What can I do to master my Arabic listening?
Arabic is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. It is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term initially used to describe peoples living in the Arabian Peninsula bounded by eastern Egypt in the west, Mesopotamia in the east, and the Anti-Lebanon mountains and Northern Syria in the north, as perceived by ancient Greek geographers. The ISO assigns language codes to thirty varieties of Arabic, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, also referred to as Literary Arabic, which is modernized Classical Arabic. This distinction exists primarily among Western linguists; Arabic speakers themselves generally do not distinguish between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic, but rather refer to both as al-ʿarabiyyatu l-fuṣḥā (اَلعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ “the eloquent Arabic”) or simply al-fuṣḥā (اَلْفُصْحَىٰ). Modern Standard Arabic is an official language of 26 states and 1 disputed territory, the third most after English and French.
Arabic is widely taught in schools and universities and is used to varying degrees in workplaces, government and the media. Arabic, in its standard form, is the official language of 26 states, as well as the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic
Speaking and listening to the language as much as possible is the best resource for understanding any language.
So, if you want to develop your Arabic listening skills, you should use the method (way) that best suits your needs. Some people learn best in a classroom setting, while others tend to practise individually.
Tips to Master Arabic Listening
Explore the Arabic language through common phrases, not individual words
Phrases are easier to remember because they have meaning, they paint a picture, they tell a story. By focusing on common phrases, in just minutes you’ll start memorizing the most common Arabic words, form sentences, learn to speak Arabic phrases and take part in conversations.
Take language level testing online for free.
Many language learning software companies and language schools offer language level testing for free. Once you get further involved in your Arabic study, level testing can be a good way to assess your progress. Testing at a particular level also allows you to put your relative proficiency in Arabic on your résumé and work or school applications
You need to do active listening
Many of us don’t realize that there is a difference between hearing and listening. While listening we usually pay attention to the meaning and active listening is a bit more than that. When you are practising active listening, you are not only understanding the meaning, but you are also paying attention to the linguistic elements used – like grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and intonation. Whenever we are listening to any native speaker we need to pay attention to how they are framing sentences, how they are expressing different ideas and the way of speaking.
You need to focus on the pronunciation, intonation and fillers
While listening to a native Arabic speaker, you should not just focus on the grammar and vocabulary, you need to also focus on the pronunciation of the words and the intonations used to express emotions. You need to imitate these styles while you speak.
Usage of subtitles and transcripts
While you are watching a movie for the first time, try to watch it without subtitles, even if you are not understanding anything. Then watch the film again with Arabic subtitles. Now you are having some understanding of the content, you will be able to understand and read the subtitles faster and along with that, you will be able to focus on the sentence structure. If you find a transcript or the subtitle text video, then read it while listening to the audio.
Listen with slow speed and then with fast speed and then repeat and again listen
While listening to any audio first try to listen to it at a slow speed and then at a fast speed. You will understand that you are gradually picking up what they are saying. I would advise you to listen to it again and again to improve your listening skills.
Memorize a lot of vocabulary
You need to memorize a lot of vocabulary so that you are able to understand while you are listening without getting distracted. If you don’t have a huge word stock it will be difficult to understand what the person is saying. So memorizing a lot of vocabulary is very important for mastering listening skills.
Find a native speaker.
One of the best ways to improve your new language skills is to practice speaking with a native speaker. They will easily be able to correct any grammar or pronunciation mistakes you make and can introduce you to more informal or colloquial forms of speech that you won’t find in a textbook.
Listen to Arabic music and radio.
Listening to Arabic music and/or radio is another good way to surround yourself in the language. Even if you can’t understand everything, try to pick out keywords to help you get the gist of what’s being said.
- Get a Arabic radio app on your phone, so you can listen on the go.
- Try downloading Arabic podcasts to listen to while exercising or doing housework.
When you learn Arabic, you’re learning more than just a new language.
You’re learning about a unique culture – different from your own.
You’re gaining an insight into an ancient country that’s becoming a modern global power.
And you’re opening yourself up to communicate in a meaningful way with millions of people across the globe who speak the Arabic language.
You need to follow the above-mentioned methods to master your Arabic listening skills. And also, I would advise you to take up a good online Arabic language course where you would be guided in a proper way regarding your improvement in listening skills.
So why are you waiting for? There is no better time than now to get started!
All the best!!!