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Learn Arabic Language/30

I actually had a copy of this from back in 1991, when Mark was shipped over to Iraq in the first Gulf War. We had hoped that it would introduce the major phrases he might need to be polite to the people he met. You know the drill -- the basics of hello, goodbye, please, thank you. They've repackaged the cassettes, but the content appears to be the same for the latest version.

While this program offered the basics, it wasn't the most user-friendly of language courses. Words are not repeated, and it takes a few rehearings of the tape before the sounds start to make sense. Part of that can be attributed to the problems of learning whole new sounds. The glottal stop sounds in Arabic (of which there are three, I think) are difficult to understand for a beginner.

While the first section contains some useful phrases, the choice of topics for a beginner are rather odd -- vegetables? At the end, though, you have a basic knowledge of standard arabic, but not much fluency.

Consider also that Arabic has many, many dialects. Egyptian Arabic is quite different from the Gulf Arabic spoken in Saudi Arabia, for example. This might be a good introductory course, but if you want reasonable, useful phrases for a traveler, definitely try the In-flight Arabic CD from Living Language instead.

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