Arabic is hard, isn’t it?
Well, it’s kinda hard, but not with YouTube.
You can find just about everything on YouTube these days: TV shows, Nancy Ajram’s latest song, Moroccan movies, audiobooks and podcasts.
Even the cat down the street is there!
Learning Arabic as a beginner without watching YouTube tutorial videos is like making a pizza without cheese.
Just imagine how boring it’d be to learn how to spell Arabic words just by reading phonetic symbols in a textbook.
No doubt you’ve already heard about someone (like me) who has learned (if not mastered) a language just from watching YouTube videos.
New Arabic educational channels appear on YouTube every day, and it really pays to know which ones are worth watching.
Luckily, plenty of channels offer excellent videos and are definitely worth your time.
Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best Arabic learning channels on YouTube.
Before we jump into the list, though, let’s figure out what makes YouTube videos worth watching, and how it’s possible to learn Arabic through YouTube videos.
Why Learn Arabic with YouTube Videos?
To improve your language skills
Since a lot of Arabic learning content on YouTube is produced by native speakers, watching those videos will clear up for you how to pronounce words, put words in context and read correctly.
Once you get used to watching, you’ll notice that the more videos you watch, the more understandable your Arabic becomes.
Keep in mind that videos help the most when you actually practice speaking (see below).
To enhance your knowledge of the culture
“To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.”
― Frantz Fanon
Most Arabic learning channels on YouTube have videos about Arabic cultural and religious events, as well as holidays, traditions and customs.
Understanding what Arabs say will help you understand what they think, which in turn will lead you to eventually have a solid comprehension of their culture.
As with learning any new skill, you acquire cultural knowledge by accumulating a lot of information about it, and this will lead you to understand and converse in Arabic at a higher level.
To enjoy learning
According to WR Hambrecht, online learning increases knowledge retention by 25% to 60%.
About one billion YouTube users enjoy watching hundreds of millions of hours of videos a day, and you’re probably one of them.
YouTube channels can help you discover a new culture and learn many things about the Arab world. As you start watching videos, you’ll notice some cultural differences right away. For example, you might be shocked to learn that Moroccans consider the liver as the symbol of love, not the heart.
Soon, with FluentU’s upcoming Arabic program, you’ll be able to not only learn Arabic from learning channels like those below, but to increase your enjoyment with authentic videos intended for a native audience. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
To diversify your learning experience
Learning is not a “one-size-fits-all” experience. Some of us need to learn differently than others. Without diversifying your experience, it’s impossible to enjoy learning and have a good grasp of the Arabic language and culture.
Learning a language is not limited to textbooks, flashcards, mobile apps, etc. In fact, the methods you’re already using are probably just a drop in the ocean of what’s actually reachable for you.
Over the past few years, YouTube has seen a large increase of Arabic teaching channels. Consequently, many language learners have started using YouTube to learn Arabic and many other languages. YouTube is a must-use for every serious learner.
To help yourself understand Arabic better
The main reason to learn with YouTube videos is that it can help you understand Arabic better. Whether you’re a beginner or fluent speaker, recognizing what people say is critical to ensure better communication. Your understanding skills boost automatically when you start figuring out how Arabs think and react to things.
As you watch these videos, try to remember as much as possible about how Arabs think, feel and interact with things and people around them. Familiarizing yourself with the Arabic culture is challenging, but it’s also fun, because you’re discovering a new world.
Now that you’re convinced that YouTube videos are an important part of your learning toolbox, let’s learn how to get the most out of them.
How to Effectively Use YouTube for Your Arabic Studies
Subscribe to your favorite channels
By subscribing to your favorite Arabic channels, you can have YouTube send you emails and notifications of new videos right on your YouTube homepage. This way, learning will become more habitual.
In addition, the channel owners will appreciate your subscription, which will motivate them to publish better and more educational videos that’ll help you practice your Arabic and have fun learning.
Write down new words
This technique is priceless in terms of learning new words. For example, putting 10 to 20 new words on the refrigerator or on the wall of your room every week would be enough to start speaking in basic day-to-day conversations in only a few months.
Look for the exact meaning of each word by using Google Translate, a thesaurus or a bilingual dictionary, then put them up in your room and start reading them every time you see them.
You also can use other tools to revise new words, such as spaced repetition software.
“Repetition opens doors, you know?”
― Tim Lucas, “The Book of Renfield: A Gospel of Dracula”
Author Tim Lucas is totally right: Repetition is just like a skeleton key—it can open any door you want. In other words, it can make you learn any skill. Do you remember how hard it was to learn how to ride a bike? You probably fell off more than a few times. But the more you practiced, the better you got at it, until riding a bike felt almost like second nature to you. This is a well-known method you can apply to almost any skill.
Repetition forces your mind to improve your Arabic subconsciously by listening to the same sentences and seeing the same actions again and again, which will help you to gradually become fluent in Arabic.
If you really want to elevate your Arabic skills, repetition should be at the very top of your learning methods list.
Discussing videos in the comments section or with a language partner is technically effective for taking your language skills to a whole new level. This might be hard at the beginning, but it’s worth it.
Many institutes and schools have recently started recommending and using this method as a main way to learn a language, especially now that learning to speak and write in Arabic are more important than ever.
So now that you know how to learn Arabic with YouTube videos, let’s get to the channels themselves!
14 Mind-blowing YouTube Channels for Learning Arabic
This popular YouTube channel appeals to all learning stages (beginner, intermediate, advanced). Unlike most channels, ArabicPod101 publishes videos in a variety of Arabic dialects, including weekly videos in both Moroccan and Egyptian Arabic.
If you’re interested in learning about the Arabic culture, you’ll probably enjoy the videos on Arabic cultural and local celebrations.
An extremely prolific channel (250+ videos) with a highly unique methodology on acquiring vocabulary and improving your listening skills, ArabicPod101 is absolutely worth using.
One of the great features this channel has is bilingual subtitles. They make learning Arabic and translating new words much easier.
LearnArabicwithMaha is one of the biggest Arabic channels on YouTube, with a huge audience of over 270,000 subscribers and about 50 million views. Maha, a well-experienced Arabic teacher, has helped thousands of students start conversing, reading and writing in Arabic.
Her well-presented videos address a wide range of topics such as Levantine recipes, traditional clothes, essential Arabic phrases, conversational Arabic, Arabic versus Hebrew, etc., as well as videos of her students speaking Arabic.
Also, Maha’s multi-level videos include very clear explanations of every word and how it’s spelled and pronounced. In culture videos, she often talks in English only.
Easy Arabic gives you a solid grasp of the Egyptian culture and customs by asking thoughtful questions to Egyptian people living in Germany and Egypt.
Every episode has subtitles in both English and Egyptian Arabic. For Egyptian Arabic learners, learning through these videos might be quite challenging, as people are speaking in colloquial language. If you’re learning about the Egyptian culture only (excluding language), you’ll benefit from watching the videos using the English transcripts.
If you’re learning another Arabic dialect or Modern Standard Arabic, Easy Arabic probably isn’t the best channel for you. But you can still subscribe, as the channel owners are continuously looking for people to help them represent other dialects in their project.
Learn Lebanese Arabic with Hiba Najem
Hiba Najem makes you enjoy learning Lebanese Arabic by teaching you many aspects of the Levantine language and culture. Her lessons are particularly useful for travelers to countries in the Levantine region (Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) who are willing to learn beginner Arabic.
Since 2011, the channel has published more than 70 videos covering several topics such as food, basic vocabulary, etc.
Rachid is an enthusiastic man who teaches basic Arabic vocabulary for children and adults who are both native and non-native Arabic speakers.
Through the repetition technique, you’ll quickly learn new basic words that’ll help you kick-start your learning journey by taking you from a first-timer level to a beginner level.
The videos are usually between 1 to 5 minutes in duration. Every video consists of Rachid reading an Arabic sentence or word with its English translation and showing images that represent it.
Teach Children Arabic – Easy and Fun!
Since most channels teach Arabic in an academic fashion, this channel puts a different spin on learning altogether by creating cartoons about the Arabic alphabet, music, shapes, colors, numbers, animals, etc.
The goal of this channel is to teach native Arabic toddlers basic knowledge in both Levantine and Modern Standard Arabic. At the same time, the videos can be useful for non-native Arabic beginners, as the level is very basic and the methods used make the videos very easy to understand.
The most brilliant thing about this channel is its commitment to publishing at least two videos each week, often more. Plus, the well-categorized playlists might be a priceless timesaver for you.
This channel seeks to create videos to help first-timers start learning Arabic; however, other levels are available through a paid course on the website.
Through innate learning practices, NassraArabicMethod.com teaches you Levantine Arabic. Instead of focusing on heavy grammar rules, the channel concentrates on practical, day-to-day and traditional topics dedicated to Levantine Arabic students.
It also publishes success stories of users who learned to speak Levantine fluently in only six months through its videos. Moreover, the channel has published videos on how to overcome challenges for those wishing to learn Arabic.
Saifi Institute for Arabic Language
Saifi Institute for Arabic Language is a channel of an Arabic institute based in Beirut, Lebanon. Interestingly, all lessons are taught on a whiteboard by an experienced teacher who offers a series of basic Arabic videos covering grammar and language rules.
Lessons last for 10 to 30 minutes, and an Urban Arabic curriculum is taught and explained in both English and Arabic.
In fact, the channel includes a whole Urban Arabic course, which’ll bring you from zero to hero and enable you to strike up conversations in Lebanese Arabic.
This is a rising YouTube channel for beginners. If you’re looking to start learning Modern Standard Arabic, you’ll find tons of helpful videos on basic Arabic rules on MadinahArabic Tuition.
MadinahArabic Tuition also regularly publishes videos teaching pronunciation, the Arabic alphabet, essential vocabulary, etc., for beginners.
What makes this channel special is its clear sound and high-quality virtual board videos.
Learn with Zakaria
Zakaria is a professional cartoonist who publishes educational videos on a weekly basis for native Arabic kids as well as beginner and intermediate Arabic learners. The videos cover many different topics such as colors, shapes, fruits, animals, numbers, the alphabet, etc.
The videos are animated, and last for 2 to 20 minutes, which enables you to choose videos depending on how much time you have.
All videos in the channel are only in Modern Standard Arabic, so make sure you watch Learn with Zakaria’s videos after you learn basic Arabic vocabulary.
Arabic for kids – Super Jameel
This is an interesting YouTube channel of a well-experienced Egyptian Arabic teacher, who publishes videos teaching basic vocabulary for kids in Arabic. It’s well-produced and includes very basic topics such as reading, the Arabic alphabet, colors, animals, etc., with a huge amount of music.
All videos are dedicated to Modern Standard Arabic or Egyptian Arabic students. And the cartoon animation is made in a skillful way that simplifies learning the fundamentals for starting Arabic learners.
MIZO Kids TV
Learning the Arabic alphabet is made a lot easier with MIZO Kids TV. There are bite-sized Arabic lessons that can be considered a complete beginner’s guide to the Arabic alphabet. They’re all in Egyptian Arabic, with examples and illustrative images for each letter. These are cartoon animations that are easy to watch and very simple.
Al Babyloni Kids
Al Babyloni Kids is one of the best channels for Modern Standard Arabic beginners. If you’re a still a first-timer, you can really have fun learning on this channel, as it gives you all the basics you need to start spelling (or reading) in Arabic. The videos are between 2 and 8 minutes, but the highly unique quality of them and the harmony between the cartoons and the music will make you want to repeat them tirelessly.
Each lesson includes all the characters and shapes you hear while watching. Al Babyloni Kids is a less active channel, having so far only published videos on the Arabic alphabet, shapes, colors and numbers, but it’s still a good channel to subscribe to.
Kids Tv Arabic
You can get tired of any type of music, except “Finger Family” in Arabic! Kids Tv Arabic does a really good job of translating a variety of well-known kids’ music, from “Wheels on the Bus,” to Halloween songs, to “5 Little Monkeys.” It also includes videos covering numbers, the Arabic alphabet and cartoon educational series such as “Bob, the Train.”
These videos are specifically helpful for beginner and intermediate Arabic learners. All videos are in Modern Standard Arabic, which makes this channel best for MSA students.
Not every Arabic learning channel is going to be worth your time to watch, but the ones above are the best you can find on YouTube at the moment.
Yassir Sahnoun is a freelance writer, polyglot and translator living in Morocco. He loves learning about other languages, peoples and cultures. He also works on improving the presence of his native language, Tamazight (Berber), on the Internet. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.XYZ.