Your First 100 Words in Arabic: Beginner’s Quick & Easy Guide to Demystifying Arabic Script
March 10, 2013
Author Mahmoud Gaafar
Series Your First 100 Words in…
Publisher Passport Books
Publication Date 1999
Skill Level Beginner
This book by Mahmoud Gaafar is one of a series of similarly titled books for various languages. The concept for the series comes from Jane Wightwick (who also wrote the Easy Arabic Grammar reviewed in this directory).
Your First 100 Words in Arabic is a cute little activity book, pretty childish, but gentle on the brain. Gentleness is not a bad thing when you are trying to figure out how to write Arabic, but the book just isn’t all that useful if you are interested in actually learning the language. It is not a serious entry in the language-learning marketplace.
There is an explanation of how the script works, and there are eight pages of flashcards you can cut out, with vocabulary for household objects, clothes, things around town, things around the countryside, opposites, animals, parts of the body, and useful expressions. They give the romanization on flashcards, which is helpful, just below the Arabic script.
It looks like a kids’ book, but it doesn’t seem to be one, because I think kids would get frustrated and bored.
One of the things about a language like Arabic is that it is so different from English that sometimes I just needed to slow down and relax my brain, I think. Your First 100 Words in Arabic is extremely basic; it got me to sit still and play around with some words that were very useful to me, without my getting all stressed out about grammar before I was ready.