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Arabic Podcasts: The 5 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners

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Let’s face it.

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is probably one of the most (if not the most) difficult languages to learn.

A new script, complex grammar, and very intricate conjugation rules that even native speakers struggle to master…

But I’m going to let you in on a secret.

There is one way you can make HUGE progress towards mastery in MSA (or any other Arabic dialect) with little to no effort.

A method you can use while driving, lying in bed, traveling, hiking, walking around town, or even relaxing in the park.

Enter Arabic podcasts.

Podcasts bring you the best Arabic-language audio content out there, all condensed into straight-to-the-point clips that both educate and entertain.

To help you get started, we’ve taken the time to list the top five Arabic podcasts currently available.

Before we jump into the podcasts, let’s dig a bit further into the pros of learning Arabic using podcasts.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Arabic
  2. Arabic Podcasts: The 5 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners
  3. Tricks to Help You Learn Arabic More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. Conclusion

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Arabic

You can have a much easier time learning Arabic (whether MSA or your chosen dialect) by immersing yourself in audio content. And guess what? Podcasts aren’t boring. Not that I want to bash textbooks, but they definitely give most learners a headache after a while. 

Furthermore, here are three advantages of using podcasts to learn Arabic:

They help you improve your listening skills.

A Woman Talking to a Man

Practice makes perfect. If you don’t live in an Arabic-speaking country, chances are you’re lacking a good amount of Arabic listening practice.

Podcasts are a fun way to compensate for this lack of practice, and they provide you with a better idea of the patterns used in spoken Arabic. 

You’ll learn new words.

Sticky Notes with Words in Different Languages

After the starter phase, the most important element in your language learning will always be vocabulary acquisition. Even if you understand the grammar rules and can comprehend most of what you hear, it really doesn’t matter that much if you can’t find the right words at the right time. 

Podcasts provide an efficient way for learners like you to be exposed to new vocabulary on a continuous basis, which slowly grows your vocabulary—whether consciously or subconsciously.

They can help familiarize you with the culture.

Someone Holding the Egyptian Flag

Getting a feel for how people perceive words and view their surroundings plays a large part in language mastery. Herein lies the failure of most school learning programs, as they don’t provide enough immersion work to help students understand the cultural perceptions of things.

Arabic speakers see religion and travel, for example, in different ways than Westerns do. Religion is very prominent within the culture, schedules, and daily activities of Arabic-speakers, while travel is seen as a big luxury.

2. Arabic Podcasts: The 5 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners

A Woman Listening to Something with Headphones

Below, we’ve listed our five favorite Arabic podcasts to get you started. We have the podcasts categorized by level, meaning you won’t be left out regardless of your current level. 

Arabic Podcasts for All Levels

ArabicPod101

ArabicPod101 is pretty much the ultimate resource for learning Arabic. We focus primarily on MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), but you can also access playlists for Egyptian Arabic if that’s your target dialect.

The MSA lessons on our podcast (and our website) are especially simplified, and they cover pretty much all levels. The episodes range from one to ten minutes long. There’s even a 24/7 live video stream on our YouTube channel, so you can tune in anytime. You can play the livestream to get sort of a TV experience rather than picking each individual lesson yourself. 

The most unique feature of the ArabicPod101 podcast is that it’s linked with one of the top Arabic learning websites: ArabicPod101.com.

ArabicPod101 gives you access to thousands of audio and text lessons, all well-organized within a system that matches you with the best content for your level and needs.

Moreover, you can request access to a private language tutor who will create a customized learning program to suit your schedule and help you get the most out of your learning time.

ArabicPod101 podcast episodes are uploaded regularly, so you’ll always have new learning content available and won’t have to keep chewing on older episodes.

The Arabic We Speak

The Arabic We Speak is a podcast run by Dalal and Amani, two well-cultured women from the Jordanian capital of Amman. They work full-time in translation, education, and authoring. They run the podcast to help learners of Levantine Arabic understand more about their culture and more easily pick up this particular dialect.

Whether you’re curious about Jordanian life or want to take your Levantine Arabic to the next level, this Arabic learning podcast is right for you.

Every podcast episode comes with a lesson worksheet, and the series has recently been more focused on advanced-level content (though there are episodes available for elementary and intermediate learners as well). It’s updated on a weekly basis, with a few long breaks in-between.

Beginner

Arabic in 60 Steps

This podcast is especially great for beginners, thanks to the passion you can feel throughout each episode. Sam Martin Burr, the host of the Arabic in 60 Steps podcast, brings tremendous energy and is always happy to go into great detail about even the most basic of rules.

It’s worth noting that this podcast requires a bit of existing knowledge in the Arabic language—especially when it comes to basic writing and the alphabet—in order to follow along a bit easier.

The podcast is updated around every month. Therefore, you can expect some new content every once in a while, as you revisit older episodes in the meantime. 

Intermediate

Real Arabic

Real Arabic is mainly a cultural podcast. It gives you an overview of culture, history, and belief systems in the Levantine countries of Lebanon and Syria. The hosts are Amer (a native Levantine Arabic speaker) and Keire Murphy (a writer and presenter). Amer presents in Arabic, and Keire follows with English translations.

The podcast has not been active recently, but the existing episodes are pretty long and should cover some great practice time for you.

Please note that all episodes are done in Levantine Arabic, so don’t expect to learn MSA from this podcast.

Every published episode comes with transcripts in both English and Arabic, but unfortunately, they have no romanizations as most listeners are assumed to be able to read Arabic.

Advanced

Sowt

Sowt Podcasts is a professionally recorded podcast out of Amman, Jordan. It covers political, social, and cultural issues in the Arab world, especially in the Levantine region.

The biggest advantage of this podcast for advanced learners is that the host speaks at a slow pace. The pace gets a bit faster when guests are on the show, but you can always keep up as the host comments along.

The podcast is very successful, so episodes are published continuously.

3. Tricks to Help You Learn Arabic More Effectively with Podcasts

On the Go

A Man Listening on the Go

You may worry that podcasts will be less efficient when you’re on the go, as you’re more likely to be distracted by your surroundings. Still, there are some great techniques that will help you get the most out of your learning time when you’re out and about.

Repetition is king when you’re learning on the go. Working to match the host’s pronunciation of Arabic words while listening to podcasts will boost your speaking skills and improve your vocabulary.

Another way to get the most out of learning on the go is to note down new words. You can then go back and review those words, turn them into flashcards for more effective practice, or even use them for writing and speaking exercises at a later time.

At Home

At home, getting the most out of podcasts is much easier. You have more options and more control of your time. 

The best way to improve your Arabic with podcasts at home is to take advantage of any additional tools offered by the podcast developers. For example, ArabicPod101 offers vocabulary lists and lesson notes with our lessons that you can use to solidify everything you’re learning. 

If you’re listening to an episode about grammatical gender in Arabic, for instance, you can check the description to access the page or cheat sheet created by ArabicPod101’s language experts. And on our website, you can take advantage of the full range of ArabicPod101’s features―digital flashcards, slowed-down audio, line-by-line breakdowns, voice recording tools, and more.

4. Conclusion

Congratulations on getting this far! You now have the top Arabic podcasts at your disposal, and you can get started right away regardless of your current proficiency level.

As you begin integrating podcasts more and more into your daily life, you’ll find yourself slowly shifting to podcasts covering specific topics that interest you.

Think that would be a hard transition to make?

Try ArabicPod101.

Here, you can find theme-specific vocabulary lists covering your favorite topics.

Each vocabulary list features the Arabic word, its romanization, and its translation in English—all accompanied by audio recordings for more efficient learning. 

Signup is free, and no credit card is required.

What are you waiting for? Start learning Arabic with us today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic

How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic?

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Everyone agrees: Learning a foreign language is an amazing (if hard) and fulfilling process. By learning to speak, understand others, and think in a language different from our own, not only do we add a new skill to our repertoire, but we can also change the way we see the outside world and our relationship to it.

Now for the question at hand: How long does it take to learn Arabic, and is it worth it?

Well, consider the fact that there are more than ten words for “love” in Arabic—and over 100 words for “camel”! I mean, these facts will certainly have an impact on the way you think about your love life…and about those amazing desert creatures!

A Caravan Traveling by Camel in the Desert

Learners of Arabic would all love to dedicate endless hours to studying the language and all its nuances. But, in our society, time is money and reality can be quite different.

Due to these time constraints, it makes sense to look for the fastest and easiest ways to learn a language so that we can start using it as soon as possible…maybe to find a better job, to travel, or to speak with a loved one.  

We would all like to know exactly what time commitment we’re looking at, so that we can make plans and have expectations… 

The truth is, however, that there’s no one best way to learn Arabic—and above all, there’s no set timetable for it! 

Everyone learns in a different way, and how quickly you can learn depends on a wide range of factors.

An Hourglass against a Dark Background

In this article, we’ll look at some of the factors that will affect your learning and how to learn Arabic efficiently to reach your goals as fast as possible.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Experience
  2. Learning Style
  3. Approach
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?
  5. How Our Website Can Help

Experience

One of the most important factors that governs how long it takes to learn Arabic (or any language) is your personal experience with languages. 

The Language(s) You Speak

What is your native language? And what other foreign languages do you speak? 

Yes, this will actually make a difference in how fast you learn Arabic. If, for example, you already speak Hebrew or Amharic (which are Semitic languages, like Arabic), you’ll learn much faster than you would as a native English speaker. Also, if you speak French, it will be easier to learn Arabic dialects that borrow heavily from French, such as Moroccan Arabic and Algerian Arabic.

If, however, you’re a native speaker of any Indo-European language, you’re in no luck… Arabic is considered one of the most challenging languages to learn.

Don’t worry, though. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just that it’s a good challenge.

So get down to it! 

A Woman Holding Flowers in Front of Her Eyes

Your Previous Language Learning Experience

Another essential aspect to take into consideration is your previous experience in language learning. 

Have you ever studied another language before?

If you already speak a foreign language fluently, or were raised bilingual, it will probably be easier and faster for you to learn Arabic. Several studies have shown that bilinguals are able to learn a third language with more ease because they’re naturally more used to being exposed to a new language. 

Even if you’re not bilingual, having studied and learned another language might help, even if we’re just talking about high school French. Being accustomed to memorizing words and looking at different letters and symbols is a good skill that your language-learning mind will remember.  

So, the skills that you develop in one language will actually help you gain fluency in another, even if the two are completely unrelated!  

Your Previous Grammar Knowledge

One of the first steps you should take is to find out how the language works. This means knowing and understanding its structure and grammar. 

If you already have experience studying syntax and grammar, even if it was only in your native language, it will make it easier and quicker for you to study the grammar and syntax of another language. 

So, it’s always a good idea to gain some grammar foundations if you plan to start learning Arabic (or any other language).

A Woman Studying with Her Laptop and a Book in the Grass

Learning Style

The way you learn and study is another essential factor in determining how long it will take you to become fluent in Arabic. 

Your Methods

If you limit your learning and studying to a classroom setting, even if you attend every day, it will probably take you longer to feel confident using your language skills. 

Try to expose yourself to Arabic outside the classroom and you’ll substantially reduce the time you need to learn it! 

Try reading the news, watching movies and series in Arabic, or listening to Arabic podcasts about topics that interest you. Of course, finding a language-exchange partner to practice your conversation skills with will also be very useful and make you fluent faster! 

Your Time

There’s another aspect we haven’t yet mentioned, but it’s the most important one when determining how long it takes to learn Arabic: the time you spend studying it!

If you want to learn fast, it goes without saying that you’ll need to dedicate as much time as you can to studying.

Daily practice is an ideal setup, and research has proven that learners who can dedicate an hour a day to learning—whether memorizing new words, studying grammar rules, or watching a series on Netflix—learn significantly faster than those who only attend classes.

A Woman Watching a Funny Movie on Netflix

And of course, if it’s an option for you, full immersion is best. If you can travel to an Arabic-speaking country and live there for a short (or long) period of time, that will make a big difference!

Approach

Another key factor that will determine how fast you learn Arabic is your approach. It can really make a huge difference!  

Your Motivation

It’s no secret that staying motivated is essential for learning any new skills, and this is all the more true for foreign languages.

Why do you want to learn Arabic?

Try to have this clear in your mind and, for maximum efficiency, set weekly (or even daily) goals that remind you of it. This will help you stay motivated so that your interest in learning does not fade. 

Your Attitude

Keeping your motivation up will help you feel like you’re learning more easily and quickly, and it will be essential for maintaining a positive attitude during your language learning journey! 

To see learning as a fun and interesting activity that you’re choosing to do, rather than a chore you’re forced to do, is key. 

Remember: Learning a foreign language will open your mind and your horizons, and give you a great set of skills you’ll be able to use in your day-to-day life. 

When you think about it this way, the process will be more enjoyable and much quicker! 

How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?

So, let’s get to the point. 

Even if it’s hard to say for sure, we’ve tried to make an estimate as to how long it might take you to reach different levels of Arabic (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

For English speakers, Arabic may be one of the most difficult languages to learn, but that makes it all the more exciting and rewarding!

A Man Studying Late at Night

Beginner

A beginner speaker of a language will be able to introduce themselves, understand simple sentences when spoken slowly and carefully, and ask basic questions (probably making some mistakes along the way). 

If you just want to be able to greet people and order a meal, you can get by with the basic reading and speaking skills you gained achieving this level. 

FSI learning timeline findings estimate that, to achieve the beginner level in Arabic, you’ll need approximately 700 hours of study. This means that if you dedicate about 15-20 hours a week to learning Arabic, you’ll achieve this level in about 8 months.

Intermediate

At the intermediate level, you’ll be able to engage in most everyday conversations (if spoken slowly) and ask questions as needed to make sure you understand. This level will also allow you to read the news and watch videos in Arabic without major problems. If you’re traveling, you’ll be able to have interactions with the locals about familiar subjects, as well as ask for and follow directions.

To reach an intermediate level, it’s estimated you’ll need 1000-1200 hours of study time (including classes, homework, and practice time). 

If you’re serious about learning Arabic fast and are motivated, you can do this in about a year by dedicating at least 20 hours a week to studying.

Advanced

If you want to achieve fluency, this is what you’re aiming for. With advanced language skills, you’ll be able to navigate any kind of situation that may arise in your daily life and have complex conversations with native speakers

You’ll be able to watch films without subtitles and read all kinds of books in Arabic. You’ll basically be fluent (even if there will always be something more to learn about this intricate and beautifully complex language).

It’s estimated that for an English speaker to learn Arabic properly, at least 2200 hours of Arabic classes are required. This means that, if you want to speak Arabic fluently in a year, you’ll need to study it full-time.

If you’re not in a rush, you can learn the language in about two years with around 20 hours a week dedicated to studying and practicing.

That said, all these timeframes are estimates and one’s language learning progress really depends on many different factors.

How Our Website Can Help

What are you waiting for? The best time to start learning a new language is now! 

The sooner you start learning, the faster you’ll start speaking Arabic and achieve your language goals!

On ArabicPod101.com, you’ll find all kinds of language learning content to make your journey smooth and easy to navigate: lessons for all levels, vocabulary lists, a dictionary, blog posts, etc.

ArabicPod101 Image

How long it takes to learn Arabic mainly depends on how much time you’re willing to dedicate to it. 

Our Arabic courses and resources are specifically designed to offer you all the right tools to learn the language as quickly and easily as possible, so you can know that you’re spending your precious time well!

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a full-immersion approach or an advanced speaker who just wants to refine your skills, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for here.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Do you feel more prepared now to take on the challenge of learning Arabic? We look forward to hearing your thoughts! 

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10 Monthly Goals to become fluent in Arabic

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Hey Arabic Learner!

Shortcuts for learning and tips to remember Arabic words are useful but it’s even also important to fix objectives to reach every month! What Is Your Language Learning Goal for the Month?
In your journey to become fluent and conversational here are 10 monthly goals you can go after!

Click Here To Start Learning Arabic Right Now!

1) I’ll finish Survival Phrases series on ArabicPod101.com by listening to two lesson a day.

2) I’ll give a 3 minute introductory speech in Arabic to my Arabic friends.

3) I’ll finish reading one Arabic book by reading 10 pages a day.

4) I’ll pass my Arabic test.

5) I’ll write 10 postcards in Arabic to my Arabic friends.

6) I’ll memorize 5 Arabic songs.

7) I’ll finish memorizing 350 words with Flashcards on ArabicPod101.com.

8 ) I’ll fully understand one Arabic movie by watching it every day.

9) I’ll learn how to talk about past, present and future events.

10) I’ll master 150 words by memorizing 5 words a day.

No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

If you follow those monthly goals, you will be sure to make some amazing progress. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at ArabicPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From ArabicPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at ArabicPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn Arabic together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study Arabic with ArabicPod101.com!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the ArabicPod101.com Team