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FROM MSA to CA: A Beginner's Guide to Transitioning to Colloquial Arabic

(3 reviews)

Lina Gomaa, Portland State University

Pub Date: 2015

ISBN 13: 9781329996694

Publisher: Portland State University Library

Language: English

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Reviewed by Lamees Fadl, Lecture, LAGCC on 1/6/19

The book covers provides good strategy to transitioning to Egyptian and Levantine. read more


Reviewed by Ragheda Nassereddine, Instrctor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. on 2/9/17

For a beginner’s level of Arabic, the book covers some limited issues related to transitioning from Arabic MSA to Egyptian CA. It covers well some basic Vocabulary words and Grammar rules in contextual cultural content. It provides a glossary and... read more


Reviewed by Mohammed HIRCHI, Associate Professor, Colorado State University on 12/6/16

The text reads easily and it is written with a simple, clear and understood language. The book is divided into four major chapters and each chapter deals with one of the aspects of the overall content. read more


Table of Contents


Abbreviations and Acronyms

Chapter 1

A: Transitioning to CA:Final voweling and greeting terms in MSA and CA

B: Greetings and ending conversations

1. Formal greetings conversation: at work

2. Informal greetings conversation:

3. Practice: Complete the dialogue

C: Cultural insight: Ending a conversation in a culturally acceptable manner

Chapter 2

A: Transitioning to CA: WH Question words in MSA and CA

Examples of using WH words in short dialogues

B: Requests

1. Taxi

2. Requesting train tickets

3. At the restaurant

4. Practice: Complete the dialogue

C: Cultural insights: Giving directions

7 | From MSA to CA: A Beginner's guide for transitioning into Colloquial Arabic

Chapter 3

A: Transitioning to CA: Verb tenses

B: Dialogues

1. At the sports club (present tense

2. Missing a lecture at the university (future tense

3.What did you do yesterday? (past tense

4. Practice: Complete the dialogue

C: Cultural insights: Phone conversations and communicating among different age groups in the Arab world

Chapter 4

A: Transitioning to CA: Negation in MSA vs CA

Mini-Dialogues: Examples of using negations and invitations

B: Accepting and rejecting invitations

1. Accepting an invitation to lunch

2. Politely rejecting an invitation to an outing

3. Practice: Complete the dialogue

C: Cultural insights: Tips on dealing with culturally sensitive situations


About the Book

This book is for students who have studied Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) for one year or more and would like to learn colloquial Arabic basics using their knowledge of MSA. It aims at transitioning learners from Novice Mid level to Intermediate Low through presenting situations useful for living in an Arab country. The book has several features including hyperlinks, practice dialogues with open answers, cultural tips, and more. To access the audio files to accompany this book, please visit

About the Contributors


Lina Gomaa received an MA in Arabic/English Translation and Interpreting from University of Salford, UK. At Beloit College, USA, she obtained her BA in Creative Writing, with a minor in Journalism. Also at Beloit College, she obtained a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language. In Egypt, Miss Gomaa obtained a BA in Arabic/English Translation and English Literature from the Faculty of Languages, Alsun, Ain Shams University. At the American University in Cairo, she received the Certificate of Teaching Arabic for non-native speakers. Miss Gomaa has taught Arabic and English to non-nativespeakers at several universities in Egypt and the USA. She is a fully certified oral proficiency interviewer by ACTFL. Miss Gomaa’s research interests are second language acquisition and translation including holy texts, focusing on the Holy Quran translations into English.