5 websites for Arabic learning online
Being myself a learner of Arabic language I’ve spent quite a long time looking around for any kind of online materials that would make it easier for me to acquire new words and modes of expression, or looking for songs to improve my listening skills, or films that would allow me to practice the language and get closer to Arab culture.
Here’s a shortlist of my favourites:
“We love Arabic” is a blog hosting an incredible amount of links to resources that will help you learn the language, online and offline; it contains pages about facts and famous people related to Arab culture, historical events, literature, politics and much more. The blog has a rich section about Levantine ‘ammiyyah, presenting a host of useful websites that’ll allow you to explore the richness of the Eastern varieties through grammar, songs and films. Unluckily some of the links are no more active, but you can always copy and paste the names of the links into a search engine and find what you were looking for in different locations.
Let’s admit it, Google translate is totally unreliable for Arabic, and so are most of the dictionaries available online. However, al-Maany is probably one of the best. Not only it can be used to translate a word to and from Arabic, but it can also be used as an Arabic-Arabic dictionary complete with definitions, plurals of words, forms of the verbs and so on. It is especially useful for all the more modern language that is not covered by classics such as the dictionary of Hans Wehr and sometimes even al-Mawrid.
The ace up your sleeve. Do you need to communicate something quickly and can’t find the words? Search for “Reverso”, type in a small phrase and the website will immediately provide you with a small corpus of short texts that include the phrase you wanted to translate. The most important thing about Reverso is that it will display some of the possible contexts in which the words that you want to say might be found. It is a great learning tool because having the words in a context not only will make them more memorable, but will also help you to collocate them in the right position, with the right form and using the right prepositions. Wicked.
This website is dedicated to the book “All The Arabic You Never Learned The First Time Around” by James M. Price. The author of the website has also created a downloadable PDF completely for free. While the book is praised for its “no-nonsense” approach to learning Arabic, it won’t certainly answer some of the trickiest questions that advanced learners might have. Nonetheless, its clear and concise approach, with lots of examples, will certainly help beginners and intermediate students to face the intricacies of Arabic grammar with a sparkle of glory in their eyes.
“al-Manahil” is the title of an educational TV show broadcast by Jordanian television during the 80s and 90s. All the actors speak an outstandingly clear Fusha, or Classical Arabic, and while some episodes nowadays may look a little bit dated, some others are still genuinely funny. The grammar points are always made extremely clear through graphic examples and through the chosen target language. Had I been a kid in Jordan in the 80s, the episodes of Abu Al Huruf would have been my favourite cartoon ever.
Well, it is now.
This is great – just what I need. Thanks
Really appreciated thank you! I also really like GLOSS – Global Language Online Support System is the American Defence Language Institute website which has hundreds of language exercises in 50 languages at multiple levels.