useful. Although it uses linguistic signs for pronunciation instead of Arabic signs it is still accessible. Being a teacher, I was really able to evaluate the ods used in this book. I have found the exercices easy to follow. The level of difficulty is progressive allowing you to master what you have learned previously before learning more. Being French Canadian, I would have preferred to have a Moroccan-French book. But this is the best one I have found in North America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kylie Hilali on July 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I studied this book with the MP3 audio files during my lunch breaks. The short lessons (around 5 minutes of audio, plus the reading and exercises) meant that I could do a lesson each day and feel like I was getting somewhere.

This book teaches the language from an academic, grammar-based standpoint, not the situation-based lessons you will find in most language courses written for tourists. As others have mentioned, some of the vocabulary is outdated, it does not use the Arabic alphabet, and explains things in grammatical terms that I am not familiar with (I'm no linguist). However, I still found it usable since each lesson made a grammatical point, explained it, and showed several examples on the audio, so I picked it up by example.

There does not appear to be any other detailed resource for learning Moroccan Arabic. There are travel phrasebooks and their audio equivalent, that's about it. That fact alone makes this course worth the 4 stars I gave it.

I found it rewarding to work through this book, and check in on the phrasebooks from time to time, to see if the phrases made more sense (and they did!). Also by combining the practical vocabulary found in the phrase books with the sentence structures in this book, I can say a whole lot more than I find in either book.

There is a section of conversations in the back, for which there is no audio. I wish there was audio available for those, as that would make that section more useful.

If you are serious about learning Moroccan Arabic and understanding it, I recommend this book. If you want to quickly learn some conversational skills because you are planning a visit, this is not the book for you. It would be easier to learn some French, and you would be understood equally well.
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