First the good news:
Media Arabic is pretty simple regarding the grammar. The sentences often even follow a Western syntax (subject plus verb plus object).
That is also true for vocab and phrases because you will encounter them in many articles. So, there is nothing to worry about. It is not a lot of work.
However, there is indeed a big problem: the speed. Arabic news moderators often pronounce sentences like a machine gun. And when it comes to newspapers, most students simply need too much time to read articles – especially because they do not know how to pronounce the words, and thus falter.
That is also the reason why students are not so much into reading newspapers because it is more or less like a guessing game as the vowels are not written.
But there is help:
Al-Jazeera offers a great service – listen to the article! There is an audio option on their website.
- The words are pronounced in a natural way (with correct vowels).
- It shows you the word which is currently pronounced (by highlighting it with a different color).
- You can download the audio file at the end to listen to it in one go.
How does it work?
Notice the domain .net because .com usually directs you to the English site.
STEP 2: Click on any article.
STEP 3: Under the headline, you should now see a loudspeaker symbol:
STEP 4: Click on it.
STEP 5: You should now be able to listen to the text. The AI highlights the word that is currently pronounced.
Here is how it sounds (Video):
REMARK: This also works on your mobile. You don’t even have to use the app. Just use your browser and go to aljazeera.net
By the way: I have interviewed an employee of the company which develops the AI for text to speech – you can read it here. Furthermore, if you want to know the “real” and authentic pronunciation – try out this tool.
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picture credit: pixabay by Karolina Grabowska