Learning Arabic is a journey, and like a journey, you’re going to run into an obstacle in the road once in awhile that’s going to cause you to feel frustrated as you sit looking out of the window at the same old scenery until the obstacle is cleared. This is especially true at the Intermediate and Advanced learning level of Arabic where you’ve run into a roadblock and don’t seem to moving anywhere anytime soon.
That’s where a desire for reading Arabic can be helpful. Not only does reading Arabic enrich your vocabulary and give you a kind of idea about the language and how it’s used, but it’s also very relevant and distracting, taking your mind off of the obstacle and helping you feel less discouraged getting around it.
In today’s post, I will show you how you can easily find reading resources for both your interests and your Arabic language level
What Kind of Books Should You Read and Where You Can Find Them
Obviously as an intermediate or advance learner of Arabic, you’ll not need books on how to learn Arabic alphabet letters, nor will you need any books designed for those learning Arabic for beginners. Here are a few resources, however, that might just suit your reading tastes at your particular level.
Non-Fiction Books: Hindawi and Very Short Introductions
Hindawi is a non-profit organization that publishes translated and original non-fiction books for free as PDF and Epub downloads. For those interested in philosophy, psychology or popular science, it’s a true treasure trove. One of the series of books translated to Arabic that Hindawi offers is the popular series Very Short Introductions.
First published by Oxford University Press in 1995, Very Short Introductions are a series of books with the goal of helping you change the way you think about things that you find interesting, or introduce you to things that you know absolutely nothing about It covers subjects ranging from Continental Philosophy to The History of Mathematics with highly accurate Arabic translation that is clear, modern, and understandable if you are at the intermediate to advanced level of Arabic reading.
Fiction, Classics, and Bestsellers
If you’re looking for fiction, classics or books that have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list that have been translated into Arabic, you can find them quite easily (and free) by writing the name of the book in Arabic in the Google search bar followed by the letters PDF. Hit enter and ha huwa! (Arabic for “Voila!”), your first result is the book! I tried it with my personal favorite, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. I entered “عناقيد الغضب PDF” and after clicking on the result with the [PDF] symbol next to it, there it was in Arabic! Try it out with one of your favorite classics and let us know what you found.
Arabic Fiction for Intermediate and Advanced Learners
Of course you don’t have to look only for translations of books into Arabic when there are plenty of great Arabic writers out there that we should give a shout out to.
Ahmed Khaled Towfik has been called the Arab language learner’s friend because he writes in an easy and accessible language, yet his work still carries a lot of substance. Readers of Arabic at the intermediate level can start with his books يوتوبيا and زغازيغ (Utopia and Zagazig, respectively.) Click on the titles in Arabic for the links.
For upper intermediate level there are the novels of Nobel Prize winner Nagib Mahfuz’s which are praised as being captivating, magnificent, and a sheer pleasure to read. His novels include أولاد حارتنا (Children of the Alley), one of the most controversial novels in Arabic literature history, and his acclaimed The Cairo Trilogy (ثلاثية القاهرة) including the three novels, Palace Walk (original Arabic title: بين القصرين, Bayn al-Qasrayn, first Arabic publication 1956), Palace of Desire ( قصر الشوق, Qasr al-Shawq, 1957) and Sugar Street ( السكرية, Al-Sukkariyya, 1957)
In the end, this is just a sample of some good Arabic reads and if you can think of any more, let us know in the comments section. Reading really is the best way to learn Arabic vocabulary and grammar, and reading books in Arabic writing by Arab authors can also give you a glimpse into Arab culture. So many benefits can be had through learning to read Arabic, so share what you read today.
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