"Get the fire-extinguisher": Arabic vocabulary for new Aramco employees

Arabian American Oil Company. Arabic Work Vocabulary for Americans in Saudi Arabia. Second Edition, Revised.

Faggala, Cairo, Elias' Modern Press, 1946.

12mo. (2), 16 pp., 17-51 ff. Original printed wrappers.


Small, eminently practical instructional volume to accompany the compulsory course of Elementary Colloquial Arabic for new Aramco employees. All Arabic terms are transliterated into a simple Latin alphabet, focusing on the Qatifi dialect but also embracing usages of Bahrein, Hofuf, and Jubail: "In this manner something of a cross-section of the speech of the majority of the Arabs employed by the Arabian American Oil Company has been arrived at." The vocabulary commences with a list of safety terms, such as "look out" or "get the fire-extinguisher", as "it is more important that you learn these expressions than any others". Yet social expressions like "peace be upon you" and "how are you?" are also treated, as "the Westerner's tendency to dispense with formalities can often be unintentionally offensive". As for verb forms, "only imperatives (the forms of command) are given here, since they are of greatest value in accomplishing tasks".

Slightly brownstained.