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.


Keith said...

That's awesome that you can get all of those Arabic TV channels! I think I'm going to need your help, or help from someone like you, when it comes time for me to learn Arabic.

The Arabic Student said...

How many languages are you planning to learn?

Keith said...

Last year I made a list of 14 languages I wanted to learn. I don't know; maybe it's too many.

Anonymous said...

Try out the following site for learning Classical Arabic

The Arabic Student said...

I'd say 14 would be ok if they were languages like Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, etc. that are all related, but 14 languages that have nothing in common would be difficult to say the least. Right now I can only see myself with a maximum of 4 languages. I'd like to know Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and English. Learning the languages is just 1 problem. The bigger problem comes with maintaining those 14 languages. I try to do something with Arabic every day so that I can learn new things (of which there is an endless supply) and also so that I don't forget what I know. I know too many people who regret losing a language that they used to know because they never used it. I don't want to spend all the time learning a language and then lose it from lack of practice.

Keith said...

Some of them are closely related, like Thai/Lao, Mandarin/Cantonese, French/Spanish.

And some of them are similarly structured like Japanese/Korean.

There may be some similarities or loan words between Vietnamese/Cambodian. I don't know yet.

And I might have to add Italian and Portuguese.

Or I might have to spread them out and do something else with my time. Or quit after a couple and then learn the rest when I retire.

I don't think I could put that many to good use. 3 or 4 would be handy.

Anonymous said...

أعتقد أن أفضل طريقة لتعلم أي لغة أجنبية هي بالسفر إلى بلد المصدر و العيش بين الناس الحقيقيين على الأقل لمدة سنة.
سورية و مصر من أفضل الأماكن لتعلم لهجة عربية مفهومة في كل البلدان العربية لأن هذين البلدين يقومان بانتاج معظم أعمال القنوات الفضائية العربية، بالإضافة إلى كونهما آمنان جدا مقارنة مع معظم المدن الأمريكية.
ريتشارد إنغل من إن بي سي تعلم العربية بهذه الطريقة، و لكن من ناحية أخرى فإنك قد تخسر حياتك الاجتماعية بشكل شبه كامل في الشرق الأوسط

The Arabic Student said...

I agree that the best way to learn a language is to go to that country, but if you can't then the next best way is to get a lot of audio input from media sources like TV, radio, movies, etc.

Anonymous said...

you should update your blog more me thinks. =)

your arabic is very good, are you of arab origin ?

The Arabic Student said...

No. My parents and my grandparents were born in the US.

Matt said...

Hey Arabic Student, I am actually currently in Cairo for another month studying at Arab Academy. It is great! Been here for a week so far. I had decent knowledge of MSA (reading, writing somewhat, getting the gist of news, speaking a little), no special knowledge of egyptian other then some vocabulary. 3 hours of Fusha and 1 hour of ammiya 5 days per week. I will definately return next summer for Ammiya and will be taking online classes when I return. I would suggest going there or doing some online classes. I do have a blog for my trip. I am trying to write in arabic as much as I can so it's in arabic. (I know probably a lot of mistakes and things) but check it out if you want. just go to google and search thecairoadventure

all one word, it should be on blogspot.


Simmyjessure said...

i have agree this type information go through TV channel more get knowledge like Tv Arbanic Channel

Arabic channels in USA