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on October 9, 2009
I have looked at just about every Arabic book on the market and just returned from Jordan where I took an intensive Arabic course. This is the book series that they prefer to teach non native speakers Arabic. Having used Al-Kitaab with Maha I can say that this series is much more useful in terms of vocabulary and the scenarios are definitely more real word. The one negative for the beginner is that it is all in Arabic so it doesn't explain the grammar as you will find in Al-Kitaab. Having used both books I prefer this one, but think that an absolute beginner might get frustrated with the lack of English to explain the grammar rules.
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on January 31, 2010
I studied this book end-end along with work books with a teacher from Egypt 1 on 1. I am now completing volume 2. However, I don't recommend this book for self-study because it was not made for that. In fact, it does not teach one grammar rule specifically(literally) but by the time you complete this book you will know how to make simple sentences correctly without learning one grammar rule. In other words, you need a teacher to highlight these points. Also, this book actually prepares you for the next volume which not only teaches all the grammar you need but gives you great perspective of the Arab world. Once you are done with these two volumes you can independently study and move onto very advanced level. Again, I would recommend this only in a classroom setting. Arabic is not for the faint-hearted anyways. As one teacher said, entry into the language is very hard, but once you manage to enter then you can toy with it.
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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.
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on August 13, 2009
This book is for my husband, who is learning Arabic. He has purchased just about every book for learning Arabic, and said that this program is the best, hands down. Not for someone who is just beginnng to learn Arabic, but best for someone who has a base of knowledge of the language.
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on December 22, 2012
My two young children are progressing in their study of the Arabic language in leaps and bounds thanks to this book, being taught to them by native Arabic speakers via a Skype tutoring class online. It's very helpful. My kids were struggling in their study of the language with only their Saturday school as a tool for learning. This book used by the Skype class is great in supplementing their learning and helps very quickly inshaAllah, mashaAllah.
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on April 22, 2014
This is a perfect textbook in my opinion. There is NO English in this book. It requires a fluent teacher to get anything out of the book. I love the fact there is no English because, I feel that parallel language text books just provide a crutch for translation and don't actually force you to think in the language you are trying to learn.
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on December 10, 2013
I have only scratched the surface of this book, but am looking forward to the challenge. I have completed an arabic 101 course, and have a native speaker in the house, so feel I can do it. I read several reviews prior to purchase that complained that it was advertised as having a lexicon included, but lacked anything but Arabic in the book. had they read carefully, they would have found that the SERIES includes a lexicon, which is sold separately, and I picked up used for under $10
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on December 21, 2012
This book is well written with good logical progression. However, this is from a student who attends instructor led class. The book and CD can be better if it has English instructions/headings. A student cannot be expected to understand the exercise at teh end of the lesson if they are written in Arabic :-).
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on November 27, 2015
Other reviewers are right. The bar is high. No English (or other language). CD only runs on my PC laptop, not my phone (Android), not my Chromebook, not from flash drive on other computers...from CD only. Forget Apple. No lexicon in Vol 1. on and on. We have a committed and lively teacher at our community college and we are moving directly from 3 months of al-Kitaab (Alif-Baa, baby sitting) and hit the wall. Just starting to even get anything to run. If you survived Arabic intro, and are determined, this is the 'only' path out there. Rocky, steep, etc. A long chasm between where you are and Wehr dictionary...still. We are undaunted, but class attrition rate is >50%. Put your thinking cap on, you'll need it. See you in Cairo! and beyond...
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on March 31, 2015
This book can be very useful but with certain caveats: (1) you need a teacher and (2) you need a supplemental text that provides the rules and grammatical explanations in English (e.g.), Mastering Arabic by Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaafar is a good companion text. The book is written entirely in Arabic with no English explanation and it is not for the beginner who does not have a teacher.
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