language does a great job with their longer courses,
so I was interested in these 1-CD versions of a travelers
vocabulary. Twenty (really short) lessons cover the
absolute basics of the new language -- enough to get
you buy in a tourist situation, at least.
There is a little phrase booklet (about 16 pages)
that displays the words used on the CDs, but no lessons
to study. The CD contains native speakers repeating
common phrases in Arabic and English, for you to mimic.
No grammar, and no ability to read the language, but
a pretty good learn-by-example way to pick up the bare
minimum of vocabulary.
They claim you can do this on the plane on the way
to Cairo, which I suppose is true. They're easy enough
to follow along, but they do seem to work best when
you actually repeat things out loud, which might garner
you a few stares on the plane.
The lessons cover the absolute minimal vocabulary-- greetings,
counting, addressing people, asking where things are,
please and thank you, ordering food, etc. The native speakers are clear, although there isn't
always enough time to really repeat the phrases in
the later lessons. You're expected to simply memorize
the common phrases, which works well for casual use.
This was the quickest way for us to learn the basic
polite phrases - "please" and "thank you" and "yes" and
"no" -- and was easy to do in the car over a
few days. I'd recommend this CD for anyone wanting
a quick introduction to the language and some confidence
in saying the basic pleasantries.