2nd Edition

Colloquial Arabic of the Gulf

By Clive Holes Copyright 2009

    This new edition of Colloquial Arabic of the Gulf has been revised and updated to make learning this variety of Arabic easier and more enjoyable than ever before.

    Specially written by an expert for self-study and classroom use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to spoken Arabic of the Gulf, together with an introduction to reading signs, business cards, advertisements and other realia. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

    Each unit presents numerous grammatical points that are reinforced with a wide range of exercises for regular practice. A full answer key can be found at the back as well as useful vocabulary summaries throughout.

    Features new to this edition include:

    • a ‘Cultural Point’ section in each unit on important aspects of Gulf culture, society and history, with photographs and realia
    • a ‘Reading Arabic’ section in each unit, plus a special appendix on the Arabic script 
    • comprehensive glossaries, both English-Arabic and Arabic-English, containing all the words in the book
    • extra notes on the dialects of Oman.

    By the end of this rewarding course you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in Arabic in a broad range of situations.

    Audio material to accompany the course is available to download free in MP3 format from www.routledge.com/cw/colloquials. Recorded by native speakers, the audio material features the dialogues and texts from the book and will help develop your listening and pronunciation skills.


    Introduction: How To Use This Book  Pronunciation Guide  Unit 1  Expressions of Quantity; Orders and Requests; ‘Please’,’Thank you’, ‘Be so Kind’  Unit 2  The Arabic Equivalent of ‘The’; The ‘Dual’; The Plural  Unit 3  ‘How Much/Many?’ Prices; Numbers 1–10; Greetings  Unit 4  Simple Descriptive Sentences; Noun-adjective Phrases; Some Other Types of Adjective  Unit 5  Numbers 11 to 1,000,000; Age; Telling the Time; Personal Pronouns; ‘Who?’ and ‘What?’  Unit 6  Expressions of Place; The Verb: Past Tense.  Unit 7  Past-tense Verbs: Verbs Beginning with a Glottal Stop; Past-tense Verbs: ‘Hollow’ Verbs; ‘To Say That’; ‘To Ask Whether’; Li’ann: ‘Because’; Expressions of Manner; Further Expressions of Time  Unit 8  Noun-phrases; The Elative Adjective; Word Order  Unit 9  Past-tense Verbs: ‘Doubled’ Verbs; Past-tense Verbs: ‘Weak’ Verbs; Time Conjunctions; Ordinal Numbers; Months  Unit 10  Relative Clauses; Demonstrative Pronouns; Demonstrative Adjectives; The Negative in Equational Sentences; ‘Somebody’ and ‘Nobody’  Unit 11  The Imperfect Verb: Basic Forms; The Imperfect Verb: Different Stem-types; Review of Verb Forms; The Uses of the Imperfect  Unit 12  Verb Strings; The Imperative: Strong Verbs; The Imperative: Other Types of Verb; The Negative Imperative  Unit 13  The Active Participle; The Passive Participle  Unit 14  The Derived Themes of the Verb (I)  Unit 15  The Verbal Noun; Co-ordinated Negatives; Compound Adjectives; ‘Self’  Unit 16  The Derived Themes of the Verb (II); Conditional Sentences  Unit 17  Quadriliteral Verbs; ‘To Wish/Want’ and ‘To Prefer’; Verbs with Double Objects  Unit 18  Diminutives; Uses of ábu and umm; ‘How Big!’ etc.; ‘So-and-so’; Forms of Personal Address; Exhortations  Unit 19  Verb Strings Involving kaan/yikúun; More Conjunctions; ‘As if’; Expressions Meaning ‘I think’; ‘Some’ and ‘Each Other’; Adverbs in -an  Unit 20  Texts Answer-Key  Appendices 1.  Variations in Pronunciation  2. The Arabic Script  Glossaries  Gulf Arabic-English  English-Gulf Arabic 


    Clive Holes is Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at the University of Oxford. He has published widely on the Arabic language and its dialects and has been teaching it since 1983. He lived and worked in the Gulf for ten years.

    Praise for the first edition -

    'Unlike most books on colloquial Arabic, this one covers the subject in a really comprehensive fashion. The author's experience in E[nglish] L[anguage] T[eaching] enables him to understand the needs of the learner who wishes to communicate effectively in Arabic -- two notable features of the book are the pacing of the material and the usefulness of the exercises... The dialogues are inventive, realistic and often humorous, and by the last unit the learner should be in a position to tackle "real" Gulf Arabic.'

    - from a review by Peter Emery, University of Bath, in the Journal of Semitic Studies, 29 (1984), p344-345.