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Elementary Modern Standard Arabic: Volume 1, Pronunciation and Writing; Lessons 1-30 (Elementary Modern Standard Arabic, Lessons 1-30) Reprint Edition

49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521272957
ISBN-10: 0521272955
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Elementary Modern Standard Arabic: Volume 1, Pronunciation and Writing; Lessons 1-30 (Elementary Modern Standard Arabic, Lessons 1-30) + Elementary Modern Standard Arabic: Volume 2, Lessons 31-45; Appendices (Elementary Modern Standard Arabic, Lessons 31-45) + Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

The foremost introduction for the English-speaking student to the active written language of the contemporary Arab world is designed for the beginning student as well. It is written by a team of Arabic language teachers consisting of native and non-native speakers.
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Product Details

  • Series: Elementary Modern Standard Arabic, Lessons 1-30 (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 658 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (April 29, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521272955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521272957
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Khalid Ikram on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Comparing this book with others of its genre, I must say that it has stood the test of time rather well. The lessons are written clearly, and are not difficult to follow on one's own. They are comprehensive, and cover as much grammar as is needed to go to quite a high level. The book can also serve as a reference volume. The accompanying tapes (which you should absolutely buy) give hours of examples of pronounciation and drill.
The downside is that the book is long. (However, remember the old saying that, "Short writing makes for long reading.") Its vocabulary is not particularly helpful for general conversation. And it is not produced in a "slick" manner; specifically, its appearance is of typed rather than printed pages, and it is devoid of the graphics that many present day students like.
My conclusion is that if you want a solid coverage of the grammar of Modern Standard Arabic written in an easy paced manner, and have the patience to "eat the elephant a bite at a time," this book will serve you well. If you are looking for something that will help you with conversational Arabic, or one that will keep you entertained while you are learning, then this is not the right book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Plamen Nikolov on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been studying Arabic for 5 years now. When I first started, I used this book. Subsequently, I used the Georgetown Al-Kitab and the OSU study materials. Based on my experience with all these beginning books, I have been able to form an opinion of "Elementary Modern Standard Arabic".
The advantages of the book are its easy structure, grammar emphasis and easy-to-understand explanations. The book covers 30 chapters/lessons. Each one of them is structured very rigidly: grammar points, new grammar sets and reading comprehension with new words from the same lesson. I find this structure of each lesson very conducive to learning and reinforcing what the student learns.
The disadvantage of the book is its lack of rich vocabulary, its special focus in choice of texts for the lessons. In addition, the lack of graphics, pictures, etc makes it somewhat unengaging compared to other language books.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Akard on March 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Arabic has the reputation of being one of the most difficult languages in the world, and this book is one of the reasons. It is accurate, authoritative, and widely-used, but is is also very large, highly-technical, and devoid of visual stimulation. Students can (and do) spend months pouring over this material, only to be dismayed at how little of the book they have completed. In addition, the recorded material, on which many of the exercises are based, is difficult to obtain and prohibitively-priced. The book is useful as a last resort, but fortunately there are now many other better texts available.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MOHAMED A ALSIADI on May 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This textbook is designed to cover the first year of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic. It will teach students to read, speak, and write Arabic. The text also provides information about the geography of the Arab world, prominent characters in history, festivities in Arab culture, the media, daily life, and the family. Exercises in comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and writing attend to both form and meaning and develop functional abilities and knowledge about the Arabic sound, writing, and language systems. The book needs an updating and it will be an excellent book. MOHAMED A ALSIADI,The State University of New jersey,RUTGERS .
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is for serious students of Arabic, not for the casual tourist who needs to learn how to ask for the restroom in Beirut or where the local nightspots are in Cairo. The emphasis is on *Standard* Arabic, which is closer to the formal language found in the Qur'an, not on spoken, informal use. By the time you finish this book, not only will you be well on your way to diagramming Arabic sentences in your sleep (I'm dreaming in Arabic now and correcting my homework when I wake up), but you'll learn more about English grammar than you ever knew existed. The book does have a few minor flaws in its layout, such as introducing an occasional grammatical concept several chapters ahead of its explanation, but the rewards far outweigh the little inconvenience when you realize you know *why* a sentence is constructed a certain way.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Q. Ziegler on April 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a very old standard bearer for teaching of Arabic. It is very detailed and has very extensive support tapes, which are essential for rigorous and effective language study.
However, why oh why has the type in this book not been updated? The text appears much as it must have looked when originally published during the Eisenhower administration? This is an excellent text book that should have been revised several times, using more up-to-date fonts, pictures and graphics. I cannot understand why this excellent tool for teaching Arabic has remained mummified for so long.
This work is solid and a testimony to some very hard work, but it could be so much better. When there is STILL an absence of thorough Arabic texts out there, this one demands improvement.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By relicpro on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
... this book is kind of like Churchill's democracy. It's the worst Arabic textbook out there, except all those other ones.

Some of the grammar rules it states are misleading. The vocabulary in the book is in fairly impractical, unless you are going to be spending a lot of time in the office of the director, and on top of that, the font is very bad and at times illegible, which is akin to salt in the wounds of someone not familiar with the alefabet. Out of the 10 or so foreign language textbooks I've used, this is by far the worst foreign language textbook I've ever encountered. On the plus side, it's (sadly) the best one for Arabic out there.
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Elementary Modern Standard Arabic: Volume 1, Pronunciation and Writing; Lessons 1-30 (Elementary Modern Standard Arabic, Lessons 1-30)
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