How to learn a language online

How to learn a language online

wayne parry

LEARN ARABIC ONLINE - FOR FREE

 

 

 

 

 

STEP ONE:   WHERE IS IT SPOKEN?

 

Arabic is a language spoken in 26 countries across North Africa and the Middle East by over 400 million people and by many more who live in non-Arabic speaking Muslim countries. The main dialects of Arabic are Egyptian, Levantine (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine etc), Gulf (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia etc) and Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia etc). There are also millions of Arabic speakers in countries where Arabs have migrated, such as France, the USA, Belgium, Canada, Germany and Australia. To begin with this language, it is important to understand where it is spoken.

 

 

 

STEP TWO:    TO CHOOSE A CITY WHERE IT IS SPOKEN

 

CAIRO

 

Cairo is the largest city in the Arab world and as such, it is of major importance in this region. By looking at a city and observing its movements we are able to imagine what it's like to be in this city - and this is important to further understand where it is spoken.

 

 

 

STEP THREE:   TO VISIT A MARKET

 

THE SOUKS OF DAMASCUS

 

Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world and its souks are like labyrinths with hidden mosques, narrow laneways and exotic stores. Exploring a city's markets provides us with an insight of how the language is written and this is an essential step for becoming familiar with the written form of the language.

 

 

 

STEP FOUR:   SITUATIONS

 

 

TELEVISION

 

Watching television in Arabic is a great way to become acquainted with how people behave and react in certain situations. Drama is the best example but also reality TV or entertaining sit-coms can show us how the local people interact. Some of these TV programs are particularly popular during Ramadan. Here is a short list of some good examples of Arabic television.

 

Al Qarar  -  reality TV show hosted by Saudi actor Abdel Muhsen Al Nimer

Al-Gamaa (The Group)  -  TV series loosely based on the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt

Al-Adham  -  drama series about a man who goes to Ukraine with some illegal immigrants

Private Number  -  crime drama from Egypt

Ayza Atgawez  -  Egyptian drama series about a pharmacist who wants to get married before turning thirty

Nona El Mazouna  -  sit-com about a typical Egyptian family

Elder of Ziyon  -  Syrian / Egyptian production about the life of Cleopatra

Sonbol Baed el Million  -  drama series from Egypt

Sarah – Lebanese drama series that follows the life of a woman

Ajyal – Lebanese drama series about a family in Beirut

Survivor – Arabic version on LBC (Lebanon) based on the successful franchise

The Doctors – Arabic version of the American medical talk show which is aired on Dubai TV

Ahmar Bel Khat El Arid – controversial Lebanese talk show on LBC

Bakkar – cartoon about a Nubian boy that always seems to have a moral message at the end

Al Khobz Al Haram – Syrian drama series

Tash Ma Tash – Saudi sit-com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP FIVE:    LEARNING ABOUT THE LOCAL FOOD

 

Food in this part of the world is varied and it ranges from delicious couscous and tagine in Morocco and Algeria to amazing tabouleh and hoummos in Lebanon. Learning about the food that people eat is a great way to learn more about the culture behind the language. Here is a rather extensive list of some popular foods enjoyed in this region.

 

 

ENTRÉE

 

Harira (lentil & tomato soup from Morocco)

Lablabi (chickpea & garlic soup from Libya)

Freekeh soup (green wheat soup popular in the Levant)

Mujjadara (sautéed lentils from Lebanon)

Esfiha (ground mutton mini pizzas from the Lebanese city of Baalbek)

Turshi (Iraqi pickled vegetables)

Hrisseh (wheat and ground chicken porridge popular all over the Levant)

Fattoush (crushed bread and chickpea salad from the Levant)

Khobz (flatbread found all over the Arab world)

Shorbat Ramman (pomegranate soup from Iraq)

Canjeelo (Somali style injera bread used for eating stews and dips)

Aseeda (Sudanese corn porridge)

Sakhana (Omani wheat and date soup)

Fatut (fried bread with eggs from Yemen)

Shahan Ful (fava bean salad from Sudan)

Gaspacho Oranais (Algerian soup that originated from Spain)

Fricasse (Tunisian tuna & harissa sandwiches)

Molokheyyah (Egyptian green soup)

Mana’oushe (Lebanese mini pizzas)

 

MEZZE

 

Tabbouleh (salad of parsley, tomato & chickpeas)

Baba ghanouj (eggplant dip)

Hummus (chickpea dip)

Labneh (strained yoghurt)

Tahini (sesame paste)

Za’atar (dried thyme & sumac)

Dolma (stuffed grape leaves)

Falafel (fried chickpea balls)

Kibbeh (ground lamb)

Kibbet Batata (potato kibbeh)

Kibbeh Nayyeh (raw kibbeh)

Tzatziki (Greek cucumber dip popular in Iraq)

 

MAIN

 

Kebab Karaz (cherry kebab from the Syrian city of Aleppo)

Qeema (minced meat, tomato & chickpea stew from Iraq)

Ogdat (spiced meat & vegetable stew from Yemen)

Maqluba (traditional rice & eggplant casserole from Jordan)

Matbucha (tomato & pepper stew from the Maghreb but also popular in the Middle East)

Saltah (spicy meat stew from Yemen)

Makdous (Lebanese stuffed eggplant)

Shish Taouk (Lebanese grilled chicken skewers)

Quzi (stuffed roast lamb from Iraq)

Ful Meddames (Egyptian fava bean stew)

Couscous (world famous semolina with meat & vegetables from the Maghreb countries)

Kefta (grilled meatballs eaten all over the Arab world)

Merguez (spicy lamb sausage from Algeria but also found in Morocco & Tunisia)

Kebdah (fried liver from Alexandria in Egypt)

Shawarma (grilled meat dish found all over the Arab world)

Macaroni béchamel (Egyptian dish similar to Greek pastitsio or Italian lasagne)

Hammana (Lebanese kidney bean stew)

Kebab Hindi (Syrian rolled meat in tomato paste)

Masgouf (baked & marinated river fish from Iraq)

Kushari (lentils & chickpeas macaroni from Egypt)

Kabsa (grilled meat & rice from Sudan)

Bazeen (flour dumpling in tomato sauce from Libya)

Kousa Mahshi (Lebanese stuffed zucchini)

Shish Barak (meat dumplings in yoghurt from Lebanon)

Bamya (okra in tomato sauce from Jordan)

Mahshi Hammam (rice stuffed pigeon from Egypt)

Pastilla (chicken & almond dish from Morocco)

Tagine (popular meat & vegetable dish found all over the Maghreb and also in Egypt)

Douma (baked lamb & yoghurt on rice from Lebanon)

Samak Mashwy (grilled fish from Alexandria in Egypt)

Chakhchoukha (Tunisian flatbread vegetable stew found all across North Africa)

Mansaf (baked lamb in fermented yoghurt from Jordan)

Moutabal with Sambusak (puréed potato & eggplant with meat doughballs from the Levant)

Musakhan (Palestinian sumac-scented roast chicken on taboon bread)

 

DESSERT

 

Basbusa (semolina & walnut)

Baklava (sweet filo pastry with honey & nuts found all over the Middle East & Europe)

Kanafeh (vermicelli sweet pastry found everywhere)

Asida (sweet dumplings found all over North Africa)

Kleicha (Iraqi date or cardamom cookies also found in the Gulf countries)

Halwa (tahini or sesame based sweet with nuts)

 

 

STEP SIX:    LEARNING HOW THE FOOD IS PREPARED

 

HOW TO MAKE COUSCOUS

 

Couscous is a semolina based meat and vegetable dish (sometimes without meat) that is popular all throughout the Maghreb region from Morocco to Algeria, Tunisia and Libya as well as being very well known in Egypt and of course, wherever Arabs have migrated. Here is an easy recipe for couscous. Following a recipe is a valuable way to learn more about the food and how to follow instructions in a language.

 

 

 

 

STEP SEVEN:    APPRECIATING THE MUSIC

 

Following the music in a language is an enjoyable way to learn and it allows us to understand what the local people are into when it comes to musical taste. In the Arab world this can vary from Rai music in Algeria to songs from popular Egyptian movies. All types of modern music are represented in this part of the world.

 

 

Ya Kethar (Nancy Ajram) – Lebanese singer

Chahlat Laayani (Mohamed Reda) – Moroccan pop singer

Baya al Ward (Amal Hijazi) – female Lebanese singer that has often caused controversy

Barmi el Salam (Hani Metwari) – Jordanian male singer

Ya Hazzi w Qalbi (Diana Haddad) – Lebanese pop singer who now lives in Dubai

Akheran Etgaraa (Sherine) – Egyptian pop singer from Cairo

Tsadaq Bmein (Elissa) – Lebanese pop singer

Men Walou (Chouf T Chouf) – Moroccan rap group

Tunisino (Neshez) – alternative band from Tunisia

Ma 3ad Bade Yak (Melhem Zein) – Lebanese male singer

Marafsh Leh (Nawal el Zoghbi)  - very famous female Lebanese singer from Byblos

Layali (Nydal ft Dr Mdzo) – Lebanese pop / rap artist with some lyrics in French

Enta al Ghali (Amr Diab) – probably the most successful Arab singer from Port Said in Egypt

Mar2et mn 7addi (Apik Aroyan) – male singer from Aleppo in Syria

Nti Tzawajti wa Ana Rani Fel Barr (DJ Aminouv ft Hasni Sghir) – remixed Rai artist from Algeria

Ya Majnoun (Haifa Wehbe) – another very famous female Lebanese pop singer

 

 

STEP EIGHT:  GETTING INVOLVED IN LOCAL SPORTS

 

FOOTBALL IN THE ARAB WORLD

 

Like most of the world, the Arabic speaking countries are big fans of football (soccer) and many have renowned national teams, such as Morocco and Algeria. The Gulf countries (U.A.E. and Qatar, for example) spend millions of dollars to attract world renowned teams to their stadiums. Following a game in the local language shows us what the native speakers are interested in - and here's one example of a match in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

STEP NINE:   FILM

 

UNDERSTANDING LOCAL CINEMA IN THE ARAB WORLD

 

Most movies that come out of the Arab world originate from Cairo in Egypt. This city is by far the largest producer of Arabic language movies and its influence over the rest of the Arab world is enormous. It is therefore no surprise that Egyptian Arabic has a cultural advantage over other dialects because of its film distribution. However, many movies are also made in Lebanon and the Gulf countries. Here's a short list of some recent releases.

 

 

Lust  -  Egyptian movie by controversial director Khaled El Hagar

Where Do We Go Now? -  very inspiring Lebanese movie about a town divided between Christians and Muslims

Messages from the Sea  -  Egyptian movie filmed on location in Alexandria

Son of Babylon  -  Iraqi movie about a young boy in the Gulf War

Casanegra  -  Moroccan movie about Casablanca’s underworld    

Captain Abu Raed  -  Jordanian movie about an old man who claims he was a pilot

Sous les Bombes  -  Lebanese movie about a mother who returns to Lebanon to find her son

Salt of this Sea  -   Movie about an American woman who returns to her homeland of Palestine

In the Heliopolis Flat  -  Egyptian movie set in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis

Caramel  -  One of Lebanon’s best movies to date, about a group of women in a hair salon

 

 

 

 

STEP TEN:  PEOPLE

 

SKYPE

 

Communicating with native speakers is a very effective way to improve language skills. There are several websites where it is possible to get connected with people who speak the language and then arrange a time to speak with them on Skype. Here are two useful websites:

 

The Mixxer  http://www.language-exchanges.org

My Language Exchange  http://www.mylanguageexchange.com

 

 

STEP ELEVEN:  WORK

 

WORKING IN DUBAI 

 

In the Arab world, the Gulf countries offer many opportunities for those seeking better career prospects. Learning work vocabulary helps us to become more motivated to learn the language for career purposes. There is an example above of working in Dubai. 

 

 

STEP TWELVE:  RELATIONSHIPS

 

THE ARAB SPRING

 

In 2011 many countries in the Arab world experienced mass protests and changes of government, particularly in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Other countries are still struggling with existing governments in Syria and Bahrain. Here is a heated argument about the turmoils of the uprising in Tunisia.  

 

 

 

 

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