I would like to read Arabian Nights in Arabic. I would like to read it with English translation by side. I don't want the English translation to add its own sentences. I just want plain dumb translation.

Is there any Arabic-English book available?

If not, is there another translation source available?

  • An iTunes app of the unabridged Arabic (كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة‎) is here. Sadly, you'll need iTunes to get it. Hope this helps before the question is deleted (because it is considered off-topic). The English version is more easily found in PDF form, text and html. Good luck. – Meat Trademark Mar 18 '14 at 11:30
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    Not a request for recommendation... he's not asking us what to read. He's asking for a source for a particular work, which as far as I know is on-topic. – John O Mar 18 '14 at 13:08
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    Hmmm. This is going to be hard, if not impossible. English and Arabic are drastically different languages so a 1 to 1 translation is not possible. What's your aim here? Perhaps we can achieve it otherwise. – System Down Mar 18 '14 at 18:26

I'm unsure where you'll be able to find a SBS translated copy, if one even exists.

The best I think that can be done is to get the original (unexpurgated edition) and read it along with the "Plain and Literal" translated version. You may find that there is significant difference in both length and reading order though.


A friend and I, both American native-English speakers who have learned to read Arabic for our own pleasure, have read about two-thirds of the entire 1001 Nights in Arabic over the last five or six years.

I know of no dual language version of 1001 Nights. However, our 1999 Arabic edition (which happens to be from Dar Sader Publishers, Beirut and purchased at an Arabic bookstore in Los Angeles about which I have no other details) and our translation (by Malcolm C. Lyons, Penguin, set of 3 volumes of about 800-900 pp. each, made from the Calcutta II manuscript, which must also be the one we have in Arabic) have dovetailed almost perfectly. There are almost no differences between the two.

  • Welcome to SFFSE! This doesn't really answer the question. Nevertheless you make an interesting point - it would probably be better served as a comment. When you attain sufficient rep you will be able to leave comments on posts. In the meantime I suggest you familiarise yourself with our community by going through the tour - you get a badge! – Often Right Aug 10 '15 at 7:15
  • Welcome to the site. We appreciate your contribution, but we're not really a discussion forum; our model is expert Q&A. This is a fair answer though, so I edited it to to be a bit more narrowly-focused. You're of course welcome to make further edits if you like or roll my edit back, though I'd advise against it – Jason Baker Aug 10 '15 at 7:33

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