Alif Baa : Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds, Mixed media product

Alif Baa : Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds Mixed media product

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


The best-selling Alif Baa is the first volume of the Al-Kitaab Arabic language program and is now available in a new third edition.

In this new version of the introduction to Arabic letters and sounds, English-speaking students will find an innovative integration of colloquial and formal (spoken and written) Arabic.

Together, the book and new companion website provide learners with all the material necessary to learn the sounds of Arabic, write its letters, and begin speaking Arabic, including interactive, self-correcting exercises to enhance learning.

The companion website also gives instructors additional online grading options. It features: four-color design throughout the book features over 100 illustrations and photographs; gives learners and instructors color-coded options for the variety of language they wish to learn in speaking: Egyptian, Levantine, or formal Arabic (MSA); introduces over 200 basic vocabulary words in all three forms of spoken and written Arabic side by side, including expressions for polite social interaction, and activates them in interactive homework exercises and classroom groupwork; includes video dialogues in Egyptian and Levantine, filmed in Cairo and Damascus; Includes video footage of an Arabic calligrapher, capsules on Arabic culture, and images of street signs from Morocco, Egypt, and Lebanon; includes new English-Arabic and Arabic-English glossaries, searchable in the companion website.


  • Format: Mixed media product
  • Pages: 272 pages, 29 color photos, 101 color illus., 147 b&w illus., 3 line drawings
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Language teaching & learning material & coursework
  • ISBN: 9781589016323



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This book was the designated book for a class I was taking as part of the HeadStart program at uOttawa. This is not the greatest book for teaching the language in my opinion. <br/>Granted this is designed for complete beginners (which I am not), but it seems to miss quite a bit of the nuances of the language. For the most part it disregards such things as dual, plural, past, future tenses, most of the grammar of the language, and doesn't really have any verbs. <br/>If you've got a terrible teacher for the course, you're not going to enjoy it. My prof for this course (Afifa Haddad) was one of the two funniest of my teachers this semester (although my English prof was pretty cool too).<br/>Another peeve was the narration on the included DVD. This was a bit hit-and-miss with a few of the speakers being wonderful, and a few of them completely unintelligible, even for someone who has at the very least a passing (if not greater) familiarity with spoken Arabic.<br/>All in all unless this is a mandatory part of your course I would skip it. <br/>It costs quite a pretty penny too, weighing in at approximately $90 Canadian, brand new. Even buying it secondhand I payed $45 Canadian. Not exactly the cheapest book out there.