Levantine Resources

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.



Books



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



http://www.antoineonline.com/Livre_Lebneini_W_2Aktar_A_Lebanese_Arabic_Method_de_Joelle_Giappesi_For_Alps_Beirut_9789953530680.aspx?productCode=0009789953530680



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







Videos



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







Aural Content



http://www.saifiarabic.com/index.php/language-resources/urban-arabic-audio-book-1



http://www.arabicpod.net/ Although much of the site is designed to teach MSA, there are some Levantine lessons here too.







Online lessons



italki- www.italki.com



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







Apps



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.







Blogs



https://welovearabic.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/top-10-free-levantine-arabic-resources-and-a-few-more-besides/



http://parler-libanais.blogspot.ie/







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:

- Caramel:

- 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!

Ralph :)

Wow. What a helpful post.



Thanks, Ralph! :slight_smile:

Great suggestions…I have the following additions:



Memrise - great app both for desktop and mobile, you can create your own courses using your own databases of words (good for any courses you may be taking or specific vocab). A popular Levantine course is http://www.memrise.com/course/875/beginners-levantine-arabic/



I like the Syrian Colloquial Arabic text and mp3 files by Mary Jane Liddicot (referenced in original post) http://www.syrianarabic.com/ very thorough and good exercises at the start to get you learning to distinguish the sounds in Arabic and reading Arabic script



Pimsleur.com - http://www.pimsleur.com/learn-arabic-eastern while not free, it was actually these mp3 lessons that got me speaking Arabic right from day 1. Useful phrases and vocabulary. I like the way they use memory retention times to review content…and question / answer format for reinforcing what is being learned. Only downside is that if you leave it for a while, it’s hard to go back and review what you’ve forgotten. You essentially have to listen all over again.



C.


Thank you!

This is why Arabic is difficult. Resources. If anyone has any more resources to add in levantine: Sitcoms, tv shows, movies, radio, children’s books… any written material that isn’t a textbook. Please share. I have mainly listening to MTV lebanon on youtube but It’s very difficult to understand with such a limited vocabulary. Whoever decided that “Modern” Standard arabic was to be marketed as the “lingua franca” of the middle east needs to be fired.

I’ve been watching the series “My American Neighbour الجار قبل الدار” on You Tube.



It’s subtitled in both English and Jordanian colloquial Arabic

Here there is a very useful list, probably the most complete you can find online (along with yours, of course):



https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=4944,



and here a very useful online dictionary for both Levantine and Egyptian Arabic, “The living Arabic project”:



http://www.livingarabic.com/levantine-arabic-dictionary.php,



and also on youtube you can find a nice Lebanese series ridiculing censorship, “Mamnou3” (“forbidden” – thanks god with English subtitles):



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxEJQ4ebktQ







Salamat! and keep up the good work

THere’s an Israeli series produced by Netflix, which takes place in the West Bank. The language is half Hebrew half Arabic and I think could be useful as an authentic resource. It’s called ‘Fauda’ or فوضی

I watched it with English subtitles. If anyone happens to find its Arabic subtitles for, I really appreciate it.

Here there is a good series of videos in Jordanian Arabic (advanced level):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdvUkp9fSwU&list=PLBrrWJ4XxyzqgDRcmixvXrHb4w5hG9nn7

Thanks for the resources! I have an addition, the Youtube serious “Mamnou3!”
It’s like a Lebanese “The Office” a comedy about a Lebanese censorship bureau. (Mamnou3 means forbidden)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iCMUN3yufQ

What a great list of resources. Fabio, thanks for the link to the levantine dictionary, I didn’t know about this site. Seems like the original link is broken, but you can find it from this page : http://www.livingarabic.com/dictionaries.html