Hans Wehr: A Dictionary Of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English)
Hans Wehr: A Dictionary Of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English)
Hans Wehr: A Dictionary Of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English)

Hans Wehr: A Dictionary Of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English)

R 349


This dictionary presents the vocabulary and phraseology of modern written Arabic. It is based on the form of the language which, throughout the Arab world from Iraq to Morocco, is found in the prose of books, newspapers, periodicals, and letters. This form is also employed in formal public address, over radio and television, and in religious ceremonial. The dictionary will be most useful to those working with writings that have appeared since the turn of the century

The morphology and syntax of written Arabic are essentially the same in all Arab countries. Vocabulary differences are limited mainly to the domain of specialized vocabulary. Thus the pest, to ensure the written language continues, as it has done throughout centuries of linguistic unity of the Arab world. It provides a medium of communication over the vast dialects it transcends. Indeed, geographical area whose numerous and widely diverse local it gives the Arabic people of many countries a sense of identity and an awareness of their common cultural heritage.


ISBN: 97890561010183
AUTHOR: Hans Wehr / Edited by : 
EDITOR: J. Milton Cowan
BINDING: Hardback
PAGES: 1110
DIMENSIONS: 25 x 17 x 5.3 CM
PUBLISHER: Indian Print


Hans Bodo Wehr ( 5 July 1909 – 24 May 1981) was a German Arabist. He is best known for his Arabic dictionary and the system of transliteration used in it.
Wehr was born in Leipzig in 1909. He attended a gymnasium in Halle, and then studied at universities in Halle, Berlin, and Leipzig. He received his doctorate in 1935 and his habilitation in 1939.

He joined the Nazi Party in 1940, and wrote an essay arguing that Germany should ally with the Arabs against England and France. He had begun work on an Arabic–German dictionary, and the project received funding from the German government, which intended to use make use of the dictionary in translating Mein Kampf into Arabic. For a time, Weir was assisted in his project by Hedwig Klein.

His dictionary, entitled Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart, was eventually published in 1952. An English version, edited by J Milton Cowan and entitled A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, was published in 1961. The dictionary used a new system of transliteration, which is today known as Hans Wehr transliteration.

Wehr was a professor at the University of Münster from 1957 until his retirement in 1974. He died in Münster in 1981.

J Milton Cowan (February 22, 1907 – December 20, 1993) was an American linguist.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Cowan was the son of a butcher, who, hesitating between the first names James and John when the boy was born, decided to give him neither but to let the boy make the choice himself when he grew up. However, Cowan never chose one, referring to himself as "J, no period, Milton Cowan".

Cowan paused his college education at the University of Utah to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany (Gleiwitz, Breslau, Magdeburg, Erfurt), acquiring considerable proficiency in the language. Returning to Salt Lake City, he completed a bachelor's degree in German at the University of Utah in 1931 and went on to earn a master's degree in German there in 1932 with a thesis on a Baroque drama by Andreas Gryphius. He then enrolled in Dramatic Art at the University of Iowa, earning a Ph.D. in 1935 with a thesis on the phonetics of stage speech. It was at the University of Iowa that he met his future wife, Theodora Mary Ronayne. In 1936, he was an assistant research associate in Dramatic Art at the University of Iowa, and he also held an assistant professorship in German there from 1938 to 1940 (or 1942; the documentation is spotty). He developed close ties with Bernard Bloch, W. Freeman Twaddell, and Martin Joos. In 1942, Cowan moved to Washington, D.C., to work as director of the Intensive Language Program of the American Council of Learned Societies, which under wartime circumstances was closely linked with the Army Specialized Training Program for 29 strategic languages conducted at numerous land-grant universities. These included Cornell University, where Russian and Italian were taught under Army auspices, and in 1946 Cowan was appointed director of Cornell's newly established Division of Modern Languages (DML) to adapt the military's intensive language instruction methods to the regular university curriculum. He also held an appointment as a professor in Cornell's German Department.

Cowan held a number of service positions throughout his life, becoming the president of the Linguistic Society of America in 1966. In 1972, he and his wife co-founded the publishing house Spoken Language Services. His principal publication is the English-language version (1961) of the Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (1952) compiled by Hans Wehr and originally published in German.

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