Review: Yalla! Let's Learn Egyptian Colloquial Arabic Verbs
The review is based on the freely available extract of El Dik, Dina; Iskander, Emad (2021). Yalla! Let’s Learn Egyptian Colloquial Arabic Verbs. ISBN 978-977-416-909-0 available here.
The approach to give all the Egyptian Arabic verbs and their forms in Arabic script seems to be more or less unusual in the sphere of Egyptian Arabic grammar books. I think it is useful though as it gives morphological information that is harder to derive from romanizations. Moreover, the words can actually be found in real life in written form, so it is useful to learn them in Arabic script. This makes it easier to recognize them in such a context. On the other hand the book uses Arabic spellings adapted to pronunciation that are not found in written texts in the wild. Maybe a combination of Arabic script and transliterations would have been a superior approach.
Sorting the verbs by frequency of their usage looks like a very good order for studying the most common verbs first.
The “Grouping of ECA verbs” (pp. XI–XIV) in the introduction is a nice overview. Unfortunately, it might evoke the impression to list all existing patterns maybe with exception. This is not the case and should have been mentioned clearly I think. Many verbs with defective, hollow or doubled roots and as such their underlying patterns exist for forms where the given list leaves those out.
Quite some smaller mistakes in the introduction (“**Form I” should instead read “*Form II”, p. XIII; I think I’ve seen more that I failed to note down) undermine the trust in the reliability of the book that might appear at more critical content harder to spot).
The price of 25 GBP is sadly quite high.
Given the mentioned drawbacks, the books still looks like a helpful resource for students aiming to improve their understanding of Egyptian Arabic verbs, especially due to the used order by frequency and the use of Arabic script despite its artificial spelling.