I once had an Arabic instructor who was so nostalgic for her home in Beirut that she idled away the first half of every class period playing Lebanese music for us. Also, you need to take in new information about vocabulary and expressions.
Recite the song or write it out—this way your brain engages the same content in different way. When you can output something instead of only receiving it as input, you strengthen your memory and understanding of it. FluentU is an online immersion platform that takes real-world videos —like music videos, music trailers, vlogs and inspirational talks—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
Choose any video that strikes your fancy! You can even review the words in a review session that uses video context to help embed the words in your memory.
You have a truly personalized experience. A gentle introduction starts somewhere familiar. Revisit your childhood and find out what Pocahontas sounds like with an Egyptian accent. The lyrics here are a little different from the ones you know by heart. Listen a couple times, read the translations and of course, try to sing along.
You might take notes for this song by pulling out key words or phrases you intend to start using in your own speech or writing. See if you can find the following words, for example:. Listening to these songs will expose you to both proper pronunciation and headstrong princesses.
Listen to see which expressions you catch. Translating these songs would be a great activity to work on with an online tutor or via an Arabic learning forum. Having these songs in your head will help your ability to recall these basics, and continue to introduce you to the cultural differences of original Arab media. For example, while listening to this adorable song about sea creatures, the use of plural for some animals and singular for others invites you to step out of listening passively or just for entertainment.
Music that is culturally relevant in the Arab world spans all Arab countries, dialects and the last years of recordings. Many Arab folks have a deep and abiding passion for certain musicians that goes beyond enjoyment to being soulful. Building your vocabulary is just as important as building your repertoire of songs you can sing along to on a weekend road trip to the desert.
Check the video description on YouTube for the Arabic and the English translation. Majida is one of many singers who put to music the poems of Syrian writer Nizar Qabbani. Fayrouz is one of the two most classic and beloved Arab singers. Check out more Fayrouz , and try out the Arab style of enjoying her talent by making her music the soundtrack to your mornings.
Along with Fayrouz, Umm Kalsoom is essential to your education, and they both span themes from simple love songs to nationalist anthems. This is a little harder on the beginner, since her pronunciation is more aesthetic than instructional. However, the lyrics are so sad and beautiful. She knows how burdens can break you while making you unbelievably strong. Just let her voice instruct your soul.
You should listen to more Umm Kalsoom , but also check out what the next generation is creating in Arab music studios. Check out the rhyming words in these lyrics , and notice other parallels.
While examining beautiful music, you may discover hidden gems of poetic expression, opening the door to appreciating it even more. Interacting with different people—and appreciating their masterpieces—is a big reason why you started learning a language, right?
She maintains a research blog on the creative efforts by Americans to turn the tide against Islamophobia. If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos. Experience language immersion online! FluentU brings language learning to life with real-world videos. Learning a foreign language becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks.
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