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pochemuchka books

Books about Arabic by Gerald Drißner

Most of the ideas and questions for this blog are taken from Gerald Drißner’s books. pochemuchka books is his selfpublishing label.

All major book stores and online sellers (e.g. amazon, the book depository, etc.) should have the books in stock. In case you cannot get them, send a message.

Arabic for Nerds 1 – Fill the Gaps

270 Questions about Arabic Grammar

Arabic for Nerds 1

ARABIC FOR NERDS one  pushes you from the intermediate to the advanced level.

Reading about Arabic grammar is usually as thrilling as reading telephone directories. The author uses a new approach: He compiled 270 interesting questions drawing from his years of studies in the Arab world to create a colorful journey into Arabic grammar.

However, if you want to reach an advanced level, it is not about learning vocabulary lists – it is about understanding the fascinating core of Arabic. This is what Arabic for Nerds is all about. It is specifically intended for INTERMEDIATE learners.

Fully revised and EXPANDED 1st edition – with index
October 2015, 568 pages

  • ISBN-13 (paperback edition): 978-3-9819848-7-3
  • ISBN-13 (hardcover edition): 978-3-9819848-2-8

Available at amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, or your preferred bookshop (just use the ISBN or the name “Arabic for Nerds” to get it).

To get a better idea of the book, you can check the “Look Inside!”-feature on amazon or have a look at the contents here.

Please note that we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

4.6
Based on 68 Reviews
amazon

I'm still working my way through this book but what a superb and clearly written explanation of the Arabic language! Unlike most I've read so far, which have been dry, boring or outdated, the author uses up-to-the-minute clear English and brings his knowledgeable and humorous personality to help with the explanations. Brilliant!!

Reece Dreavyn January 8, 2022
amazon

This book is recommended for someone who already has a certain level of Arabic proficiency.... however, I've found it being very interesting even for a beginner, like myself: - The author explains different aspects of the language, randomly going from general to specific subjects (which makes the reading not boring) - The author does a great job explaining unusual grammar or morphological nuances of the language to the audience whose native languages are Romano-Germanic For a beginner the book gives a perspective about challenges at the advanced level...

Relentless_explorer March 19, 2021
amazon

A wonderful book for all those who need to learn the intricacies of Arabic Grammar. Scores of Questions and Answers that help to understand the inner logic of the language and to master its patterns and structures, which the author compares to grandmaster chess-playing and to a 'mathematical game'. The author recommends his book to those who have studied Arabic intensively for a minimum of two years, with a good knowledge of Arabic vocabulary, and 'who know about tenses, verb moods and plurals'. He warns that the book doesn't teach vocabulary and that there are no exercises. While he also cautions that the book is neither scientific nor academic, his love for the language is so obvious and contagious that, along with the easy-going, conversational style and Q&A format, this book will ultimately be most helpful to all serious students of the Arabic language.

Amazon Customer Chad I. November 19, 2020
amazon

great work!

M. Nur October 27, 2019
amazon

The author's passion for Arabic makes understanding grammar interesting.

dcchamberlin July 26, 2019
amazon

This book answered so many questions I had. The Arabic language is like a huge jigsaw puzzle and this book will fill in the missing pieces. A must have for the serious scholar.

P Flynn June 15, 2019
amazon

I actually purchased AFN quiet a while ago and I am just now getting around to writing a review. Arabic is one of those languages that requires A LOT of time if one wishes to become at least partially competent in it. It can definitely become overwhelming at times, especially in the beginning. But then again, I guess it depends on a person's main goal for wanting to learn the language. If it's just be able to talk about the weather, ask how someone is, or order a Falaafal, then it won't require as much time as if someone wants to be able to pick up a text and read away or give a formal speech in front of native Arabic speakers. There are tons of Arabic grammar books out there, some great, some good, some so-so, and to be quiet honest, (and I don't mean to sound cruel), some are so awful I question what the author was thinking in writing it. One thing that I must also say is that any online program or book that promises you that you can become fluent in Arabic in 30 days, 60 days, 3 months, etc., etc. JUST SAY NO! Also one must have a teacher or a knowledgeable tutor to learn at the basics. OK, with all that said, now on to the actual review. Arabic for Nerds is not the conventional Arabic "grammar" book, and this is one of the best things about it! It fills in many of the gaps that other books can create, and it explains the concepts it tackles in a clear manner. It is also great that the author uses many of the grammar terms used by Arabic grammarians along side its English "equivalent". Overall, I would highly recommend to anyone who has been studying Arabic for at least a couple years to get this book.

Maximus February 19, 2019
amazon

It was a gift to a friend. He is very happy with the book.

MARY December 4, 2018
amazon

An excellent book, worth a buy. It takes you back in time to the substratum on how grammar began. Its like the Big Bang of Grammar. Totally intoxicating and worth the hangover. Dr Renuka Karthikayan Malaysia

renuka October 23, 2018
amazon

This is the perfect manual for students of Arabic who already know grammar. It's very helpful for refreshing memory and filling in gaps.

Tatyana Talamas June 25, 2018
amazon

Although the layout is a little messy and it is not easy to look up the answer you want, it truly does address the intricacies of Arabic in an appealing way. An important stepping stone into higher levels of this amazing ancient language. The author would do us good by preparing an exercise book to master the grammar points he explains.

Gabrielle K. September 25, 2017
amazon

Phenomenal resource for advanced students of Arabic. This book addressed so many topics in Arabic grammar that I didn't even realize I was unclear on.

Dave August 20, 2017
amazon

An excellent book, for those who want to grasp certain aspects of Arabic grammar this text is very useful. well worth the money

Mohammad Zakaria June 15, 2017
amazon

Great Book, it fills in all the gaps i was missing for grammar Great Book, it fills in all the gaps i was missing for grammar

Din May 9, 2017
amazon

I was excited for the arrival of this book and I'm already glued after having it for one day. Grammar is explained really well in a structured, understandable and helpful manner. I know that this book will be essential to reference back to throughout my years of learning Arabic. I agree that its content is for those serious about the language, and with a love for Grammar (boxes all of which I tick), though I disagree with the author saying that it is aimed at advanced learners with 2+ years of Arabic knowledge behind them. I am a first year University Student and we have already covered a lot of these questions in class, and I'm fining the book extremely enlightening. A must buy.

KJ Bakes May 6, 2017
amazon

Every serious Arabic learner should get a copy of this -- whenever I have a question the book has an answer to it. I think this book is especially useful to students who have spent more than two years studying Arabic and who wants to understand FusHa grammar inside-out.

Chateaubriand February 7, 2017
amazon

Not for every would-be learner of Arabic grammar, but EXCELLENT for those who want a Western-type analysis of how fine points of Arabic grammar works, those who find discomfort in not connecting the approach of traditional Arabic grammarians to a modern framework. A very succinct compilation of the kinds of commentary/explanation needed by students from a European-American educational background. Perhaps overwhelming for a beginner, but for one with a linguistics or grammar orientation this fills a distinct need.

Dr. January 25, 2017
amazon

I have learned many useful things about Arabic from this book. This book presents to you information that many native speakers may not even know and more importantly it is written from the perspective of a learner who has been there, done that. I applaud the author for his wonderful effort.

B. Young November 21, 2016
amazon

Excellent book

Sam October 20, 2016
amazon

Gerald Drissner ist leidenschaftlich verliebt in diese Sprache und das spürt man. Die meisten existierenden Arabischbücher sind leider etwas veraltet oder viel zu steif. Dieses Buch kann man einfach stundenlang im Sofa durchblättern und dabei viel lernen. Dass ein Ausländer dieses Buch geschrieben hat, ist auch wichtig: er weiß, was einem Ausländer beim Erlernen dieser Sprache schwer fallen kann. Also danke!

Sébastien Gravier September 24, 2016
amazon

I received this book as a gift to help me refine my learning of the Arabic language, and I love it! This book is a quirky addition to the other Arabic learning books already out there which, let's face it, are often pretty dry. This is probably the first book in English that explains the Arabic language the way that native speakers would learn it, however, this book is not an academic type book. Instead, it is based on applied, practical problems that look easy but can wind up being a real headache, such as how to express "more crowded," "this car is mine," or how to pronounce the number ten correctly. The explanations are written in plain English, and the author translates and explains the concepts and ideas of Arabic grammar terms in a really in-depth and helpful way. This approach is especially helpful if your aim is to study Arabic in the Arab world. The book contains hundreds of examples, and every Arabic sentence is translated and fully vocalized. You will find advanced content that goes beyond what you would learn at a college level. I highly recommend this book for intermediate students!

Customer August 17, 2016
amazon

Really good and refreshing outlook. Slightly above my level but I'm going through bits of it and asking my teacher about things I don't understand and my teacher is buying this book too.

Shehzad March 28, 2016
amazon

Fantastic resource for advanced students. I've been stuck at 3/3 ILR in Modern Standard Arabic and really need something to break through. There are no exercises in the book, but there are hundreds if not thousands of incredibly useful examples. I had to adjust a bit initially to the Arabic grammar terms, but I love this book. Finally there is a tool for students who want to move beyond alKitaab or Medina. Break free of the limits you have placed on your Arabic by trying to fit it into your language's grammar structures and embrace the language on its own terms.

C. Townsend January 15, 2016
amazon

Are you studying Arabic? Then you MUST get this book. It really is a no-brainer. Trust me, I have just about EVERY book for learning Arabic and this is definitely something you will want to have. At over 400 densely-packed pages, this is one of the true rare gems in the language self-publishing world.

Language Crawler December 22, 2015

Arabic for Nerds 2 – A Grammar Compendium

450 Questions about Arabic Grammar

ARABIC FOR NERDS two will improve your understanding of written Arabic texts dramatically. It helps you to achieve your final goal: the superior level (C2).

Arabic for Nerds 2

Have you been in the following situation? You know every single word in an Arabic sentence, but you don’t have a clue what the sentence is all about? The painful reason is: you don’t understand the grammar.

This book aims to transform grammar, a subject that is hated by many people, into an understandable and enjoyable subject. This is not another boring grammar book.

ARABIC FOR NERDS 2 will teach you in an entertaining way how to dissect a sentence, how to identify the function of letters, words, and syntax – in short: the I’rab (إِعْراب).  The author has compiled 450 interesting questions that mainly deal with Arabic grammar(النَّحْوُ).

Imagine pushing entire sentences into an MRI machine. After we have examined the structure, we put single words under a microscope. Eventually we will know how sentences work or why they don’t work.

This book is thoughtfully structured to guide you through

  • the jungle of case endings
  • playing with word order
  • understanding fine points of Classical and Modern Standard Arabic,
  • and how to avoid common mistakes.

ARABIC FOR NERDS 2 is a grammar compendium. It gives you all the tools that you need to properly analyze any Arabic sentence – no matter if it is taken from a children’s book or the Holy Qur’an.

Every Arabic sentence is fully vowelled (تَشْكِيل) and translated into English. It is specifically intended for advanced learners.

If you want to know what others think about it – switch over to amazon or read this review by The Arabic Pages.

1st edition – with index
August  2018, 828 pages

  • ISBN-13 (paperback edition): 978-3-9819848-0-4
  • ISBN-13 (hardcover edition): 978-3-9819848-1-1

Available at amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, or your preferred bookshop (just use the ISBN or the name “Arabic for Nerds 2” to get it).

In order to get a better idea of the book, you can check the “Look Inside!”-feature on amazon or have a look at the contents here.

Please note that we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

4.7
Based on 44 Reviews
amazon

I’m using it for additional support for my Arabic teaching. So much to learn from it and great for brushing up on Arabic grammar

Pastry World November 19, 2021
amazon

بارك الله فيك

amazon

Best arabic grammar book I found to date easy simple to understand a big thank u to the author of the book

Be kind March 23, 2021
amazon

This is such a great book that I am thinking of getting a second copy to store when I wear out the first copy . My first copy came a little damaged but that was the fault of the shipper not the book publisher. Strongly recommended.

Carlos C. Huerta February 5, 2021
amazon

Maravilloso , lo recomiendo 100% explica la gramática de forma sencilla estoy contentísima con esta compra.

Tamara October 19, 2020
amazon

Maravilloso , lo recomiendo 100% explica la gramática de forma sencilla estoy contentísima con esta compra.

Indignada con AMASSON October 19, 2020
amazon

This is an excellent book which covers the finer points of Arabic which are so often difficult to find answers for - if you are serious about learning Arabic, this book is essential reading. Used in conjunction with Modern Literary Arabic- a reference grammar - by Dr. Ron Buckley - I can find answers to must problems encountered.

Steve October 11, 2020
amazon

If you are serious about learning the finer nuances of Arabic grammar, then this resource should be in your possession. The format of this book has been very thoughtfully laid out in giving the serious student a comprehensive blueprint of the necessary grammatical concepts that gives one access to the embedded meanings within the structure of the Arabic sentence. I have a number of Arabic grammar resources in my library. What is amazing about Arabic for Nerds Two is that it is both a key and bridge to effectively understanding the seminal classical Arabic texts. The more that I am learning about Arabic grammar, the more the value of Arabic for Nerds Two becomes. It is my primary go to resource. I am glad that I found this resource and I thank the author for his knowledge and vision for producing such a gem! JMC

JMC March 4, 2020
amazon

I bought both of the Arabic for Nerds books, they're fun to read and flip through! I keep it on my desk and read 2-3 random sections a day. It brings back the feeling of reading dictionaries or encyclopedias as a kid. They are written as though you are sitting with a friend who *really* gets it and is happy to explain it to you. Easy to breeze through, and it isn't difficult to skim though the list of topics if you are looking for something specific.

Tim February 1, 2020
amazon

Must have for any student learning Arabic! Most grammar books widely used like Hidayatun, Sharh Qatar an Nada can be difficulty for the new learner and technical. This book is written in simple English and will definitely assist you in learning Arabic. As a student of Arabic (Fusha) for many years, I would strongly recommend

Ali B August 27, 2019
amazon

Gerald Driβner has produced a comprehensive compendium of nettlesome and problematic issues plaguing non-native students of Arabic more likely than not from the first one that ever tried to learn Arabic. The second volume following its concomitant Arabic for Nerds is a heavy tome (both literally and figuratively) weighing in at 807 pages (including the very useful index) and is decidedly not for the faint of heart. Drissner makes clear that the text is intended for Intermediate High to Advanced level students and contends that mastery of its contents could push one to the ACTFL Superior level, though this reviewer retains serious doubts about the latter claim. Nonetheless, the text focuses on the thorny issues of proper iraab (formal voweling in Modern Standard and Classical Arabic) in the light of works by native grammarians (taking both a diachronic and synchronic view of the issues) who are cited with proper sources, legibly printed Arabic examples in an easily accessible font style and English translations with notes on how iraab can change the precise meaning, particularly in idaafa consructions. Toward that end, Gerald Drissner has succeeded remarkably well in providing a very lucid, informative, and fascinating book on not only Arabic now but also its development over time, replete with examples from various dialects, Classical Arabic, and Modern Standard Arabic. This reviewer would highly recommend this book and its predecessor as in invaluable fount of knowledge on the Arabic language and how to improve one's use and understanding of the language. Reginald Lee Hefner, M.A. (Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language [TAFL]), Middlebury College and currently Lecturer in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Modern Hebrew at York College of Pennsylvania (YCP).

amazon

A cornucopia of Arabic grammar terms you will not find any Standard Arabic Grammar book very clearly explained. It is about I'raab or understanding the shape and function of each word in an Arabic sentence. With the knowledge of I'raab and widely available vocabularies of the Quran, you will read the Quran without the need of a translation. A companion website poses 20 Questions to prominent Arabs and non-Arabs involved in Arabic either authors, diplomats and celebrities about their experience with Arabic. Excellent contribution making you ask for more.

Yamani May 17, 2019
amazon

If you want to deepen your understanding of Arabic, not just always remain in the beginner level, Arabic for Nerds 1 & 2are for you!

C C YU January 27, 2019
amazon

Intelligent grammar that my Arabic native -speaking teacher approves of.

Hooley January 6, 2019
amazon

Many books have been written on learning and teaching Arabic Language by orientalists since the early 19th century for English speaking people. Many books have been written by native speakers too but none have succeeded in explaining the nitty- gritty of the language in away that will encourage a student to learn a challenging language like Arabic. I have been learning Arabic for some time and in my search for books i found Arabic for nerds book 1 which i bought from Amazon and read it from cover to cover. When i finished it i heard about the 800 odd pages book 2 which i immediately bought. Having used both the books i wish to advise all aspiring students who are trying to learn Arabic Languge to place your hands on these books. You will find answers you will never find in any other books on the subject on this planet. I am serious. I recomend these books very much that is why i spent time writing a review.

Hameed December 12, 2018
amazon

Learning grammar for any language normally is boring, but this book really changed my mind. I really enjoyed studying Arabic grammar through this book. The author used Q&A method to teach you anything you want to know with Arabic Grammar. I studied and read a lot of Arabic Grammar books, but I never found any book which taught you how to read I'raab (Arabic grammar analysis), but this book does.

Adrisman Yunus November 16, 2018
amazon

This is a formidable achievement by Gerald, who has comprehensively covered a multitude of questions of grammar that the advanced learner may come across. I particularly found the structured layout to be of benefit, as it allows the reader to quickly identify any particular aspect of grammar/i3rab about which you may have doubts, and read more deeply into the subject. A must have for anyone serious about improving degree-level Arabic.

Richard H September 16, 2018
amazon

Thorough analysis regarding the syntax and grammar of the Arabic language in an easy to digest format.

Amazon Customer September 8, 2018
amazon

The author published "Arabic For Nerds" in 2015. The present book is a follow-up to it. Both books are helpful to all students of the Arabic language. The author has managed to simplify the complex issues associated with Arabic and has added relevant information about former Arabic grammarians. Also, by discussing about 450 grammatical questions he has succeeded in making learning Arabic relatively easy--a hard task but will-achieved. Highly recommended.

Isaac August 20, 2018
amazon

Die Breite und Tiefe der Information über die arabische Grammatik ist bewundernswert. Ich bin begeistert!!

Ammann Paul August 19, 2018
amazon

The book magnificently simplifies the Arabic Language for learners. It makes it easy for the reader, first to understand history and components of the Arabic Language, and second to know the meaning behind specific grammar rules. The book avoids complicated contexts that make it difficult to follow the grammar rules. The book provides the logic behind using the verbs in different tenses . I highly recommend reading this book if anyone wants to read and speak the language.

Nina August 7, 2018

And there is another source and inspiration for this blog:

Islam for Nerds

500 Questions and Answers

Islam for Nerds

Islamic history and anecdotes are part of everyday conversation in the Arab world. This book provides a fascinating journey into one of the biggest and probably most misinterpreted religions via anecdotes and facts about Islam and its history, the Qur’an, the prophet Muhammad and his traditions, the Dos and Don’ts for Muslims, and how Islam spread around the world, summarised in 500 ques­tions and answers, which the author has derived from his own experiences.

The author has lived in North Africa and the Middle East for ten years and immersed himself in Islamic culture and society. He gradually learned the things kids in the Arab world already know, but most people in other parts of the world never heard of, by talk­ing to his neighbours, teachers, scholars and ordinary people in the street.

This book explains Islam in its complexity. The author also addresses current topics: Islam in the West, women’s issues and Jihad.

It can be read without knowing Arabic. However, the author provides the fully vocalised Arabic source in addition to the English translation, which may be beneficial for Arabic-speaking readers.

Fully revised 1st edition – with index
November 2016, 752 pages

  • ISBN-13 (paperback edition): 978-3-9819848-9-7
  • ISBN-13 (hardcover edition – distribution also to libraries and book sellers): 978-3981984835
  • ISBN (e-book edition): 978-3-9819848-4-2

Available at amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, or your preferred bookshop (just use the ISBN or the name “Islam for Nerds” to get it).

In order to get a better idea of the book, you can check the “Look Inside!”-feature on amazon or have a look at the contents here.

Please note that we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.