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A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English) Paperback – May 4 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1301 pages
  • Publisher: Spoken Language Services; 4th Revised edition edition (May 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879500034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879500030
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 762 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. E. S. Leake on April 28 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By Alessandro Bruno on Jan. 24 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By Aboo Imraan on March 27 2003
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 up space uselessly.

It is the 4th edition - I believe the latest edition of this dictionary... overall, it is a nice product.

It allows you to search arabic words based on their root letters, which simplifies finding the meaning of a word and other words that are related by the original root. This is a good tool for students of 'Aalim class as well as modern Arabic classes in universities.

As for 'Aalim class students, this will be your first dictionary, before moving on to Arabic-Arabic dictionaries... so do not dwell on this dictionaries weaknesses... sure it has them... once you are able to see its weaknesses, you should probably be looking for a bigger and better dictionary like al-mu'jam al waseet, or al-qamus al-muhit...

bottom line:
This is an amazing dictionary for its scope, and this is probably the best edition and print I have seen so far (March 2013), I highly recommend it
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