Customer comments on this Youngstown Ohio Book
The reviewer below is being quite unfair!
I used this book to learn Moroccan Arabic this past summer. It has its flaws put it is really the only worthwhile text out there. The book takes a grammatical approach to the language, that is, there are 130 lessons, each consisting of example sentences built around one or two grammar principles. This approach is admittedly dry, but it is easy to get through if you buy this audio programming. You have only to make sure you understand the concept(s) for a given lesson, then listen and repeat as you follow along. The major flaw with this book is that the sentences are random, which is not the case for the Georgetown Classics Iraqi Arabic text, which uses dialogues, contains nearly as much audio, and is cheaper. (Iraqi Arabic is more intelligible with "standard" or "media" Arabic; Moroccan is almost completely incomprehensible to anyone but Moroccans and Algerians: e.g. ma xessni-n xddemsh had n-nhar = maa laazim 'an ashtaghila haadha al-yoom).
ALso, it is true that some of the words presented in this book are archaic: for example 'fqi' means religious teacher; it is glossed as instructor. However, this book and Harrel's Dict of Moroccan Arabic are the only texts available to us for self study that even make an attempt to be comprehensive and user friendly. So, my recommendation is, buy the book and the MP3 ($50 for a book and 15+ hours of low-fidelity audio is worth it, $100 would not be) get through them, go to Morocco and then worry about learning the script getting yourself fluent. KLM, a German-owned school and ALIF both teach Moroccan dialect and have their own books. I have read them. I give the program as a whole three stars, but there isn't anything else out there that even deserves a review.
Give Georgetown a break. At least they aren't gouging their prices. One more thing. Moroccan Arabic is not normally written. In the sixties, when this book was written, it almost never was.
Don't Buy This Crap
This "course" is simply a reprint of an old Georgetown book from the 60s. It is garbage. The text is not in Arabic script (which is ridiculous) and the "exercises" are useless, but the vocab could be a good start if some of the words were not outdated and the author had explained which were Moroccan, Standard Arabic, French, or Spanish. The recordings, although insightfully encoded into MP3 format, are of the worst quality. They are clearly copies from tapes from back in the 60s when this book was useful. It sounds like they were recorded in a bathroom by someone who had smoked three packs of Winstons a day for 25 years. It was a decent language book for its time, but this is 2005. LET'S GET SOME NEW BOOKS GEORGETOWN!!! If that institution is such a bastion of Arabic studies in America, then I challenge it to get off its ass and put something out there (besides al-Kitab). This stuff is IMPORTANT these days. We Arabic students NEED it.