Want to bring a little entertainment into your Arabic studies? Why not try some radio or TV programmes to see if they can give you the boost you need? Whether you are looking for background noise for language immersion, or want to use programmes as an activity to practice with, there is something for you. Here are some of our suggestions for the best radio and TV to help you learn Arabic.
Looking for a travel show with a difference? Then Khawatir is your very next watch! This show has ten series that follow Ahmed Al Shugairi as he explores the world, showing the differences and similarities between cultures. Khawatir works two-fold. First, if you just want to hear Arabic, this is a great show to watch with beautiful visuals to keep you interested. And second, if you are more confident and at least at pre-intermediate level, it is a great way to pick up new vocabulary and colloquialisms.
Also, if you look out for it, any time English is spoken on the show you have Arabic subtitles, so it’s a great way to check your understanding as you watch. Episodes are no more than twenty-five minutes in length so they aren’t too long to fit into your schedule. As a taster try this episode from series eleven; we’re convinced you’ll be hooked! Each episode has millions of views and a long list of comments, which means even more Arabic to practice with!
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As radio stations go SBS PopAraby is a great listen, whether you’re using it to learn Arabic or not! There is a mixture of programmes on this station covering everything from culture to politics, with various presenters speaking at a tempo that is understandable for all. You can listen to the usual things you’ll find on a radio station like news bulletins on the hour, weather updates, and sports news, and of course, all of these things are interspersed with pop!
You can listen to SBS PopAraby round the clock though if you want to see what kind of programming is available to both fit into your day and suit your interests, then check this scheduler to see what works for you. And if you want an extra challenge you can view the Arabic version of the SBS PopAraby website. Happy studying!
Shankaboot is a great way to get in a little Arabic learning! Shankaboot is an interactive web-based series that was filmed on the streets of Beirut, following the adventures of delivery boy Souleyboy as he goes about his day. This is a fascinating watch because everything feels so real; the producers of this show — the BBC in association with Batoota Film — approached people on the street to act out parts. So not only does Shankaboot give a realistic insight into how people go about their days in Beirut, but also you will get to hear real Arabic conversations.
Here is episode one to give you a taste. Shankaboot makes a great learning resource because of its online nature. You can work through everything on its Youtube channel, and a quick Google search will tell you just how much this show was loved when it was on air. There are 52 episodes in total, and as well as the episodes there are behind the scenes snippets and interviews with the cast; plenty of other content to keep you practicing. Give it a watch!
BBC Arabic Radio
News programmes often have the best resources for language learning because news items are short and succinct. BBC Arabic Radio is exactly that. This is a round-the-clock radio station keeping you up to date with all the world’s news — all in Arabic. You can listen live so you are immersed in Arabic as you go about doing other things, or you can get your ear into a news segment and use it as a lesson. BBC Arabic Radio brings you clear, well-spoken Arabic as you would expect. Though perhaps if you are wanting to practice with it instead of just listen along, you will need to be at least pre-intermediate to understand.
As well as the constant live news stream that you can play whenever you want, BBC Arabic Radio also offers short news stories that you can listen to at any time. Take this news clip about a job opportunity on a remote British island. You get some great visuals including some very friendly cows, and a blast of Arabic along with some subtitles, all within a minute! Why not give it a try to see if this format works for you?
TV and radio provide some of the best ways to learn a language. When are you starting?