Posted in Reviews

Review: Mido – A fun yet rigorous grounding in Arabic dialects for intermediate students

This is another great service from Matthew Aldrich and his colleagues at Lingualism to learners and teachers of Arabic.

The stories of young Mido and his family offer a fun yet rigorous way to build up your knowledge of vocabulary, accent and phrasing in three varieties of spoken Arabic: Egyptian; Lebanese; and Tunisian. There is also a version in Modern Standard Arabic. With the Arabic on the left and an English translation on the right, anyone with a basic knowledge of the dialect will be able to develop their comprehension further without ever losing their way. The books are available (along with free audio) here:

The version in Modern Standard Arabic takes place in Egypt, and it is evident that the Egyptian version is the basis for the others. Nevertheless, the good people at Lingualism have been typically respectful of the realities of Arabic as spoken from region to region.

The stories are the same in each book – almost to the page – but the creators have varied the cultural content according to region covered. This means foods, customs and even names are slightly different in each book, providing a more authentic learning experience. There are even some footnotes on points of language or culture for with the learner might need an explanation.

Furthermore, dozens of lively illustrations can be found throughout the book to help the reader better understand the texts.