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Arabic-English Dictionary [Paperback]

Hans Wehr , Hans Wher , J. Milton Cowan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.38 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1993 0879500034 978-0879500030 4th Revised edition
Its scholarship, accuracy and reliability make it one of the most significant contributions to Arabic lexicography. It is hoped that this masterpiece will point the way ot wider use of modern lexicographical principles in the compilation of dictionaries for earlier periods of the Arabic language.

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Arabic-English Dictionary + Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds [With DVD] + Answer Key for Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds
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This edition of the Dictionary, published eighteen years after its first appearance is an enlarged and improved version of it original corpus. During the past two decades, the Dictionary has achieved widespread acceptance and use. In the interim, modern written Arabic has continued to exhibit vigorous lexical growth. Therefore, feeling the need to fill in many gaps and update the corpus, the author again undertook systematic collection of material. In addition to many neologisms of recent origin, the author has incorporated much older material attested in present-day contexts, which had not yet appeared in the Dictionary, as well as numerous improvements and corrections. The result is this revised 4th edition has nearly 200 new pages.

All new entries have been derived from primary sources, i.e. from running contexts. The source texts, predominately from the last ten years, cover a broad spectrum of content, style and origin, thereby providing a representative cross section of modern usage encountered in various fields such as technology, economics, sports, medicine, the oil industry and the natural sciences, as well as creative literature. Particular use was made of texts from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia which were drawn from newspapers, periodicals, textbooks, official and private documents and belles-lettres; some use was also made of the press of the northwest African countries. The number of new entries, including lemmata as well as compounds, idiomatic phrases and new definitions of head words, runs to approximately 13,000. Moreover, in about 3,000 instances, smaller additions (new transcriptions, plural forms, prepositional government of verbs, cross-references, etc.) have been inserted, errors corrected, obsolete entries eliminated. Some lemmata have been completely reworked.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
First, I must say this is the only Modern Written Arabic (MWA) - English dictionary that the student of Arabic has to have. Others, Al-Mawrid, for example, are useful as supplements, and contain new vocabulary, and there is a more recent German edition (5th edition) of Wehr published by Harrassowitz, but this book has a standard of scholarship unrivalled by any other MWA-English dictionary. Middle Eastern published MWA-English dictionaries like Mawrid, for example, don't give the grammatical information learners of Arabic need, such as broken plurals, verbal vowelling, verbal nouns (masdars), let alone how verbs are used with prepositions, all of which Wehr tells the user.
Words are in root order, so maktaba (desk) <mktbh> and kaatib (writer) <k'tb> both are found under the verb kataba (to write) <ktb>. This really is the easiest way of ordering Arabic dictionaries once you've mastered grammar, though an alphabetic order dictionary is a help when you're starting and occasionally even when you're expert.
This dictionary is NOT a dictionary of Classical Arabic (although Beeston in his anthology of Bassar bin Burd reckoned that Wehr covered the vast majority of the vocabulary of this poet of the 8th Century AD). For Classical Arabic, Lane (perhaps supplemented by Hava's Faraid) is essential. But Lane is useless for modern Arabic. And if you're reading mediaeval Arabic, you will find Wehr fills in some of the gaps in Lane.
This dictionary is NOT a dialect dictionary, though it contains many dialect words that have found their way into the written Arabic of Egypt, Iraq, etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the beginner and the expert Jan. 24 2004
I've used many Arabic - English dictionaries and none were ever able to match the quality of the Hans Wehr, which was my first. My searches for other dictionaries were prompted by laziness, I wanted less and not more definitions, which can complicate matetrs when you're just staring to learn a language as complicated as Arabic. Moreover, the dictionary is arranged according to root, so it requires a good understanding of how to derive roots form words - Muhammad, for instance, is under H not M as the root is HMD.Once you have grasped this concept, so target your early lessons to that end you will enjoy the Hans Wehr and use it anytime you want to trasnalte written text from Arabic to English. I stress the 'written' part, as this dictionary is not very useful in conversations and does not intend to be. So if communicating in the Suq of Amman or the bazaar in Damascus is what you want, I would recommend anything but Hans Wehr. If you want to read "Al-AHram" on ther other hand, this is the dictionary for you
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aboo Imraan's review of the Hans Wehr Dictionary March 27 2003
This English-Arabic dictionary is second best to E.W. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon. For those Muslims who have been studying Arabic for several years then you will benefit from this book only in regards to the Arabic Verb Forms. Hans Wehr did an excellent job of arranging the verb forms but the only offset is that he did so using the Roman letters and not the standard Wazan that the old Arabic Scholars have observed in explaining the different verb forms. I do not recommend the Hans Wehr for study of the classical Arabic or Islamic Studies as it contains modern meanings of words as Arabs use today and not as it was understood in the time of our beloved Prophet(may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However if you do buy this dictionary buy both the small hardback and the large hardback as they will last longer. The small hardcopy is very hard on the eyes though for you students of knowledge who spend long hours studying. I have found this dictionary helpful when I could not walk around with the Arabic-English Lexicon but it also came in handy when I completed my studies of the 3 Madinah Books commonly used in the Islamic University of Madinah, K.S.A. May Allah make us all to know and understand His Book and the authentic narrations of His Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)in the Arabic Language.
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Anyone half-way serious about the Arabic language is already familiar with the Hans Wehr. For anyone just beginning their study of Arabic, this review is for you.
Before being able to use this dictionary you have to know a few rudiments of the Arabic language: the alphabet, obviously, but more importantly the verb structure. There are 10-12 measures (awzan in Arabic) of most Arabic verbs, from which nearly all nouns are derived. Once you've learned this, you'll never need to look anywhere but the Hans Wehr for any word ever again.
The book is arranged by two or three-letter verb root. Under each verb you'll find the applicable measures and all common noun derivations of each.
As a professional translator, the Hans Wehr is always at my side. It's good to see the 4th edition is finally available in paperback. It's an improvement over the 3rd edition, and the old hardback 4th edition weighs about 15 pounds!
Buy this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Know some Arabic verb grammar Oct. 15 2002
While the dictionary is the best one there is for not only
standard written Arabic, it also covers a wealth of colloquial
words of various dialects of the spoken. You should know how
certain vowels in certain verb radicals can become assimilated
and yield surprising spellings.Otherwise you could end up
against a brick wall looking for something apparently obvious.
I recommend "Contemporary Arabic Readers: Newpaper Arabic" by Ernest McCarus for a good coverage of assimilated radical vowels
in regular and irregular verbs, which covers all the rules,
but be prepared to spend some time learning them.
What I have never understood is how the authors compiled all this
information. This is simply a collosal, everlasting intellectual
Jorge Gruner
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 4th edition, one of the best Arabic-English dictionairies out there
This particular print is a reasonable size... not so small like the pocket sizes that you have difficulty reading, and not so big like the snowball publishing version that it uses... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Adil Ahmad
I had to buy this book twice, the second time I bought the normal sized version (which is about 6" x 9"). Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by Steps Ahead Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Arabic-English dictionary to invest in
This is the Arabic-English dictionary that every student of the Arabic language should invest in. It is exceptionally useful for even the beginning student, though it is necessary... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by A
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dictionary
Probably the best available arabic english dictionary to date. I highly recommend it to both new learners of Arabic and to scholars too.
Published on April 1 2003 by Llys
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Essential Arabic Dictionary
The is the definitive Arabic-English dictionary. It is essential for any serious study or translation of Arabic into English. Well printed and constructed. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2002 by Deirdre Robespierre
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands down best arabic to english dictionary
This is, by far, the best arabic to english dictionary. Rather than just giving 1 word "translations," the book will give you a real definition in terms of all the... Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars The canonical Arabic-English dictionary
For all English-speaking students of Modern Standard Arabic, this is the one essential book to own. Every other Arabic-English dictionary I've ever seen is like a toy compared to... Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2002 by Christopher Schroen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have!
This dictionary is well worth the money and I believe it is an essential book for any serious student of Arabic. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2002 by kabuka
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