Top critical review
14 of 18 people found this helpful
Completely unusable as language instruction and described erroneously
on January 26, 2010
I was eager to receive this product because I've been studying Modern Standard Arabic for a year and felt that I needed some supplementary materials to build a more practical vocabulary than the one presented in Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya volume 1 (which is a different "Al-Kitaab" than this series, obviously). According to the description of the product, this should have met my needs perfectly. The only problem is that the actual product doesn't REMOTELY resemble what the product description advertises.
First of all, the only English in this book is on the back cover and on the publisher's page, so forget about learning any grammar. Let me repeat that--there is NOT ONE WORD OF ENGLISH anywhere in this book except on the back cover and on the inside front page, telling me what year it was published. Talk about deceptive! Instead of explaining concepts and giving vocabulary in words, they offer crudely drawn color illustrations, but many of them are unidentifiable or completely imprecise. (A wooden piece of furniture that could either be a desk or a dresser; a fist with an index finger pointing up--meaning the number one? finger? up?). The description promises a "full glossary of vocabulary items at the end of each volume (with meanings in both English and French)" but the book doesn't include it. It's simply not there--there is not a single word of English instruction anywhere in this book, and not a single word of French.
The description says that "A CD accompanies Volume 1" so I had expected to be able to import MP3 files to my ipod for use away from my computer. In fact, it doesn't come with a CD--it comes with a CD-ROM that only works with Windows and not Mac. When I saw that the book included no English instruction or glossary, I hoped that those things would be included in the CD-ROM and that the crude pictures that seemed to constitute the majority of the book would be explained in the CD-ROM presentation. No such luck--I opened it up and again found that there was not a single word of English to provide instruction or guidance about how to use the product.
This book is totally useless to me. I have a year's worth of Arabic vocabulary, but I don't know the words I need to read the ten solid pages of Arabic text that introduces this book (if I did, why would I be buying it in the first place???). I can't imagine how this book could possibly be of any use to me at all. Utter disappointment and a total waste of money.