9+ Best Arabic Textbooks & Phrasebooks – For Beginners

Looking for the best Arabic textbooks?

See, some people like learning with courses.

Others want language apps. And some people like learning with textbooks.

And Arabic textbooks are a simple way to learn Arabic. Why?

Books guide you from page 0, to page 1, to page 3… to page 100. From your first words to your first conversation. You learn tons of words and grammar rules along the way.

So, in this guide, you get… the 9+ best Arabic Textbooks and phrasebooks.


  • Be careful about getting books on Kindle. The formatting may differ from the print version.

best arabic textbooks

1. Living Language Arabic, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course

  • Strength: A ton of resources. Comprehensive.
  • By Living Languages
  • Pages: 352

Living Language makes the list of “best Arabic textbooks” because of everything you get. What do you get?

You get 4 course-books (beginner, intermediate and advanced), 9 CDs, and online resources.

So, you get “quite enough” to get you up and speaking with Arabic.

Living Language teaches you the must-know grammar and words in each chapter. Then, at the end of each chapter, they bring it all together so that you can use the rules, make your own sentences, and master what you’ve learned.

Plus, the 9 CDs are there to help you hear Greek and guide you through all of the exercises in the book.

Click here to learn more.

So, if you’re looking for a general, comprehensive textbook that teaches you everything, you can easily go with this option.

  • Note: Teaches standard/formal Arabic so if you’re looking for a certain regional one, this isn’t it.

2. Complete Arabic Beginner to Intermediate Course: Learn to read, write, speak and understand a new language with Teach Yourself

  • Strength: Comprehensive Textbook.
  • By Teach Yourself
  • Pages: 496

This is another good textbook that promises to take you to the Intermediate level.

Definitely a strong contender on my list of best Arabic textbooks.

This 17 chapter textbook seems to cover it all: grammar explanations, dialogues, vocabulary, exercises, and cultural insights. The only complaint (from some people) is that it may be too fast-paced for some learners – however that may be just a personal preference.

Click here to learn more.

I do like the promise of getting you to the B1/B2 (Intermediate) level.

  • Note: No CD but you can download the Audio on their site, as mentioned in the product description.

You can go with either Complete Arabic or Living Language and you’ll be in good hands.

3. Salamaat! Learning Arabic with Ease: Learn the Building Blocks of Modern Standard Arabic

This is another solid, comprehensive textbook made by Tuttle, which is a popular language book publisher. So, you can safely go with this one as well.

  • Strength: Comprehensive textbook
    • Exercises!
  • By Tuttle
  • Pages: 400

The one thing that separates this book apart is… exercises! So, instead of just reading and reading and reading…and trying to come up with exercises for yourself, you get plenty here to test you.

Other than that, you’ll definitely learn all of the necessities — grammar, vocabulary, alphabet, pronunciation, conversations, reading, writing, listening, cultural tips, and more. And yes, it does come with audio.

Click here to learn more.

4. Arabic For Dummies

Whether you know it or not, Dummies is indeed a quality resource for language learning.

  • Strength: Comprehensive textbook
  • By For Dummies
  • Pages: 384

Arabic for Dummies is a nice introduction to the language. Chapter 1 covers things you already know. Chapter 2 teaches you the alphabet. Chapter 3 is basic grammar. And all the way ’til Chapter 21, you learn words, phrases, sentences for common categories like: Travel, Numbers, Conversation, Greetings, and so on.

Click here to learn more.

5. Easy Arabic Grammar

Want to speak Arabic and express yourself fluently?  Then, you’ll need grammar.

Grammar rules give you all the ways to express yourself. So, that’s where this Arabic learning book/workbook comes in.

  • Pages: 149
  • By McGraw-Hill
  • Strength: Beginner grammar
    • 100+ practice activities

For me, the big plus is that it’s a workbook so you can write inside and practice grammar.

Click here to learn more.

6. Modern Standard Arabic Grammar: A Learner’s Guide

Speaking of grammar…

If you’re learning for the long haul and want something much more comprehensive, then you’ll want this book.

  • Pages: 418
  • By Wiley-Blackwell
  • Strength: Beginner grammar
    • 100+ practice activities

You’ll learn grammar rules from the beginner level all the way up to advanced.

Click here to learn more.

7. The Arabic Alphabet: How to Read & Write It

  • Strength: Learn to write and write the alphabet. Very focused book.
  • By Lyle Stuart
  • Pages: 98

This quick book guides you through the Arabic alphabet in about a week. Just read through the step by step explanations and write out every example.

Click here to learn more.

8. 15-Minute Arabic

While this isn’t a “textbook,” it’s definitely a wonderful little learning book and approach to the language.

Note: Egyptian Arabic, not standard Arabic.

  • Pages: 160
  • By DK
  • Strength: Easy to use. Learn phrases and culture.
    • Includes free Audio App.

There are 5 lessons inside each chapter. The goal is to review each lesson for 15 minutes a day and finish 1 chapter per week and 12 chapters in 12 weeks. Along the way, you learn words, phrases, and cultural insights for various topics like Introductions, Eating/Drinking, Travel, and much more.

The book is very colorful and easy to use. Definitely a nice resource for any beginner that’s not quite ready to invest in a big, heavy textbook.

Click here to learn more.

9. Essential Arabic: Speak Arabic with Confidence! (Arabic Phrasebook & Dictionary) 

  • Pages: 224
  • By Tuttle
  • Strength: Lots of phrases

You know what’s better than learning just words…?


Yes, words and dictionaries are important and serve their own role, but phrases get you speaking immediately. So, that’s where this phrasebook comes in. You learn over 1500+ phrases here.

I’m a big fan of phrasebooks just for the sake of boosting my range of expression

Click here to learn more.

These are some of the best Arabic textbooks and books I’ve found so far.

But, if you want something a little more than a “book,” then I recommend ArabicPod101.

ArabicPod101 is an Arabic learning program. You get audio/video lessons made by real teachers. The lessons get you speaking in minutes and are just 3-15 minutes in length. Just press the play button below to check out a lesson.



So, if you want to HEAR real Arabic and learn faster with a program, I recommend them.

Click here to get a Free Lifetime Account at ArabicPod101.com.

– The Main Junkie

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