Arabic Satellite Channels

Well I recently started getting 8 Arabic satellite channels through Dish Network. I've heard lots of stories and testimonials about people learning languages through watching TV so I figured that I'd try it. I get the cheapest Arabic pack that Dish Network offers. I wasn't too concerned about getting MSA stations like Al-Jazeera, but stations like LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation), ART, and MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center) are important to me since you hear more dialect on those station. There are so many sources where you can find MSA, but for some reason people don't seem to find learning the dialects important so there is less material available for them. MBC has shows in all the main dialects (Iraqi, Levantine, Egyptian, Gulf) and it is probably the most helpful station for me. There's a show called Wipe Out (وايب أوت) which is basically the Arab version of Spike TV's MXC. They also have a show called عيش Safari which has 2 groups of kids doing little competitions and different activities Survivor style. On the last episode I watched the winners of the competition went to an amusement park while the losers had to sell vegetables in a street market. Also on MBC there's a show called قصة شتاء (Winter Story) that I like to watch. It's a Turkish show but dubbed in Syrian. All of these shows are pretty interesting and can hold my attention a lot better than the news can, so I feel that I'm learning more from them since I'm not zoning out like I do when trying to watch the news. The ART movie channel is really hard for me to understand, but a lot of the time they have English subtitles on the movies which is good. I don't really know why though since I thought most Arabs could understand Egyptian.

Anyway, if you're trying to learn Arabic and are really serious about doing so then I would recommend getting Arabic channels in your house. You can easily just flip it on in the morning or when you get home from work without having to search the web for a show you want to watch (a lot of which you can't even get online). I try to always have the TV on an Arabic channel when I'm working or surfing the internet. It helps to get immersed in the language which is something you need to do if you really want to learn a language and not just know it superficially from what text books and school programs teach you. Authentic material is the key.


More Farah Yaghmour

Here's another collage of Farah's تقرير إقتصادي from قناة الأردن. Look at those eyes!