Arabic Language Educational Books

Learning Arabic can be fun and easy, with the assistance of these self-paced courses. These complete systems (books and/or audio) take you through the essentials of pronunciation, grammar, reading, and writing the Arabic language - both classical and Modern Standard Arabic. Learning a language from text or even audio is not ideal, but these resources can be especially helpful with supplement support from a local class or tutor.

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Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya (A Textbook for Beginning Arabic)

Close-up of arabic writing
Fabrizio Cacciatore

Arguably the best Arabic textbook course available today, often used in universities. By Kristen Brustad, an associate professor of Arabic at the University of Texas-Austin, and chair of the university's Middle Eastern Studies department. This 3rd Edition (2011) includes text and DVDs. A companion website (sold separately) features interactive, self-correcting exercises and online course management options.

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Alif Baa by Brustad, Al-Batal, and Al-Tonsi

Learn the sounds of Arabic, write its letters, and begin speaking with this best-selling book. It is also available in a bundle which includes the text, DVD, and interactive website access.

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Elementary Modern Standard Arabic, by McCarus & Abboud

Classic self-contained course in the Arabic language, often used in university language courses. Published by Cambridge University Press in the 1980s.

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Mastering Arabic, by Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Ghafar

This program in Modern Standard Arabic starts with the basicsĀ but moves on to practical phrases, writing, grammar, and verb forms. Reviewers praise the large, easy-to-read fonts, varied activities, and gradual progression suited to a beginner.

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Arabic Verbs & Essentials of Grammar, by Wightwick & Gaafar

For the more advanced student, this is an essential reference about grammar, parts of speech, verb conjugations, and more.

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Access to Qur'anic Arabic, by Abdul Wahid Hamid

Three books and five tapes make up one of the best programs to learn Qur'anic Arabic in a self-paced, independent program. Each lesson covers the grammar, structure, vocabulary, pronunciation of the language in its classical form. Published by Muslims Education & Literary Services (MELS) in the U.K.

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Standard Arabic: An Elementary-Intermediate Course, by E. Schulz

Another widely-recommended academic book/cassette set, with a heavy emphasis on Arabic grammar.

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Arabic-English Dictionary, by Hans Wehr

The popular, handy Arabic-English dictionary. It's a small paperback but a thorough, must-have reference book for every Arabic student's bookshelf.