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Obscure Arabic Dialect Gets Royal Treatment

Another from the Dunwoody series, Spoken Hassaniya Arabic has everything in an Arabic reference you could possibly want. The 30 reading selections are transcriptions of the audio files on the CD that accompanies the book (sold separately, FYI). The passages are rendered in phonetic Romanization as well as in Arabic script. Moreover, the Arabic letters are carefully vowelled to aid pronunciation. Following each section are a vocabulary and a phrase list (phonetic and Arabic scripts) with comparisons to French and standard Arabic (MSA) when appropriate. Also included with each selection are relevant language and cultural notes from the author about Mauritania and the dialect. The selections cover topics from girls' education to emigration to cell phones. At the end of the book are careful translations of each passage and a thorough glossary.

There are two companion CDs for this 150 page work. The speakers are all either Mauritanian residents or Mauritanian emigrants. And the passages are read at a natural spoken pace; i.e., the selections are basically interviews in which the speakers are asked their opinion on a range of topics regarding Mauritanian customs and culture. The conversations are therefore between native speakers so the pace reflects this.

As with most quality dialect books, a solid background in MSA and familiarity with some dialect and French is helpful. This book is not for beginners, but it is a very rewarding study for advanced students.

Added by astro_man23
9 years ago on 28 May 2011 20:40