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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Learning the Arabic Alphabet 2: Videos

It is important, not just for the purpose of pronunciation and recognition, but for memory, to hear and repeat letters and words as you learn.  Once I had my charts on the Arabic Alphabet, I immediately went to Youtube to see if there was some kind of Arabic Alphabet song, or other presentations on how to pronounce the letters properly.  I found many videos, however a good portion have sub-standard sound, or they don't move along at a very good pace, making learning tedious.  What can also throw someone off is that several videos pronounce the letters in dialect, not Modern Standard Arabic, without announcing that is what they're doing.  Below are 2 of the the better videos, which were effective at helping me learn the Arabic alphabet. 

The following video I found very useful, and it has gathered about 1 million views, so I'm not the only one!  This video is actually excellent because each letter is sung 3 times, each with the three essential Arabic vowels.  This really reinforces pronunciation and interpretation, and repetition is good for memory.  My Lebanese friend's Father told me this is the way kids sing the alphabet song where he came from:

Here is another video which moves along quickly, and very clearly pronounces each letter once.  This is a good accompanying video to the guide I've put below:

I used both of these videos initially to help me learn and remember the sounds of each letter, but I have also come back to them from time to time to listen more carefully and to iron out my own pronunciation of the letters which are harder to pronounce.

Now that I had my charts and these videos to reference the sounds of the Arabic letters, I thought the best thing to do next was to put my knowledge into practice by transliterating some English words, such as my name, into Arabic text, and even trying to read some Arabic words.  In my next post I will discuss how I wrote and read my first words in Arabic, which was the next logical thing to try after getting a handle on the sounds and look of the Arabic alphabet--and quite simple and beneficial for that matter.  Actually using the alphabet, for just a short time, did a lot to reinforce and ingraine the Alphabet in my memory.  By writing and reading the letters I was recognising their different sounds and forms quickly.

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