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  #1  
Old 02-12-2009, 06:35 PM
Taalibah Taalibah is offline
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Smile Arabic Dictionary

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

I have been browsing through some of the forum pages, and would like to say jazaakumullaah ahsan al-jazaa to the administrator(s) and moderators.

I am currently studying Arabic, and enjoy it very much alhamdulillaah.

Which Arabic-Arabic dictionary would you recommend me to buy? Also is it better to learn vocabulary Arabic-English or Arabic-Arabic?

Shukran
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2009, 08:36 PM
Amr Amr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taalibah View Post
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

I have been browsing through some of the forum pages, and would like to say jazaakumullaah ahsan al-jazaa to the administrator(s) and moderators.

I am currently studying Arabic, and enjoy it very much alhamdulillaah.

Which Arabic-Arabic dictionary would you recommend me to buy? Also is it better to learn vocabulary Arabic-English or Arabic-Arabic?

Shukran
Wa 'alaykum as-salamu warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Welcome to Lisanularab - Ahlan wa sahalan wamarhaban biki. Insha Allah, we wish for you a profitable stay, insha Allah, and jazaakillaahu khayral-jazaa for your kind du'as.

If you are well into your Arabic studies then an Arabic-Arabic dictionary would be excellent esp. if your teachers are Arabic speaking for it would supplement their explanations in Arabic of difficult words or the usages that they give of such words in sentences.

Good Arabic-Arabic dictionaries are: the المعتمَد (al-Mu'tamad) published by Dar Saadir (Beirut), the الإرشاد (al-Irshad) by Khalil Tawfiq Musa published by Dar al-Irshad. Then there are the al-Mu'jam al-Wajiz and the more extended al-Mu'jam al-Wasit. A very simple and useful Arabi-Arabic dictionary in very simple language plus various examples illustrating the different meanings is معجمي الحيّ (Mu'jami al-Hayy) by Suhayl Hasib Samaahah. Then you have your scholarly or student versions like the al-Mutqan or al-Qamus / al-Masrad al-Madrasi and many others. These are all dictionaries of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The simplest classical Arabic dictionary is the famous Mukhtar al-Sihah by Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Razi, and then there is al-Misbah al-Munir by al-Fayyumi

However, if a student is just starting out or is well into the study of Arabic but the lessons are conducted in English then I would strongly recommend an Arabic-English dictionary and more specifically the famous Hans Weir (which presupposes familiarity with the root and augmented verb forms i.e. your 10 forms of the verb) or the much easier al-Mawrid. A good version of the Mawrid is the big size Arabic to English and English to Arabic all-in-one. There is also a smaller pocket size version of the al-Mawrid both Ar. to Eng. and Eng. to Ar. Why Arabic-English? The reason is that remembering words and the meanings of words in a foreign language is always more difficult than remembering them in one's mother tongue. It would be easier for you to remeber that الكتاب as "book / the book" than as the Arabic
"الصحائف المضمومة بين دفتين في موضوع علمي أو غيره or صُحُف ضُمّ بعضها إلى بعض .

Other Arabic-Arabic dictionaries might give how words are used in sentences rather than their meanings or explanations. This might be easier for it is normally the method used by Arabic speaking teachers to try to explain the meanings of Arabic words by using them in sentences.

Having said that, my own experience and observation with students is that they are more inclined to use Arabic-English dictionaries and more specifically Hans Wehr's "Arabic-English Dictionary". The primary reason for sticking with Arabic-English IMHO is that students are just more comfortable with it, and they find that they get through the work much easier and faster. However, there are great advantages in using Arabic-Arabic dictionaries in that they build vocabulary by explaining an Arabic word using more Arabic words, and also these words are often used in sentences which provide a real context to how they are used.

This is my personal take. Others might have different experiences with dictionaries and what they deem to be more effective and beneficial dictionaries.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2009, 11:00 PM
DesertSand DesertSand is offline
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Wa alaykumus Salaam

Recently I have come to the realisation that I spend alot of my time with dictionaries! I think this would be the case with many students of Arabic. I have only just begun to use a dictionary call 'An Nafees' which is an Eng-Arabic dictionary. I find it to be Excellent, Alhamdulillah. It's a 21st century dictionary, so there would be no words which are no longer used inside. This was a problem I faced with Al-Mawrid, even though it is very good, because my arabic vocabulary isn't that extensive (never the less it is growing bi-iznillah) I found I was using words which are strange,because I was none the wiser- even to my Arabic teacher, sometimes he used to ask me what it means because it is completely not used.

As for Arabic-Eng, Hans Wehr definately comes at the top for me.
And as Sheikh Amr mentioned with Arabic to Arabic dictionaries, for beginners they take time, and it is just much more convienient and easier to use Arabic-Eng. I do use Al-Mu'jam al-wajeez and Al-Mu'jam al -waseet at times, just to get a better idea of what a word means, but it's not the most easiest of tasks carrying around 2-3 dictionaries!

Anyway good luck with finding the right dictionary. It may become your best friend, as it has mine.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:42 PM
Taalibah Taalibah is offline
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Thank you for your responses. Much appreciated.
So far I have been using Hans Wehr for Arabic-English and al-Mawrid for English-Arabic.

My current teacher does not speak English, and when she asks me to explain some difficult words (Arabic-Arabic), although I know the meaning in English, I sometimes tend to struggle with explaining the meaning. Of course that's due to my vocabulary being limited, but was wondering whether it was time to move on to an Arabic-Arabic dictionary.
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