In a few words – literary Arabic is all that is written, but not spoken (newspaper, written speech, even children’s book) and spoken Arabic is all spoken but not written (conversation between friends, phone calls, interviews).

Why have we transcribed the Arabic words into Latin letters, rather than using the Arabic alphabet?
There is a scientific reason for preferring transcription: Arabic script suits the Standard Arabic language, with its comparatively limited range of sounds. The sounds of colloquial spoken Arabic are more plentiful, and more complex: its vowels are more numerous and more variable than those of Standard Arabic. When Arabs write colloquial Arabic (as they often do in captions to newspaper cartoons and in the “balloons” which emerge from the characters’ mouths) they do so in rather a hit-and-miss style. There are no rules which must be strictly adhered to, and so the reader has to be familiar with the particular dialect used in order to read the words exactly as they were intended to be read. Colloquial Arabic as written in Arabic script is an accepted form of shorthand which can be properly understood only by someone who already knows the spoken language well. “English” transcription, on the other hand (with the addition of a few diacritical signs), allows us to give the vowels their due and to depict the sounds of spoken Arabic with great precision. All books on Arabic dialects make use of transcription.

When starting to learn a language, it is important to learn the basics – the order of words in the sentence (syntax), how to inflect the verbs (grammar), families of verbs (decrees), and it is important to memorize and repeat the material. Few are the people who, at a very young age, can “catch” a language that has gone only through absorption from the environment

We ship overseas via Israeli postal service, eco service. The specified shipping time on the site is 5 business days.

Minerva Publishing House is a small, family-owned business. No one is “behind us” or funding us.

Some of the projects we create receive grants from the Lottery Council for Culture and Arts.

Our office is located at 15 Sokolov St. in Jerusalem. We are here Sunday to Thursday from 9:30am to 5pm, and can stay longer to meet at other times as well.

We can be reached by private vehicle, parked according to the signage instructions on the street, by bus on any line that stops at Keren Hayesod St. (buses 7, 18, 34, 38A, 74, 77, 78) or Jabotinsky Street (bus 13). You can also type in navigation software “Minerva Jerusalem”.