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Complete Spoken Arabic – Teach yourself – Jack Smart
COMPLETE SPOKEN ARABIC
From the book
Why learn Arabic?
Why do you want to learn Arabic? There could be several reasons. It may be that you are going to work in a country where Arabic is the everyday language, and you would like to be able to communicate with the people.
To read such basic things as street signs, newspaper headings and so on you need some knowledge of the written language, the basics of which are also dealt with in this book.
You may simply want to learn Arabic because you intend to visit one of the Arabic speaking countries as a tourist. Besides the wonderful Pharaonic monuments in Egypt, the marvels of Roman and Arab civilizations extend across North Africa and the Middle East.
If you know one form of spoken Arabic, you will find it quite easy to adapt to the dialect of whichever Arabic-speaking country you happen to be in, as you will have a good grounding in the basics of the language.
All the dialects are ultimately based on the ancient written language, and grammatical features such as the way the verbs work do not differ greatly wherever you are.
For instance, in the Arabic taught in this book, the word for they go is yiruuHuun; in other dialects – even a few within the Gulf region itself – it is yiruuHuu, without the final n. This is typical of these minor variations – and in any case, you will be understood whichever you use.
What kind of Arabic will you learn?
The Arabic taught in this book is representative of spoken Arabic of the Gulf region, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and most of Iraq, and even within this area, there are regional differences.
The dialects of Yemen, perhaps, differ the most. If you leam Arabic in this book, you will be understood in the whole area.
If you are to be in a specific area for a long period, you should listen to and adopt the local usages. For instance, the word given for there is/are is fiih.
If you are in Bahrain you will hear hast, in Iraq you will hear Aku, and in parts of Oman shayy – but fiih will do fine wherever you are.
In addition to the native speakers, Arabic is read and written by Muslims all over the world as a language of religion,
• There are millions of Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan and in
the Far East, in Malaysia and Indonesia. If you are a Muslim, you have to read the Koran and pray in Arabic. Translations are
only used for reference or to help with understanding Arabic. • All the commentaries on the Holy Text and other literature on
interpretation and rules for daily life are written in and have to be read in Arabic.
It is a matter of pride for Muslims to regard Arabic as a prestige language.
In the same way that Welsh and Spanish and English use mostly the same script but are not closely related to one another, other languages of mainly Islamic countries, such as Persian (Farsi) and Urdu, and previously Turkish, use adapted versions of the Arabic script, but are not linguistically related to Arabic.
While Persian and Urdu are still written in slightly adapted forms of the Arabic alphabet, Turkish adopted a modified European alphabet in 1928.
If you know Arabic, you can often get the gist of a newspaper article written in one of those languages. This is because they have many words borrowed from Arabic, due to the shared Islamic culture.
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