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Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written…

by Hans Wehr

Other authors: J Milton Cowan (Editor)

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6231229,018 (4.37)2
Its scholarship, accuracy and reliability make it one of the most significant contributions to Arabic lexicography. Review The reliability and completeness of the work deserve every praise, as does the practical arrangement of the entries. -- Bibliotheca Orientalis There can be no doubt that...it is a basic tool for study of modern Arabic. -- Middle East Journal… (more)
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English (11)  French (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The root-based system makes it very difficult for beginners to use, obviously. I would add that if you want to speak Arabic (and not just read it), you should be aware that this book will not offer you much help.

Because of the history of publishing and scholarship in the Arab world, there seem to be some Egypt-centric tendencies in the book as well.

I would only recommend this book to people who are studying Standard Arabic for purposes of scholarship, religious or historical study, or work in media. Unfortunately if you want to speak and converse in Arabic like an Arab, you may need any number of other dictionaries. As far as I know are published dictionaries in Egyptian, Yemeni, Gulf, Syrian and other dialects.

I would add that in many ways, this monstrous tome is merely a (partly) modernized abridgement of Lane’s lexicon, which gives many more variant forms, including vowel variants and epenthetic forms. Wehr has chosen some of these and, prescriptively, in favor of a more Egyptian understanding of Arabic, scrapped others. For instance, for “a fifth,” Lane has khums and khumus; Wehr keeps only the first form. For others, though, like ‘ear’, Wehr follows Lane in including both udhn and udhun. It seems that Wehr was following the lead of prescriptivist Arabs to help construct a coherent, sanitized Arabic. ( )
  Shockleyy | Jun 6, 2021 |
The best Arabic dictionary--and make sure you get this edition, as the Snowball one is somewhat expurgated! ( )
  lxydis | May 11, 2013 |
Beware!! This Snowball edition is somewhat expurgated, so try and get the regular paperback edition of the absolute best Arabic dictionary--it's slightly more expensive but worth it. ( )
  lxydis | May 11, 2013 |
Simply put, this is the best general dictionary out there. Absolutely essential if you are going to work with the Arabic language. ( )
  BLyda97112 | Jan 1, 2011 |
An excellent dictionary based on word roots and their measures. An absolute must for anyone serious about studying Modern Standard Arabic. I have found this dictionary to be the easiest and quickest one to use. ( )
  srtrent | Jul 15, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hans Wehrprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cowan, J MiltonEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This dictionary presents the vocabulary and phraseology of modern written Arabic.
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Its scholarship, accuracy and reliability make it one of the most significant contributions to Arabic lexicography. Review The reliability and completeness of the work deserve every praise, as does the practical arrangement of the entries. -- Bibliotheca Orientalis There can be no doubt that...it is a basic tool for study of modern Arabic. -- Middle East Journal

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