➝ An Introduction to Egyptian Arabic free download ➢ Author Ernest T. Abdel-Massih – Dcrjservices.co.uk

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7 thoughts on “An Introduction to Egyptian Arabic

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    There are, now, a wealth of Egyptian Arabic textbooks out there Abdel Massih s Introduction was published in 1975, it has the taste of the mid 20th century Foreign Service Institute drill courses But that s a good thing Like the FSI courses, Abdel Massih s text, while unexciting, is thorough and effective.Unlike many colloquial Arabic textbooks, this book assumes no prior knowledge of Modern Standard classical Arabic.The first portion of the book is comprised of twenty lessons on Egyptian Arabic phonology grammar The phonological section is perhaps technical than the average student can use effectively Those familiar with phonetic terminology will find it useful, easy to follow The Arabic phonemic system isn t especially hard, Egyptian Arabic is quite regular However, the phonetic production of Arabic sounds is fairly alien for most English speakers For those with neither prior exposure to Arabic, nor a good knowledge of phonological terminology, this section could be rough going A native Arabic speaking friend could be helpful, but a difficulty is that the text is entirely in Romanisation, rather than Arabic script A native speaker will need to put in a little bit of work to get familiar with the transcription There is recorded audio Unlike the text, it is not available on line I have not listened to it.The grammatical lessons are clear and thorough Each is introduced by a fairly bland reading vocabulary text, is followed by several pretty good drills The drills aren t the most exciting way to learn language, but they do help one to absorb patterns The text is meant for use in a classroom There is no answer key for the exercises There are numerous examples Every new vocabulary item is repeated frequently students are unlikely to need to put much effort into vocab memorisation, allowing one to focus on structures.The texts begin to pick up from the sixteenth lesson on The first fifteen are a world of academia pleasantries Much of life is spent drinking coffee socially, the greatest stress one might face is arriving late to class In lesson sixteen, the texts begin introducing folktales all Goha stories If you ve a taste for trickster folktales, then the book begins picking up.The final lesson, the twentieth, introduces the Arabic writing system Here, the system is only a way of reading the language The student is not taught how to form the letters The presentation is rapid inadequate All of the letters are presented at once in a table that only shows their independent forms, then the text of the previous non review lesson is presented in parallel Arabic phonemic transcription This is a very marked weakness Almost any student who does not have prior experience with Arabic will need to find some outside source to supplement this portion of the instruction In later readings, an ability to read Arabic will be necessary It is hard to imagine being able to develop the requisite skill from the current text.Following the lessons, the student gets into the fun portion of the book readings Section three is comprised of twenty five texts The first eleven are purely in Romanisation The next five are in both Romanisation and Arabic script The last nine are purely in Arabic script This is problematic Like most Arabic text, these stories make very sparse use of vowel markers Without a native speaker or a dictionary, a student can t know how the words are actually to be pronounced The texts are mostly folktales, jokes, proverbs, but there are also a couple of cultural historical essays There are twenty additional texts in audio only, which I have no heard.The next section is a collection of one hundred proverbs The first several are presented in Arabic script, Romanisation, a word for word translation, then an explanation of the proverb s meaning These are fun, useful for a better understanding of the cultural workings of the language The latter half of the proverbs are presented only in Arabic script unvowelled a literal translation, often with an equivalent or an explanation in parentheses Again, the student who does not know the vocabulary will need to use a dictionary The student who has learned to read Arabic script solely from this book will be unable to read these proverbs at all.This is followed by a thematically arranged glossary The content is not solely the vocabulary that appears in the lessons readings, but a broader use lexicon of basic vocabulary that might be useful for the elementary learner The thematic glossary is followed immediately by an alphabetical lexicon of the vocabulary used in the book.Finally, the book ends with ten cultural texts nine expository essays on Egyptian culture, a final folktale Each is presented in parallel phonetic transcription colloquial English translation, followed by a version in Arabic script.As I said, the beginning of An Introduction to Egyptian Arabic is pretty darned dull, but the latter portion is comprised of engaging texts The student who wishes to continue study of Egyptian Arabic to an intermediate level is well prepared to continue studying through Abdel Massih s follow up Comprehensive Study of Egyptian Arabic, which is comprised of a collection of prose cultural texts conversations expository prose , a collection of 971 proverbs metaphors, a bulky thematic lexicon, a reference grammar.The student who wishes to learn other dialects will find transition through Dr Abdel Massih s Moroccan Arabic textbooks or the University of Michigan Levantine Arabic textbooks fairly straightforward.I think it s a mistake to teach Egyptian Arabic purely through Romanisation While the Arabic writing system is suited to classical Arabic Modern Standard Arabic than the colloquial dialects, correspondences between standard Arabic spelling Egyptian pronunciation are mostly quite consistent Learning the transformations allows one to take a written word pronounce it in Egyptian Arabic If one learns the word only from pronunciation, then it has to be re learned for written Arabic Learning to read early helps the transition between the colloquial literary languages This is important The Qur n is ubiquitous, people deal in MSA in all forms of news, most popular literature, many formal occasions The local dialect the international standard are interlinked in everyday life Additionally, literacy helps understand the connections between vocabulary items.With those caveats it starts boring, the pronunciation instruction is somewhat technical, the writing instruction is inadequate , this is a pretty good way to start learning Egyptian Arabic Dr Abdel Massih s follow up books are a good continuation.


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