Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)

MSA is the formal Arabic that is written and spoken throughout the contemporary Arab world. Also known as Fus'ha, it is used in various forms by approximately 208 million Christian and Muslim Arabs. In the Arab world, MSA is the language of the news media, intellectual life, and literature from the Qur'an to the historian Ibn Khaldun and to the Nobel Prize winning author Nagib Mahfuz. MSA is the form of Arabic universally taught in schools of the Arab world. In addition, Modern Standard Arabic is the lingua franca used and respected by educated Muslims throughout the entire world.

Modern Standard Arabic is ideally suited for students of the Social Sciences considering research anywhere in the Arab world (including North Africa); students of the humanities such as History, Art, Music, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Religion; or students of Applied Sciences and Business who may be considering work or research in an Arabic speaking country.

The textbook for our first year course in MSA is Al-Kitaab by Kristen Brustad (link fixed 20 August, 2005), Mahmoud Al-Batal, and Abbas Al-Tonsi and Published by Georgetown University Press. In our advanced classes, one of our texts used for grammar review and readings is Peter Aboud's Elementary Modern Standard Arabic (EMSA) the most widely used textbook for the study of Arabic in the United States. Tapes for Aboud's text are available in the University of Georgia language laboratory in Moore College. Instruction is also supplemented by interactive computer-based instruction via the software Ahlan wa Sahlan (link fixed 20 August, 2005), developed by Prof. Mahdi Alosh of Ohio State University and beginning in the Fall of 1998 by the Interactive EMSA Software developed by Professor Dilworth Parkinson. (link fixed 20 August, 2005)

After learning Modern Standard Arabic, students can easily learn any of the numerous dialects of colloquial Arabic, which are spoken in particular regions of the Arab world and which are used in informal situations.

Students interested in online audio materials at an elementary level will find the dialogues of Let's Learn Arabic by Roger Allen of the University of Pennsylvania to be useful. In order to listen to them, Real Audio is necessary.

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