Modern Written Arabic, Volume I (of a 3 book course), derives from work over a period of years by the staff of the Foreign Service Institute Arabic Language and Area School in Beirut. It was covers units 1-32 of the course prepared for use in FSI programs of instruction for members of the U. S. Foreign Service and is intended to be used with the help of a native speaking Arabic instructor and with tape recordings.
The original materials on which this volume is based were prepared by Daud A. Abdo with the assistance of Salwa Hily and under the general supervision of William G. Cowan. Modification of the Arabic text for this version was done by Nash' at Naja. The accompanying notes are primarily the work of Hartie L. Smith, Jr., who also made the final decisions on the form and content of the volume. In his part of the project Dr. Smith had valuable aid and counsel from Warren C. Benedict and James A. Snow.
Tape recordings which are available to accompany Modern Written Arabic were prepared by George Sayegh. Previous editions of the manuscript were typed by Victoria Ilasheesh and Shoukri Alawy; camera copy for the present volume was typed by Elias Alawy. The manuscript in all stages of preparation was reviewed and corrected by Mr. Naja.
You can find the next volumes of the FSI Modern Written Arabic course here:
- FSI - Modern Written Arabic Course 2
- FSI - Modern Written Arabic Course 3
Modern Standard Arabic has developed out of Classical Arabic, the language of the Quran. During the era of the caliphate,Classical Arabic was the language used for all religious, cultural, administrative and scholarly purposes.
Modern Standard Arabic is the official Arabic language. It can be written and spoken, and there is no difference between the written and the spoken form.
In its written form, Modern Standard Arabic is the language of literature and the media. Books, newspapers, magazines, official documents, private and business correspondence, street signs and shop signs - all are written in Modern Standard Arabic.
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD. This includes both the literary language and varieties of Arabic spoken in a wide arc of territory stretching across the Middle East and North Africa. Some of the spoken varieties are mutually unintelligible, both written and orally, and the varieties as a whole constitute a sociolinguistic language. This means that on purely linguistic grounds they would likely be considered to constitute more than one language, but are commonly grouped together as a single language for political and/or ethnic reasons (see below). If considered multiple languages, it is unclear how many languages there would be, as the spoken varieties form a dialect chain with no clear boundaries. If Arabic is considered a single language, it perhaps is spoken by as many as 280 million first language speakers, making it one of the half dozen most populous languages in the world. If considered separate languages, the most-spoken variety would most likely be Egyptian Arabic, with 54 million native speakers still greater than any other Semitic language.
Arabic Modern Standard Arabic is spoken in: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Palestine
Arabic Modern Standard Arabic has no known alternate names.