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Hi everybody! Nora here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Arabic questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: Do you have any recommendations for Arabic media to watch or listen to?
One of the best ways to learn a language and have fun at the same time is to consume media presented in that language as part of your study routine. That way you’ll hear how it sounds in a natural setting, and with time, it won't feel that foreign anymore.
First, you have to choose the dialect you want your media to be in. In this lesson, I’ll give you some recommendations for shows and media to watch or listen to to make your Arabic learning experience more engaging than ever. First, let's see media for Modern Standard Arabic. As you know, Modern Standard Arabic is mainly used in the news. That's why most of the Modern Standard Arabic available online is news channels, websites, or radio streams. For that, I recommend BBC Arabic. You can read news on their website, watch their live stream, or listen to BBC Arabic radio on the go!
Next let's take a look at Egyptian Arabic media. This one is probably the most available online in the form of TV shows, movies, variety shows, and music. That's why there’s so much to choose from. So here, I’d like to recommend some shows that have become really popular in the past couple of years.
نيللي وشريهان
Nelli w šerihān
“Nelly and Sherihan” (or “Nelly w Sherihan”)
Nelly w Sherihan is a comedy TV show about 2 cousins, a rich one and a poor one, who reunite in order to find the inheritance their grandfather left them. It’s a light comedy show that’s sure to make you laugh.
جراند أوتيل
grand otel
“Grand Hotel”
“Grand hotel” is the Egyptian version of the Spanish drama by the same name. It tells a story about a young man who goes to Aswan to investigate his sister's sudden disappearance, works as a waiter at the same hotel his sister worked at, and then falls in love with the owner's daughter. Together, they try to solve this mystery. It has elements of suspense and romance.
عايْزَة أَتجَوِّز
ʿāyzah ʾatǧawwiz
“I Want to Get Married!”
This is another TV show that’s become extremely popular. Originally a book by the writer Ghada Abdel Aal, it tells the story of a lady in her late 20s, trying to find a good man and get married. She meets a different man each episode, and hilarity ensues.
عَسَل إسوِد
ʿasal ʾiswid
This movie tells the story of a man who returns to Egypt after living most of his life in the United States. It's a comedy that shows the expectations VS the reality of living in Egypt. It’s a good way to see how Egypt looks like from a foreigner's perspective, and it’s also hilarious.
Most of the shows I mentioned are available for legal streaming on YouTube.
Next is Levantine Arabic media.
Syrian Levantine Arabic is a popular variety of Arabic dialects. It’s become even more popular in the past 10 years because Turkish TV shows became very popular in the Arab world, and they’re dubbed in Syrian Arabic! Some of the most popular Syrian-dubbed Turkish series are:
اَسميتها فَريحَة
asmīthā farīḥah
“I Named Her Fariha”
A story of a young, poor girl who goes to college on a scholarship, and falls in love with a rich guy, but hides the fact that she’s very poor from everyone.
العِشق المَمنوع
al-ʿišq al-mamnūʿ
Meaning “Forbidden love,” this is a story of a young man who slowly falls in love with his uncle's wife.
The good thing about Syrian-dubbed Turkish drama is that they are very long. An episode is typically 2 hours long, and the series usually lasts for more than 60 episodes. You’ll need more than a lifetime to watch all of them. You can play them while you are working or commuting, and you’ll start picking up words in no time.
Now for Syrian shows:
نِص يْوم
niṣ yūm
“Half a Day”
A young man goes back to Syria to take care of his late father's business, where he falls in love with a young lady that turns out not to be the woman he was hoping for.
“The Godfather”
This is the Syrian version of "the Godfather." There are obviously a lot of differences but the story goes along the same lines.
Another source of media you should check is Lebanese music. I definitely recommend listening to the Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram because she’s absolutely adorable and popular. Also, the translated lyrics for her songs can be found very easily.


If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
That's it for this series. Be sure to check out more ArabicPod101.com series and keep practicing!
Bye! إلى اللقاء (ʾilā al-liqaāʾ)