40 Excellent Arabic Listening Resources In All Dialects
- Written byDonovan Nagel
- Read time9 mins
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.
Surround yourself with Arabic every spare moment you get.
Even when you’re not studying you should be having active rest time which means that although you’re not in study mode, you’re doing fun, recreational activities that involve Arabic in some way.
These could be things like watching movies or listening to music for example – things that are relaxing and enjoyable but still keeping your mind in the ‘Arabic zone’.
So today I’m going to help you out. 🙂
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.
If there’s a site, YouTube channel, station or podcast that you think should be listed here, share it in the comment section below. 🙂
Arabic TV for listening practice in all major dialects
There are actually tonnes of channels in Arabic, many of which have online streams to watch.
What I’ve listed here are only a small handful of TV channels but these are the ones I’ve found the most helpful to me.
A lot of online streams rarely (if ever) work unfortunately and the ones that do work more often than not just aren’t great quality for listening practice.
So here you’ll find direct links to the stations that I watch personally or have used in my studies in the past.
These stations work very well and are great quality for listening.
I’ve tried to provide one link here for most major dialects.
CBC Egypt (Egyptian)
There are quite a few stations in Egypt but this by far my favorite.
You can also watch CBC Extra and CBC Sofra (all YouTube streams).
You can watch individual episodes of shows on demand for free here.
The live stream doesn’t seem to work in Australia but might work in other countries outside the Mid East (let me know if it does for you).
I’m currently using this in my own Moroccan study to improve listening.
Click the live play button at the top right.
You’ll find streams for a few Tunisian channels here on Tunis Vista.
There’s some awesome stuff on this channel.
I can’t find the live stream but you can watch tonnes of videos on their site or YouTube channel.
Saudi TV 1 (Saudi)
PBC Palestine (Palestinian)
BBC Arabic (MSA)
Also check out the Arabic section on Streema or search by country on wwiTV.
There are a lot of Arabic streams on these sites but most of them don’t work at all unfortunately (just try your luck).
Remember too that because Egyptian and Levantine TV shows and movies are so popular in the Arab world, you’ll often find them on the stations for other dialects as well.
Don’t be surprised if you turn on a Gulf TV station and hear Egyptian. 🙂
The best YouTube channels for Arabic listening
Let’s face it – there’s an endless supply of listening material on YouTube for Arabic. 🙂
So much that it’s just impossible for me to list them all here!
But what I’ve listed here are the channels on YouTube that I personally follow and find very helpful in various dialects.
There’s not a whole lot here but this is an excellent website for a lot of languages.
You’ll find a decent selection of Egyptian “street language” videos with subs to listen to.
Not exactly ‘listening material’ per se but this Egyptian guy has some great videos with slowed dialogue and subs.
It’s great for new learners of Egyptian.
This is the Egyptian spin-off of the American Today Show with Bassem Youseff (it’s no longer running but was hugely popular in Egypt when it was).
If you’re Muslim, this might interest you.
Amr Khaled’s unique in that he’s an Islamic evangelist who speaks in colloquial Egyptian dialect about spirituality and religious topics (in contrast with most Islamic scholars who use MSA/Classical Arabic). If Islam’s important to you but you want to learn a spoken dialect rather than standard Arabic, check it out.
This is an interesting Saudi cartoon channel.
I recently shared a post on my other blog from one of their cartoons (see here).
The “world’s first Arabic web series” in Lebanese Arabic.
Great show with English subs too.
I haven’t discovered any remarkable Maghrebi YouTube channels yet (Moroccan/Algerian/Tunisian/Libyan).
If you know of any please share them with me. 🙂
Children’s (or low level) Arabic video
Try these resources out if you’ve got kids learning Arabic or you’re at a low level yourself.
Cartoons are usually spoken in much simpler language which is perfect for learners.
Sometimes they’re spoken in Modern Standard Arabic but for many of them you’ll find them spoken in Egyptian.
Disney Arabic YouTube channel
This is not an official channel but one of several that have uploaded lots of Disney cartoons in Arabic.
You can find quite a few of these on YouTube (nobody seems to complain that whole Disney movies are being uploaded).
CartoonArabi (Arabic Cartoon)
This is one of the coolest sites I’ve ever seen for Arabic.
It’s full of old school cartoons like the Flintstones and tonnes of anime cartoons – all in Arabic.
Most are full collections too!
You’re welcome. 🙂
Arabic audio (podcasts) and music for listening practice
For news/current event audio and podcasts check out:
This probably won’t interest many people but if you’re interested in Australian news in Arabic, then SBS runs an Arabic service (and many other languages).
There are a few excellent Arabic podcasts here but most of them are of a religious nature.
I listen to this one quite a bit because it’s a really good Sudanese dialect resource. It’s listed on the AiringPods site too.
Depending on your tastes, Arabic music can be incredibly helpful to improving your listening comprehension.
The reason I say this is because music is very repetitive so when you listen to the same words and expressions repeated over and over, it catches quickly. Music’s also enjoyable of course so it’s a perfect downtime activity (unless you’re using it for study!).
Mazika’s good if you know the artist you’re looking for (and better if you can write the name in Arabic).
If I’m looking for specific music from a particular singer, I go here.
This site is one of my absolute favorites. I usually use the Country selector and choose the Arab country I want to hear music from, then select from loads of popular artists in that country.
Make sure to get the mobile app for this one.
This one just scrapes and sequences music videos from YouTube. I usually just click Play Arabic tag and let it surprise me. 🙂
Melody’s a station in the Mid East and their YouTube channel has tonnes of music in it.
TuneIn’s a really handy website that allows you to search online radio station streams by location.
Just select the Arab country and you’ll get a list of radio options.
Arabic study resources with a strong focus on listening comprehension
Finally there are actual study products that are designed specifically to help improve your listening comprehension skills in Arabic.
There are quite a lot more than I’ve listed here of course but these are hands down the best available resources.
Rapid Arabic (MSA)
Think of this is as an audio phrasebook spoken over the top of specially designed music that causes the phrases to get ‘stuck’ in your head.
All based on research too.
See my review here.
ArabicPod101 (Moroccan, Egyptian and MSA)
This is one of the best online resources for Moroccan Arabic.
They do have material in Egyptian and MSA too but I’d mostly just recommend this to people who can’t find decent Moroccan material.
See my review here.
Rocket Arabic (Egyptian)
This is probably the most comprehensive Egyptian dialogue resource I’ve seen online.
Highly recommend this to anyone learning Egyptian. I explain why I like it here.
TalkInArabic.com (Egyptian, Levantine, Iraqi, Saudi, Tunisian, Sudanese, Moroccan and Algerian)
Our own resource put together for this very purpose. 🙂
We’ve been attempting to cover every major dialect with quality video and audio resources for listening (including subs, transcripts and dialogues).
Here are some samples:
Pimsleur Arabic (Egyptian and Levantine)
I’m hesitant to put this here because frankly the accents aren’t that great and there’s way too much English for it to be overly useful as a listening resource.
But in case you’re interested, see my review here.
So these 3 resources (provided freely by the US military to the public) are pretty amazing.
They’re definitely suited to higher-level learners however. This resource (G.L.O.S.S) contains a lot of lessons in various dialects but the interface is quite old and even the “beginner” lessons are definitely way above a beginner level.
Available in Arabic and Spanish dialects.
These are excellent for listening practice. Basically they’re just natural phone conversations.
Pretty cool idea 🙂 (no written transcripts however)
This is also an amazing resource.
You can listen to the same recording said in something like 10 different dialects.
It doesn’t provide written transcripts either but it’s great to hear the differences in the way the same thing is said by different dialect speakers.
So that’s it!
I hope those suggestions help you somewhat.
If you’ve got recommendations please let us know below in the comments. Thanks!
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Thanks much. I have found listening to audio Bibles is a great way to get accustomed to a language even if you don’t know much of it. If you are familiar with the story, you can follow it (and also read along). I have listened to much of Genesis in Arabic for example on the bible.is app or website. They have all kinds of Arabic dialects. Some of the readings are dramatic readings with multiple voices which makes it easier to keep up with. And these stories are common to Muslim and Judeo-Christian traditions. The app has 1874 languages at the time of writing, so you can find almost anything with audio, text and often video resources.
I discovered that on Spotify you can “turn on” lyrics and listen and read at the same time. Depends on where you want your skills to progress, but I find it helpful since I’m such a visual learner. P.S. I did a search on your site for “Spotify” and didn’t find anything so I’ m thinking this might be new info?
Thanks a lot! :)
Fantastic Arabic videos here, too, you can select difficulty, and add Arabic transcription and English translation if you want. Videos in MSA and various dialects
All free, and you can also select speed of the videos
Thanks for the links. It would be good to add information whether the sites are free or not. I checked a couple of them: first they required registration and then it turned out that require payment too.
I love the Rapid Arabic Idea. So soothing and effortless to listen to.
For the same kind of idea - do you have additional suggestions? “Unfortunately” my Arabic is too advanced to actually benefit from the words taught in Vol. 1 & 2 (and as far as I understand theses are the only available ones).
Would love to find something of the sort that dives much deeper into the language.
This website is really cool. It comes with a bunch of listening resources in various dialects with transcripts!!!!!
Donovan, thank you for the tips and materials. Could not find this sharing anywhere. Much appreciated.
I have decided learning either Levantine or Egyptian dialect without even going to live on those countries or having friends on those countries. Can not really make my mind which one to pick. I know levantine is spoken in four countries but Egyptian only in Egypt but almost understood by all.
Could you please advice me on this matter.
thanks for these suggestions. I also use the music app Anghami. It features Arabic music from different countries and different genres. There is a free version with ads. I recommend it.
For listening to the Arabic spoken in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, I recommend JanaVlogsArabic.
as a language resource JW.org is pretty phenomenal with 825 languages including many dialects. written and audio versions of books and magazines are available to ‘see and hear’ at the same time as well as music and kids content.
Tried it out and I am really amazed how many languages they have. Not even Wikipedia has my dialect!
’Listen constantly’ Well said, that’s the key to improve your listening and speaking skills. It’s just like when you were learning your native language, your parents were talking to you all the time, and you listened - even when you were inside your mother’s belly. It was only after a couple of years latter that we started learning how to read and write at school.
”Surround yourself with Arabic every spare moment you get.” Great advise as well. To add something to this, I’d say; go out and meet some people who speak Arabic as their native language. If you live in New York, this will be easy. Talk to them about anything, books, food, love stories, culture, etcetera. Just make sure you engage in a conversation.
You’ll find that people are very supportive if they see you are trying to learn their language.
Donovan, thanks for an awesome list. This is really helpful, and one of the best collections of Arabic listening materials in a single location on the web.
Appreciate you sharing it with your readers too!
promising list! I look forward to going through some of these
I would add al-arabiya to the MSA list. They have all their news broadcasts (in MSA) available with English subtitles.
One listening resource that I used is http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/poparaby/, which is a free radio station with Arabic pop music.
There’s also a long line of links to listening resources at http://arabic.desert-sky.net/links.html
It would be great if you could do the same awesome resource gathering but with Russian this time ;)
Alex Strick van Linschoten
There’s also a great directory of Arabic-language podcasts here - http://ar-podcast.com/ though some of them have stopped broadcasting.
France 24 has an Arabic language option (MSA?) as well as French & English ( zut a lors!).
RT I’m sure has an Arabic & Spanish options.
Thanks a lot! :)
A few great resources there I hadn’t seen before. Much appreciated.
Thank you so much for this list. In addition to your list i’ll post here in my comment some resources that I think might be useful.
1) Arabic Voices 1&2 - for both MSA and various dialects; the audio part is actually for free
2) Side by Side Arabic - for MSA and Egyptian Dialect; the mp3s available for free
3) 192 audio graded lessons with transcripts for MSA - great platform ; not free
4) Aswaat - Univesity of Texas - great platform designed for improving MSA listening skills; graded material and the possibility to slow the pace
5) Great audio resource for both MSA and dialect (especially Levantine dialects)
More great resources here.
Hi Benny, are there links to your recommendations? Where is ‘192 audio graded lessons’ from ?
I almost forgot two of the resources which I listen to almost daily and I think they are great (for MSA mostly)
6) Euronews Arabic
- news (video) with the transcript in arabic below - this helps me a lot...and i think very useful listen and when you don’t get a word you can check with the transcript
7) BBC Arabic Radio