• Arabic (Modern Standard) Level 1

  • Learn to Speak and Understand Modern Standard Arabic with Pimsleur Language Programs
  • By: Pimsleur
  • Narrated by: Pimsleur
  • Length: 16 hrs and 44 mins
  • Speech
  • Release date: 10-23-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

Regular price: $113.35

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Publisher's Summary

Modern Standard Arabic, or MSA, is the standard, formal, written form that is used and understood throughout the Arab world. While primarily written, MSA is also spoken in highly formal situations, in higher education, in sermons, and in the courts of law.

The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You’ll be speaking and understanding in no time flat! Modern Standard Arabic Phase 1, Unit 1-30 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with near-native pronunciation skills.

In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations, and add over a hundred new vocabulary items.

In the final 10 lessons, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.

Reading lessons are included at the end of Unit 30 and provide you with an introduction to reading Modern Standard Arabic. These lessons are designed to first teach you to recognize and sound out the letters in the Arabic alphabet and then to read words, short phrases, and sentences with correct pronunciation. A reading booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.

©2012 Simon & Schuster (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." ( AudioFile magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a splendid product

What made the experience of listening to Arabic (Modern Standard) Phase 1, Units 1-30 the most enjoyable?

The gradual interval recall is a very great method to keep you remember everything. When new words are introduced chop it up into smaller parts beginning from the end. That's very useful and makes you know exactly how to articulate the words.

Any additional comments?

Pimsleur courses gives you a strong foundation in the language that will accelerate your learning with other methods after you're done with them. Your accent will be perfect just like a native. It works effortlessly and it's quite easy to follow along.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

First Arabic study that really worked for me!

I have been trying to learn Arabic casually on my own for several years. I've tried Rosetta Stone, which taught me some disconnected words that I was unable to string together into a complete, useful sentence. I've borrowed a couple textbooks from friends who were studying Arabic in college but never put in the required time with them. This Pimsleur audio book is perfect though!

I love that I was speaking complete, useful sentences from the very first lesson. I just bought the level 2, 30 lesson audio book and am so excited to keep studying and improving every day. Hope it works for you too!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

easy but slow

the course is good as far as it goes but certain not a very extensive vocab.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Useful, if a bit slow. And long.

This isn’t a traditional audiobook; as such, this is more of a review of the Pimsleur approach to learning language.

Arabic is my father tongue, and I only learned a little of it growing up, and I have formal, Academic experience learning French through college. In a sense, this course is helping me work on a third language that’s really a second language (though I grew up hearing Egyptian Arabic, so it’s closer to a fourth language as MSA is dialectically dissimilar).

Overall, this course is truly progressive and works effectively when done once daily, but it is rather slow. You are introduced to a few words and phrases related to something, then you learn new words and use them in old phrases. New topics are tied into old ones fairly well. It’s fun to be challenged to recall how to answer a question using vocabulary learned so far back that you almost forgot the words. The challenging recall just before the point when you would normally forget is a focal point of the Pimsleur approach and for the most part, I think it works.

Every lesson is about 30-40 minutes in length, including the time to speak and repeat as needed. As I said, lessons are most effective when done once a day. For me, the lesson length is too long. Practically, I prefer to listen and practice while commuting to and from work in my car (this wouldn’t work on a bus/train), and as such, I would rather have shorter lessons as my commute can be shorter than the length of the lesson. Breaking apart a lesson can lead to some confusion when you pick it back up. As such, I often only ended up practicing my commute home and taking it into the house - not exactly my most receptive learning time. Also, it can be exhausting to focus for 35 minutes continuously, especially when new vocabulary is introduced towards the end of the unit. A more ideal method would be to break a lesson into two shorter lsssons, done at least once a day, at most twice a day, and to cover a little more territory by jumping into and out of every lesson a little quicker. Missing a day was never too difficult for me, but it just slowed me down.

You can repeat a lesson in the same day as needed, but I never needed to rehash the first 20 or so lessons. A couple had comparatively too much vocabulary thrown in, and I did have to repeat those lesson to soak it all in.

The performance is acceptable. There is a narrator who speaks English, and a single male and a single female voice. You’re given scenarios where you are either a man or a woman, talking to either a man or woman - words and phrases often agree with the subject and as such you should be familiar with both speaking and responding in either circumstance, regardless of your gender (which does make me wonder about the challenges in being genderqueer in other cultures where the predominant language relies upon gender... I digress).

Sometimes it feels too scripted and it can be fatiguing to constantly shift conversations and positions in conversation - hence the 3 stars for story. I feel like this aspect could have been a little more creative and challenging.

It would also be nice to hear different voices. It helps to hear how different speakers say the same words and a little variety would help keep lessons interesting. The speakers are clear - it’s just hard to create your own voice when you’re imitating two speakers.

This is a decent course if you know what you’re getting yourself into. I believe the first unit is available as a sample. Give it a try.