Arabic Guaranteed

by Ghazi Abuhakema61SfpQltvXL._SY300_
Berlitz, 2007
4 CDs, $19.95
ISBN 978-9812681836
Rating: ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Surprise! A very good audio course. Sane instruction on how to pronounce the non-english sounds which mention what your tongue should be doing, or supply easily understood similes: “sounds like gargling”.  Cultural notes. The female English voice is a smooth professional one—as if she were Betty Crocker’s younger sister.

There are free downloads of audioscripts for each CD at  This is an excerpt from the script for CD 1, Lesson 1:

“To pronounce this sound, you need to constrict your throat muscles, just like for the sound ح h But the difference between the two is that the ع aa is voiced, which means you make a deep throaty sound. If you put your hand on your throat while saying this sound, you should feel your muscles contracting. Listen first: ع ع aa aa  Now, listen and repeat: ع ع ع aa aa aa  Now, let’s practice this sound in some words: ﻋﺮﺑﻲ aarabi  “Ali” (a male’s name) Repeat: ﻋﻠﻲ aali ﻋﻠﻲ aali ﻣﻊ maa “with” Repeat: ﻣﻊ maa ﻣﻊ  maa The next sound is غ…”

Abuhakema is working on an MSA textbook to be published in 2014; the really nice thought put into this project makes me want to see whatever else he does. Really nice work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGhazi Abuhakema earned his Ph.D in applied linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2014 he is teaching at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.


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