Hi there guys! ! مرحبا
My name is Ralph Hurley O’Dwyer. I’m a medical student from Ireland with an interest in global health and human rights (as well as languages, music and other cultures).
I thought this might be the ideal place to share useful Levantine resources. Since I began learning Levantine Arabic(specifically Lebanese) roughly a year ago, I have struggled to find decent resources hence hopefully putting my recommendations up here might help someone starting out like me! I’ve included a mix of resources written in both English and French.
The best introductory book I’ve come across is the book
“Parlons Arabe Libanais” by Fida Bizri: http://www.amazon.fr/Parlons-arabe-libanais-Fida-Bizri/dp/2296121519 If you speak French and are planning on learning Levantine/Lebanese Arabic, I’d definitely buy it. It consists of three sections: an initial section explaining some aspects of Arabic grammar and pronunciation; a second section containing sample conversations with translations and transcriptions in both Arabic and Roman script; and a third section exploring Lebanese culture, history and idioms. Helpfully, it is also accompanied by a CD to aid pronunciation. The book is very clearly laid-out and more importantly the conversations cover much useful vocabulary and phrases.
“L’arabe libanais de poche” by Rita Nammour Wardini: http://www.amazon.fr/Arabe-Libanais-poche-Rita-Nammour-Wardini/dp/2700503570/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434191680&sr=1-1&keywords=l%27arabe+libanais+de+poche This is a fantastic phrasebook if you speak French and is useful as an effective springboard into Lebanese Arabic. Not only does it contain important phrases but it also provides a surprisingly effective introduction into the rudiments of Levantine Arabic grammar.
“Spoken Lebanese” by Maksoud Feghali: http://www.amazon.com/Spoken-Lebanese-Maksoud-N-Feghali/dp/1887905146 This book also contains sample conversations. Unfortunately, there is no Arabic transliteration only a Latin one. The transcribed conversations are still quite useful however.
“Colloquial Syrian Arabic”: http://www.syrianarabic.com/ An excellent and thorough resource. This book provides a significant quantity of vocabulary, conversations (transcribed in both Arabic and Latin script) as well as listening resources and practice exercises. It is particularly useful when used with help from a fluent Levantine Arabic speaker.
“Manuel de parler libanais”/Exercices de parler libanais" by Antoine Fleyfel: http://www.amazon.fr/Manuel-parler-libanais-Antoine-Fleyfel/dp/2296132421 This is a useful set of books(in French) to begin learning Lebanese Arabic. Again, it provides a series of transcribed conversations(however these deal with somewhat more obscure topics than in the books above).
“A Dictionary of Syrian Arabic: English-Arabic” by Karl Stowasser: http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Syrian-Arabic-English-Arabic-Linguistics/dp/1589011058 . This is one of the most useful books I have bought. Before discovering it, when I wanted to translate an English, I had to either ask my iTalki teacher or use an MSA translation pronounced in a Levantine way. The Syrian Arabic in the book is transcribed in Roman script. Although some would disagree, I find this as a positive feature as the transliteration system offers a clearer indication of pronunciation than a transliteration using Arabic script might offer.
There are some books that I’m interested in buying - I can’t comment on them now:
Lebneini w 2aktar: A Lebanese method: http://www.antoineonline.com/Livre_Lebneini_W_2Aktar_A_Lebanese_Arabic_Method_de_Joelle_Giappesi_For_Alps_Beirut_9789953530376.aspx?productCode=0009789953530376
Lebneini w 2aktar : A Lebanese Method Volume 2
Lebneini w 2aktar Verb Dictionary: http://www.antoineonline.com/Book_Lebneini_W_2Aktar_Verbs_Dictionary_In_Levantine_by_Joelle_Giappesi_For_Alps_Beirut_9789953530857.aspx?productCode=0009789953530857
Perhaps the best introduction of all to Levantine/Lebanese Arabic is the series of video tutorials by Hiba Najem on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/hiibanajem Hiba’s channel offers an accessible overview of the basics of Arabic conversation, all the while aspects of Lebanese culture. Moreover, Hiba recently published an E-book based on her online content. The book is quite cheap and is a useful accompaniment to the series: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9953031215/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1/181-4692753-0710140?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_r=0J6G7C3GMTNMCZTP2WP0&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=1944687442&pf_rd_i=1887905146
http://www.arabicpod.net/ Although much of the site is designed to teach MSA, there are some Levantine lessons here too.
On this fantastic site, you can find teachers(for quite reasonable prices) and language partners(free), allowing you to learn, improve and practise your spoken Arabic in the most efficient and natural way possible. Regarding Levantine teachers, there aren’t any Lebanese teachers but there are some great Syrian, Jordan and Palestinian teachers.
ALPS Beirut - https://alpsbeirut.wordpress.com/ The ALPS language school offers Skype language lessons in Lebanese Arabic. I enjoyed a lesson with them recently and would consider studying more with them.
Skype lessons with Hiba Najem(or her friend): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqeb4dB4fxw&feature=youtube_gdata
Keefak - http://www.keefaktheapp.com/ This is a great app designed to teach conversational Lebanese. The app covers a series of topics, focused around conversations with accompanying vocabulary lists and grammatical explanations.
Some good series :
Shankaboot: <a href="http://www.shankaboot.com/">http://www.shankaboot.com/ </a><br />
- Beirut, I love you: http://www.beirutiloveu.com/
Some Lebanese films:
- Et maintenant on va où?
- West Beirut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YWcqvZJpIU
- Out Loud
Some good singers :
- Mike Massy : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btJGrgxqTzs
- Fairouz : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it197AK0waI
- Hiba Tawaji : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on4jrqvAvzc
- Mohammad Assaf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S099Q0S2B8
- Tania Saleh : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88fAyLo0oq0
- Mashrou3 Leila: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc1XwS4JdfE
I'd be interested to hear what other resources fellow learners are using!
Thanks and good luck!