اللغة العربية-filter
February 9, 2006 7:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm about halfway through my first year of college-level Modern Standard Arabic, and would love it if someone experienced in Arabic instruction/linguistics in general could make some suggestions for materials with which I can supplement my textbook. Bonus question if you live in or around Chicago! Look inside!

We're using the Red Book (aka Al-Kitaab), published by Georgetown University. It's been great so far--in no small part due to our instructor, who is competent and enthusiastic--but our text isn't without its detractors. This review is for an earlier edition, but the primary criticism is still pretty valid: this textbook assumes that we will apprehend new vocabulary and constructions from contextual clues (or from our instructor), and often skimps on clear explanations. Therefore, it's awful as a systematic reference for stuff that we've already covered, or topics that need additional explanation as we progress.
So: I'm looking for a Modern Standard Arabic grammar to supplement our textbook. There are several out there. They're generally around $50, and totally, completely special-order-no-return items at the local booksellers. Additionally, Amazon's 'look inside' feature is vexingly thwarted by long tables of contents and/or the reversed (from the Western style) binding of Arabic texts. Anyone out there have any reccomendations?


I may be in Chicago this weekend. Earn my undying gratitude by helping me find a bookseller there who stocks one or more title that I might be interested in, so I can hold it in my sweaty hands, turn it over, test its weight, etc.
posted by pullayup to Education (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If your going to go to a bookstore, I would check out Seminary Co-op book store in hyde park (near u of chicago). Maybe 57th street bookstore while you're down there.
posted by _zed_ at 7:58 AM on February 9, 2006

Best answer: And Here is the link.
posted by _zed_ at 7:59 AM on February 9, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks--they have listings several of the books I'm looking for. Not sure if this means they'll be in stock, but it's worth a trip.
posted by pullayup at 8:50 AM on February 9, 2006

If you end up in Hyde Park, go just down the street from 57th Street Books and check out Powell's Bookstore -- click on "Stores" for the Hyde Park address, and it looks like you can search for your book on the site. It's a used bookseller (not sure if it's related to the one in Seattle) that specializes in academic texts.

Between the Seminary Co-Op and 57th Street Books (co-owned), the Seminary has more academic stuff.

Also, check out the University of Chicago Bookstore on 58th Street. Don't be turned off by the fact that it's a Barnes and Noble -- the textbooks are upstairs, and U of C has a good Middle Eastern studies program.
posted by penchant at 8:55 AM on February 9, 2006

Best answer: Sem Co-op is a lovely bookstore, but between it and the U of C bookstore, the U of C bookstore tends to carry most of the language textbooks. Moreover, the intro Arabic classes at U of C also use Al-Kitaab (or at least did as of two years ago), so even if there are any textbooks lying around now that it's the middle of the quarter, that's what they're likely to be. You could probably call ahead to see what they're stocking, but otherwise online retailers are likely to be your best bet.
posted by zadermatermorts at 9:56 AM on February 9, 2006

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