The best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it, but when you don’t have a language partner or when you’re are not living in an Arab country, then you have to come up with alternative ideas. One way of immersing yourself in a language is through the newspaper! Aside from learning about current affairs, reading newspapers can teach you new words and phrases, thus increasing your vocabulary in Arabic and improving your grammar skills. Newspapers never run out of fresh content, which you can continually use to build upon your learning. Also, considering that Arabic has many dialects, newspapers are always in Modern Standard Arabic which is particularly important for beginners who need to know they’re learning the correct form of the language. Below you will find a compiled list of Arabic newspapers.
Ad-Dustour / الدستور / The Constitution
This is an Arabic daily newspaper published in Jordan. The daily was a private company until 1986 when the Jordanian government bought a share of it. The newspaper has nearly 600 staff members.
Al Ghad / الغد / Tomorrow
Al Ghad is privately-owned and the first independent Arabic daily national newspaper. In addition to its print version, it has also launched an online version which reaches a significant number of readers every day. It was the 10th most visited website for 2010 in the MENA region. The paper was awarded three prizes in the categories of Best Design, Best Front Page, and Best Electronic Portal in the 7th Asia Media Awards, organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (IFRA). In 2018, Al Ghad was named the most influential Arabic newspaper website by Industry Arabic.
Al Ra’i / الرأي / The Opinion
This is Jordan’s best-selling newspaper and is government owned. The sister newspaper of Al Ra’i is the Jordan Times, another very popular choice among Jordanians. However, as popular as it is, we will not include it in this list as this is a fully English-written publication.
Al Iqtissadiya / الإقـتـصـاديـة / Economy
Al Iqtissadiya is one of the first privately-owned publications in Syria. It focuses on financial and business news, including local news, international news, economical research and studies. The paper both exhibits a critical attitude towards slow progress in the economic and social fields in the country and clearly supports the Assad regime’s national and foreign policies.
Al-Watan / الوطن / The Homeland
Al-Watan is the daily sister newspaper of Al Iqtissadiya. Started in the 1960s, it was the country’s first private daily newspaper, but its editorial line and reporting is practically identical to that of the publicly-owned newspapers. In fact, the owner of the daily is Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The online edition of the paper was the 33rd most visited website for 2010 in the MENA region.
Al-Waqa’i’ al-Misriyya / الوقائع المصريّة / The Egyptian Affairs
This Egyptian newspaper was established in 1828 and is the oldest in the country. Originally called “Vekayi-i Misriye”, it featured articles in Ottoman Turkish in one column on the right with an Arabic translation in a second column on the left, but later became written in Arabic only under the Arabic title. Al-Waqa’i’ was the official gazette of Egypt and is now published as an appendix of the Official Journal.
Al-Ahram / الأهرام / The Pyramids
Founded on 5 August 1875, Al-Ahram is the most widely circulating Egyptian daily newspaper and the second oldest after al-Waqa’i`al-Masriya. The Egyptian government owns the majority of the newspaper. Given the many varieties of Arabic language, Al-Ahram is widely considered an influential source of writing style in Arabic. In 1950, the Middle East Institute compared the distribution of Al-Ahram to its Arabic-reading public as “what The Times is to Englishmen and The New York Times is to Americans”; however, it has often been accused of having heavy influence and censorship from the Egyptian government.
Remember to approach the news as you would any other language learning resource. It can be an exceptionally handy tool for study, as long as that is exactly what you do: take the time and effort to study these resources. Don’t lose heart and don’t give up. As your knowledge of the language grows, your ability to understand what is being said will develop with it, and you’ll become even more informed about this world we inhabit along the way. How do YOU use the news in your language learning?