- Series: Teach Yourself Books
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 11, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0844236977
- ISBN-13: 978-0844236971
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,351,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Teach Yourself Maltese Complete Course (Teach Yourself Books) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Exercise 1, for instance, has a list of approximately a dozen of Maltese words and tells you to memorize them and then use the with the definite article. No phrases or sentences. And that's how it goes through the entire book. THIS BOOK IS NOT A MANUAL OF THE MALTESE LANGUAGE, IT IS JUST A REFERENCE GRAMMAR (WITHOUT ANY VOCABULARY) FOR THOSE WHO KNOW SOME ARABIC.
With her there to sound the words, it helps, but I wish the book was more user friendly. hahaha.
The vowel length is not explained well, the author claims that all vowels are long when followed by one consonant and carry the stress. Yet the book has examples that contradict this rule, like bahar, nefah, wasa', xita. Clearly the length is not predictable from the written form, many words from Arabic are counterexamples to this rule. That is why the Maltese dictionary and phrasebook by Falzon has the pronunciation for every word. But Aquilina's textbook does not.
Also his textbook has no dictionary. But at least it has answers to the exercises.
The author claims Maltese is easier than Arabic, but I doubt it. Maltese has unpredictable comparative of adjectives, the dual is more difficult, there is the assimilation of t, and complex rules for adding object suffixes to verbs.
This book is useful to linguists like me, but not very good for learning the language.
It is a good book for linguists or intellectual reference but brutally unintelligble for the beginner. There is no conversational usage at all, just grammar, grammar, and more dry grammar. Granted the language is fairly complex, but a much better job could be done with explaining that complexity (look at Pollard's "Teach Yourself Turkish" for an excellent example of how to succesfully present a complex language with ease and simplicity)
The verbal description is thorough but at the same time fairly useless as most verb examples are given in the third-person singular ("he...") form.
The book could do with an English-Maltese / Maltese-English vocabulary at the back, as words are introduced during text - which is beyond aggrivating to the learner if you're trying to find the meaning of the word "tmintax" and never recall seeing it used before in an earlier excercise.
Sadly, this is probably one of the few decent works on the Maltese language available.
For learning to speak Maltese, see "Beginning Maltese," also listed on this site.