Arabic Listening Resources In All Dialects.

Donovan Nagel posts at Mezzoguild:

I often say that the hardest part about learning a language like Arabic is not the speaking. Speaking can be picked up pretty quickly believe it or not (made even easier by amazing sites like italki that connect you with Arabic speakers). The hardest part about Arabic is actually learning to listen – training your ears to grasp what you’re hearing.

What sucks is that this is the one part of language learning where there are no shortcuts. To become better at listening you just need time and lots of exposure to Arabic. You need to listen constantly. […]

Here you’ll find some excellent links to high quality material online that will improve your listening skills in Arabic. There are many many more than this online and probably a lot that I don’t know about but what I’ve listed here are high quality listening resources (mostly free, some paid) in a wide variety of dialects.

A tip o’ the Languagehat hat to Slavomír Čéplö (aka bulbul).


  1. You need to listen constantly.
    This, a hundred times this. I know a lot of people who speak pretty decent English or German, but are completely unable to follow the dialogue on a TV show or in a movie.
    In fact, for beginners, I would recommend not to even open their mouth for the first six months or so and just listen.

  2. Apparently they couldn’t find any “remarkable” Algerian YouTube channels, so here are episodes from a couple of popular Algerian YouTube comedians:

    DZJoker: Derdja, the Algerian Language
    Anes Tina: Harraga in Algeria

    Good luck understanding a word they’re saying, if you’re a learner…

  3. As I’ve pointed out before, speaking is easier than listening for the same reason that throwing a ball is easier than catching it; you do the former activities at your own pace, the latter at someone else’s.

  4. Having the radio or TV on an all-news channel playing in the background is an aid I have recommended to people learning French, and presumably may help with other languages. Firstly because it immerses you semi-consciously in the rhythm and “feel” of the language, and secondly because you usually have some idea what is happening in world news on the day, and that gives you some keys words and an idea of what the context is.

  5. marie-lucie says

    Excellent advice. Can be supplemented by popular magazines in the relevant language.

  6. Jim (another one) says

    “Excellent advice. Can be supplemented by popular magazines in the relevant language.”

    And subtitled movies and TV shows! It doesn’t even really matter how accurate the subtitling is because you only need a gist to identify and guess at new vocabulary.

    “I would recommend not to even open their mouth for the first six months or so and just listen.”

    Interestingly six months is the interval ESL teachers report with their pupils. The pupils just listen for six months and then one day they just start speaking. It helps that they are kids and know what kind of teasing they face if they get things wrong, so they wait until they feel they have some chance of getting it right.

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