Watching shows in Levantine Arabic is one of the most common ways that help learners to improve their listening comprehension and expand their vocabulary over time.
But what if you don’t have the time to watch shows and yet desperately need to work on your listening comprehension?
Well, don’t fret because in this post, I’ll be sharing with you 10 enjoyable Levantine Arabic listening resources that are purely in audio format.
The majority of these audio materials come from radio shows and podcasts. All of them are available online while most of them are downloadable.
This way, you can listen to them while you’re cooking, cleaning or jogging and thus make optimal use of your time.
So without further ado, let’s check them out!
Most Arabic learners may be aware of this resource published by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFC) because it has been around for ages.
The website is not HTTPS-secured and thus you may receive a “Not Secure” warning. If you’re not overtly concerned about security issues, proceed to enter the website where you’ll gain access to tons of phone conversations in Levantine Arabic for free.
Although there are no accompanying transcripts, these phone conversations are very helpful because they contain features of natural speech.
You can also select phone conversations based on your topic of interests and level of difficulty. Moreover, there are many topics to choose from such as “Daily Life”, “Shopping” and “Education”.
Tip: If you’re a beginner, you can still benefit from this resource.
All you have to do is to listen to the first thirty seconds of multiple conversations and you’ll have the numerous common greetings in Levantine Arabic drilled into your head!
Khalini Khabrak, which translates to “Let me inform you”, is podcast hosted by two Syrians named Taysir and Ghalia.
The entertaining podcast with a total of 45 tracks uses the art of storytelling to inform listeners about the origins and meanings of various proverbial expressions that can be heard in Syrian Arabic.
Levantine Arabic learners will find this playlist a challenging yet fun listen as they discover the meanings behind the myriad of colorful expressions in the Syrian dialect.
Syrmania is a podcast produced collaboratively by Radio Souriali and the Deutschlandfunk Kultur that discusses the lives of Syrians in Germany.
For example, in the first episode you’ll get to listen to an interview of the members from the band, Fattouch.
What’s interesting about Fattouch aside from the fact that it’s also a name of an Arabic salad, is that three of the members are Syrian refugees who only knew one another after they arrived in Germany.
Bands like Fattouch are sparking a change in Germany’s cultural and musical scene where members of different nationalities are overcoming language barriers in order to create music together.
Syrmania will make for an enjoyable listen for those learning Syrian Arabic and listeners can also be inspired by the success stories of Syrians living in Germany.
Hay el Matar is a continuous radio drama series consisting of 150 episodes that last for 15 minutes each.
The radio drama touches on a variety of issues that are relevant to the lives of Syrians back home.
Such issues include migration, civil war and education.
Despite having the classic features of a soap opera which make for an enjoyable listen, the radio drama aims to portray the reality of life in Syria during the civil war.
Produced by Batoota Film and supported by both BBC and the European Union, Hay el Matar is a must listen where Levantine Arabic learners can pick up useful phrases and gain a better insight into the Syrian conflict at the same time.
Sauman Maqbulan is a Ramadan series of 14 episodes produced by Alwan Radio, a Palestine’s Youth radio based in Gaza.
Since the intro song of each episode will play for the first two minutes, the actual episode is only four minutes long.
This makes it a great choice for Palestinian Arabic learners who want to fit in listening practice into their busy schedule.
The title of the series is an expression that means “May your fast be accepted” and the series follow a storyline that showcases the various improper behaviors that take place in the fasting month in a lighthearted and comedic manner.
7 Minutes Motivation is a podcast released by Samer Chidiac, a Lebanese from Beirut.
He decided to create the podcast with some friends in order to provide themselves and listeners the much needed pep talk to get through the week.
Lebanese Arabic learners can definitely benefit from this podcast that has a total of 24 episodes.
The length of each episode is only seven minutes, thus making the podcast a perfect resource for those with a busy schedule.
Not only will Levantine Arabic learners be able to practice their listening comprehension, the motivational message in each episode will put them in a positive mindset to start their week right.
The word Eib in an Arabic word that usually connotes with all things deemed shameful especially in a largely religious and conservative society.
This podcast seeks to explore controversial and “Eib” related type of topics that are rarely discussed in Jordanian society.
Such topics include gender taboos, sexual orientation and divorce, just to name a few.
By having open discussions and weaving personal narratives into them, the podcast aims to raise awareness and hopefully erase the stigma of shame that surrounds such issues.
Levantine Arabic learners who are interested in human rights issues should definitely give this podcast a listen.
Other podcasts produced by Sowt that are worth checking out include Razan and Blank Maps.
Nakshet Mokh is a famous Jordanian radio show by Mazaj FM that started a couple of years ago and is presented by Nadim Sarraj who plays pranks on unsuspecting callers.
The show revolves around Nadim calling people up and messing around with their minds with his ridiculous questions.
The phone conversations often lead nowhere and instead left the recipients of his calls scratching their heads.
In fact, the title of the show is a once popular catchphrase that describes the act of trying to be funny and disturbing someone out of boredom. And Nadim is doing exactly just that.
Advanced Arabic learners should take up the challenge by giving this show a go as a way to practice their listening comprehension.
Leish La2 which translates to “Why Not?” in English is a morning radio programm produced by JBC Radio.
The show covers various topics and often has their listeners call in to share their experiences.
For example, the YouTube video above is part of a segment where listeners can call in and share their success stories on air about how they overcome personal adversity.
Do check out the channel’s playlist section to browse through other topics from the same radio programm.
Alex is a language coach who started this podcast with a Jordanian woman, Lina, who also offers spoken arabic lessons on italki.
Lina has also created many lessons here on this site.
The podcast was born out of commitment to improve his Spoken Jordanian Arabic at a time when he was working on publishing a book that helps Arabic learners master Arabic.
Although there are only six episodes that ranges from 15 to 30 minutes each, they are still useful for high beginners because of the topics discussed by both Alex and Lina. The topics discussed are common everyday topics such as the weather, food and taxis experiences.
However, the best part of the podcast is that non-native Arabic listeners can observe how Lina corrects Alex’s speech and therefore learn alongside him.
There you have it - 10 useful listening resources for Levantine Arabic learners.
I hope this list will motivate you to squeeze in the time for listening practice into your busy schedule.
Remember that you’ll don’t have to understand every single word to enjoy listening to them. The intention here is to listen attentively to the speech.
In the beginning, you’ll be training your ears to pick up words that you already knew. As you progress over time, you’ll be training to closely follow and comprehend continuous speech.
In addition, these listening exercises will allow you to expand your vocabulary.
For example, you can aim to pick up three new phrases for every ten minutes of listening practice. You might not get the spelling of these phrases right but as you develop your listening skills over time, the better your ability to spell accurately will become.
Lastly, take the final step by finding out the meaning of these phrases.
Listening exercises can be intimidating at first but they are absolutely crucial to your learning progress.
Do take heart that such listening exercises will not only get easier over time, but they will also make you a better Levantine Arabic speaker.
With that, I wish you happy listening and learning! 🙂
This post was contributed by Harilyn Tahir.