Arabic Books

A Week in the Middle East - Arabic Course Books by Pragnell
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A Week in the Middle East

254 pages      ISBN 0-9544606-2-6 2003      Book £16.95      Set of CDs £16.95

First published in 1984 by Lund Humphries as a dual-language reader featuring articles covering the main areas of media Arabic, this 2003 updated edition includes sets of exercises not only covering these original articles but also introducing more recent materials.

As well as university students, this edition may interest those wishing to familiarise themselves with media Arabic. A sound knowledge of the grammar and basic vocabulary of Modern Standard Arabic is assumed. The aim of this reader is to introduce and consolidate by subsequent repetition the next thousand or so lexical items commonly found in newspaper texts, radio and television commentaries, as well as in general economic and scientific texts.

The core articles cover the three main areas of economics, politics and a miscellany featuring weather, natural disasters, space, technology, medicine, the environment, sport, human interest and cultural affairs.

Yousef Tayeeb, a Saudi news reader, made a recording of all the cores articles and is available on a set of CDs to accompany the book.

A Week in the Middle East can be used together with Media Arabic by Julia Ashtiani, published by Edinburgh University Press, 1993, and Media Arabic A course book for Reading Arabic News by Alaa Elgibali and Nevenka Korica, published by The American University in Cairo Press, 2007.

The Arab News - Learn Arabic with educational resources from Pragnell Books
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The Arab News

67 pages      ISBN 0-9544606-0-X 2003      Book £14.95      Set of CDs £18.95

The Arab News is a dual-language progressively graded reader for intermediate students of Arabic wishing to familiarise themselves with the language of business and commerce as found in the Arabic newspapers. The short and straightforward articles should also help those wanting to move to more general topics. The 96 core articles have been read by Muhammed Sultan, who, starting very slowly in section 1, gradually increases the pace to a normal reading pace in sections 2 and 3. They are available on a set of CDs. A Week in the Middle East can be used together with Media Arabic by Julia Ashtiani, published by Edinburgh University Press, 1993, and Media Arabic A course book for Reading Arabic News by Alaa Elgibali and Nevenka Korica, published by The American Click for sample University in Cairo Press, 2007.

Arabic in Action - Arabic Course Book for those working in the Middle East
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Arabic in Action A Basic Course in Spoken Arabic

268 pages      ISBN 0-85331-614-7 1992      Books 15.95      Set of CDs £10.95

This is a practical course intended principally for those working in the Middle East – business, airline personnel, teachers, nurses etc. – for whom a working knowledge of the language is extremely useful. It is designed to bring the learner quickly to a level where he can communicate in certain specific situations, as well as in general everyday conversation. This course teaches what may be called a refined colloquial that is understood throughout Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf, and includes an introduction to Modern Standard Arabic at the end of the course. Written Arabic appears in the txt both in Arabic script and in transliteration. The course has been designed to be used both in a formal classroom situation and for private study. The emphasis is on communication, and the basic grammatical structures of the language are introduced in the context of general and more specific situations which the learner is likely to encounter. There is an accompanying set of CDs with a recording of the conversations and exercises. Students, especially those working on their own, will find the recordings extremely useful both to hear Saudi Arabic and to get practice in speaking by repeating what is heard and completing the manipulation exercises. There is also an Arabic transcript of the course for those keen to learn the Arabic script. See the next entry for details.

Arabic in Action transcript - Course in spoken Arabic
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Arabic Transcript for Arabic in Action
A Basic Course in Spoken Arabic

56 pages ISBN 0-9544606-6-9 1998      £9.95

This book contains an Arabic transcript of all the exercises for Arabic in Action. While some students will be happy to use the Roman script to read and write the Arabic they are learning, others will be keen to have practice in reading and writing the Arabic alphabet and script once they have learned the basic rules of the script.

Palestine Chronicle 1880 - 1950. Extracts from Arabic Press
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Palestine Chronicle 1880 – 1950

Extracts from the Arabic press tracing the main political and social developments
131 pages      ISBN 978-0-9549538-0-5 2005      £16.95

Palestine Chronicle contains articles from various Arabic newspapers and cross-referenced time-line in English tracing the main political ad social developments both within Palestine and further afield from the late nineteenth century up to 1950. In the main, each year is allocated two pages; annotated photographs, advertisements, cartoons and maps have been added to help tell the story as it develops.

The book will be of interest to both students of Arabic and the general reader looking for a chronology of the period that can be added to as desired. Perhaps the materials will also appeal to native Arabic speakers, especially Palestinians, who may like to read about the events that helped shape their world today.

There is an accompanying CD containing an Arabic- English word list and a set of translations of all the articles in the book.

Arabic to English word list for GCSE Course Book - Learning Arabic for GCSE
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Arabic- English Word List for
GCSE Arabic Companion by Chawki Nacef

37 pages      ISBN 978-09573829-4-7 2014      £9.95

I have compiled this word list to help students who are preparing for the Edexcel Arabic GCSE using the Second Edition of GCSE Arabic Companion ISBN-13: 978-1491227244 and GCSE Arabic Speaking Companion ISBN-13: 978-1494700973, both by Chawki Nacef.

Whilst I have tried to cover the words met in the book as a quick reference, students should be encouraged to add any other words they meet in the course of their wider reading.

As all students of Arabic quickly find out, searching for the meaning of a word in the Hans Wehr dictionary can be a laborious and time-consuming activity. Nonetheless, listing of words by root, rather than alphabetically, is the most straightforward and convenient method and the one used here. So students will need to be familiar with searching for a word under its appropriate root. Forms of verbs other than I are indicated II to X.

To keep the word list clear and simple, in most cases only one translation has been put, to reflect as far as possible the appropriate meaning of the word found in the text. Where time and indeed interest allow, the student is encouraged to check the range of meaning of an Arabic word in the Hans Wehr dictionary.

I would like to thank Chawki Nacef for giving me permission to compile this word list from his book. Any errors or omissions are mine alone, which I hope to amend in subsequent editions.

Modern Iraqi Short Stories - Arabic Course Books

Modern Iraqi Short Stories 1

Published by Sayyab Books      205 pages ISBN 978-1-906228-125 2009      £12.95

This dual language reader, the first in the series Translating Arabic Literature, contains a collection of ten short stories by well-known contemporary short story writers. Students who have completed a foundation course will be expected to have a vocabulary of some two thousand words, the core of which will be what may be termed general and media language. The language in this collection is slanted to the literary side. As well as having the basic words to be found in a foundation course, the collection has some two thousand literary words from a total of some ten thousand, that is, a high proportion of 1:5. Ideally perhaps these words would be introduced more gradually and with greater repetition to allow for a more secure and even approach. Learners of modern European languages can avail themselves of simplified graded readers, based on original authentic texts, to deepen both their linguistic skills and literary appreciation. To help address the problem of vocabulary overload, the English translation is at hand to guide the student along. Given that vocabulary is best learned and remembered in a context, it follows that with each successive reading the student should be able to recognise, predict in context and ultimately recall an increasing number of these new words. These stories will also give students of Arabic the opportunity to practice translating literary texts into polished smoothly flowing English.

Ten Stories From Iraq - Arabic Textbook
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Ten Stories from Iraq
Published by Sayyab Books

181 pages      ISBN 978-1-906228-989 2011      £12.95

This dual language reader, the second in the series Translating Arabic Literature, contains a further collection of ten short stories by well-known contemporary short story writers.

Students who have worked their way through the first set Modern Iraqi Short Stories should find this second set easier to read as more of the vocabulary will be familiar. As in the first reader, having the English on the facing page greatly helps comprehension and aids the learning of new vocabulary.

The Scent Of Winter by Mahmoud Abdul-Wahab - Arabic Course Books
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The Scent of Winter and other Stories
by Mahmoud Abdul-Wahab Published by Sayyab Books

155 pages      ISBN 978-1-906228-37-8 2012      £12.95

The book is a collection of twenty short stories by the Iraqi writer, Mahmoud Abdul-Wahab, who was born in Baghdad in 1929 and died in 2011. In addition to being a pioneer of the Iraqi short story, he wrote a couple of longer stories and was a respected literary critic.

The twenty short stories published here span over forty years. In 1953 he wrote The Train Heading up to Baghdad, which was published in the Lebanese magazine Al-Adab, and established his reputation as a writer. The last story The Lover’s Ritual was written in 1997.

The Train Heading Up To Baghdad by Mahmoud Abdul-Wahab - Arabic Course Books
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The Train Heading up to Baghdad
by Mahmoud Abdul-Wahab Published by Sayyab Books

A dual language reader with vocabulary notes, exercises, word list and accompanying CD
108 pages      ISBN 978-1-906228-47-7 2012      £14.95

This short story was originally published in 1954 in the Lebanese magazine Al-Adab and republished together with nine other stories, with an English translation, in 2011 in Ten Stories from Iraq Volume 3 by Sayyab Books, London.

To help the learner gain confidence in this rich environment, the story is presented in two stages. First of all, there is an abridged version of the original story with some two hundred of the less common words taken out. By working through this reduced version, the reader will be able to follow the story and not be overwhelmed by too much new vocabulary. In addition, the text has been pointed so that the reader will be able to read it without constant reference to the dictionary to check on pronunciation. The two versions of the story are read on the accompanying CD. This will bring the text to life and encourage the reader to go beyond a mere understanding of the Arabic on to the deeper and more rewarding appreciation of the sounds and cadences of the text. To help with the learning of vocabulary, words that are probably new are glossed on the page under the text and at the end of the book there is a Word List listing items under their root forms. The reader is encouraged to highlight items that he has needed to check.

The initial aim is to be able to read the abridged Arabic version without reference to the English. By ‘read’, I mean both the ability to read aloud the Arabic text and also to understand the Arabic, whether a translation into English is explicitly made or not. With each successive reading, the wish to translate will diminish, to be replaced by an increasingly fluent understanding of the Arabic. At first, the learner will listen to the recording together with the printed text. He should try gradually to just listen to the story and not use the print at all. It is at this stage that the learner will begin to appreciate the essence of the Arabic, why the writer has used a particular word or phrase. To help him with this new vocabulary I have included a number of exercises following the abridged text. These exercises concentrate on the nouns, adjectives and verbs from the text and provide extensive practice in recognizing and retaining them.

Once the reader is confident with the abridged version, he can go on to the full, original version and repeat the process. This original text is again pointed. Following this second version there is a second range of exercises to help consolidate vocabulary, mainly adjectives. The ultimate aim is for the reader to be able to look at the English translation and be able to recall the corresponding Arabic word or phrase. If the learner has ‘internalized’ the Arabic sufficiently well, this should not be an unrealistic goal.