Saturday

Video Games in Arabic

Most of the stuff I post is usually related to Levantine dialect or MSA, but last night I was looking for a podcast to listen to in some Arabic dialect while I went to sleep. I don't like listening to things in MSA. I know comparing MSA to Latin is cliche, but that's how I feel. I want something that has emotion, slang, etc. Something that people use in their every day lives. So eventually I found this podcast on video games called Saudi Gamer. I haven't had much exposure to Saudi dialect and I'm not into Islam so that kind of limits the reasons I'd have to learn it, but knowing that there's this subculture of video games encourages me. After all, if you're going to learn a language there needs to be something that interests you about the culture of the people who speak that language in order to keep you motivated. When I was first learning MSA I gravitated toward the science news in order to keep me interested. There's a show called Al-Jazeera puts on called عن كثب that I watched a lot. If you're interested in Islam then Arabic is a lot easier for you to learn, but if you're interests, like mine, include technology, science, futurism, then you're hard pressed to find resources that will keep your attention.I say all that to say that this Saudi Gamer podcast is a good resource for people like me who have trouble finding interesting topics to learn the Arabic language from. It's basically like having IGN or GiantBomb (both English video game websites) in Arabic. They review new games, talk about new platforms, etc, but it's all in Saudi Arabian dialect, something I never thought I'd see. There are 90 podcasts that are on average between 1 hour and 2 hours long and they are always adding new ones. I gather that this podcast is very popular because to my knowledge there's nothing else that covers this topic in the Arab world and they've done over 100 hours of the show so there has to be a decent fan base.

As someone with little exposure to Gulf dialects I don't understand everything that's said, but it's only a matter of time. 90 episodes is a lot of listening material to bridge the gap between the Levantine dialect that I know and the way Saudis speak.

5 comments:

Dustin said...

Hey, great find with this podcast, but lets say we are in the same situation where we like listening to Arabic like this, and there are words that we don't understand, how would you go about finding these words in a podcast like this?

The Arabic Student said...

Most of the time when I hear a word that I don't understand I just let it go. When I listen to this Saudi stuff there's a lot that I don't know and looking it all up would take forever. I used to look up most words that I didn't know, but now I don't worry about it.

I just rely on the fact that the brain is made for learning language. If I hear a word over and over again it will start to stand out and I can make a good guess at what it means. To make sure I've got the right definition I'll use google and look at the web results and the pictures. Pictures help more than the text if it's a physical object, but if it's a feeling or something abstract the pictures are pretty useless. If I can't find much with google then I'll usually ask on the Word Reference Arabic Forum (http://forum.wordreference.com/forumdisplay.php?f=41) and they'll usually know. There are Arabs from all different countries who visit that forum and they're happy to help.

Anyway, even if you don't look up the words you don't know you're still learning.

makkay said...

If there is any word that you can't understand or even do not recognize, then give me the episode and which minute it was mentioned or any audio or video clip you've been listening to, and I will be more than happy to help as much as I can.

here is my email ilzeen25@gmail.com

Makkay ^_^

Anonymous said...

This is quite good for picking up on the dialect that is prevalent in the east of the KSA and Kuwait. It is a nasheed ie vocals only. Tell me what you think.

http://www.islamway.com/?iw_s=Nasheed&iw_a=view&songstape_id=363

Anonymous said...

There are many podcasts in Saudi dialect that may be interesting to you. For example:
http://www.arabtech.tv/ (A website with some podcasts about I.T.)
http://adabyat.com/ (About Arabic literature)
http://3la6ari.com/ ("By the way" or "Speaking of .." Just general stuff with a lean towards photography)
http://qaalat.tumblr.com/ (A new podcast with a lot of girly gibberish)

I bet you can find a lot more just by googling "بودكاست".