One of my usual cheap weekend entertainments is hitting the used book venues. But what do you do when you suddenly can’t walk? Not to worry.
The other day I discovered downloadable books at The Internet Archive (archive.org) and indulged in a Sax Rohmer reading marathon. When I moved to Jordan I had to discard two-thirds of my books. When I got back, the only one I missed was Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu series from the 1920’s. It’s hard to find those titles any more.
Then I stated thinking about dictionaries, and how heavy they can be to carry around. In particular, what about Hans Wehr’s classical Arabic dictionary? Maybe it was old enough to be out of copyright and I could install it in my laptop. Sure enough, The Internet Archive has it.
Here it is, and more. The best is last:
A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic Wehr, Hans, 1976
Dictionnaire chaouia-kabyle-arabe-français French, Arabic, Kabyle (Berber)
Arabic proverbs; or, The manners and customs of the modern Egyptians, Burckhardt, John Lewis (1875)
A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic, Karin C. Ryding, 2005
Al-Mawrid Arabic-English lexicon 1995
Wortabet’s Arabic-English Dictionary, 1984.
Syriac Arabic Dictionary, Bishop Eugene Manna(1867-1928) (medieval and liturgical Aramaic)
A Compendious Syriac Dictionary [based on R. Payne Smith] – (1903) Oxford Vol 01 Vol 02 (medieval and liturgical Aramaic)
Arabian Wisdom, John Wortabet, 1907 (Proverbs)
“Wright’s Grammar”- A Grammar of the Arabic Language V1 and V2
Translated from the German of Caspari , 1896. (Classic grammar.) From Amazon reader reviews:
First, anyone considering this book needs to understand that this is a reference grammar, not a textbook for learning Arabic. The material is arranged by parts of speech and by grammatical concepts, not as a series of lessons going from simple to more complicated. There are no exercises and no excerpts for reading practice (although all discussions of grammar and semantics are illustrated by examples). The level of the book is not for beginners….I find it hard to recommend the Syntax section of the book, which has pages upon pages of such explanations. But many other parts (such as the discussion of the forms of the verb) are lucid and helpful, probably because there aren’t any English parallels to get in the way.
Wright has been the standard reference grammar of Classical Arabic for over a hundred years, and is still the most comprehensive generally available for the Classical language. Wright’s knowledge of Arabic and his use of Arab grammarians was vast, and he’s worth persevering with. The traditional Western terminology is a positive advantage to anyone who’s used to it,… However, Wright introduces the Arabic terminology almost everywhere, which is a great boon – modern writers tend to ignore Arabic terminology, which is rather pig-headed as it leaves the student unable to discuss language with Arabic speakers, and at a disadvantage when trying to understand books in Arabic on language.
Fischer’s “A Grammar of Classical Arabic” is much more accessible to those unused to traditional Western grammar, even if it is rather less complete in its coverage. In particular, it has nothing on Arabic verse, for which you still neeed to use Wright.
From other sources:
“Lane’s Lexicon“–Edward William Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon (Dictionary)
Media Arabic essential vocabulary.
Sudan Arabic vocabulary.
Sudan Juba dialect vocabulary.
Lists of inks for Arabic historical, etymological, medical, and military dictionaries, regional dialect language courses.
Mo3jam, a user-generated dictionary of colloquial Arabic (mostly in Arabic), like Urban Dictionary, but clean (I think).
*Various sundry downloads. An astonishing collection of 44 pages of links and downloads for the student of Arabic language and culture. Bibliophiles might try a search for Arabic Manuscripts, a Vademecum for Readers (yummy illustrations, look at “bookbinding”) or Proximity and Distance, Medieval Hebrew and Arabic Poetry.