12 Iconic Arabic Songs to Boost Your Arabic Skills in 2023
What are the best Arabic songs to practice the language?
Using music to learn a language has proven useful time and time again. Not only does it improve your pronunciation, it’s also helpful to expand your vocabulary and deepen your connection to the language’s culture.
The best part? You get to learn and have fun at the same time.
As a native Arabic speaker, I have put together a list of 12 of the best songs you can use to practice your Arabic skills.
Table of contents
- 12 Iconic Arabic Songs to Boost Your Arabic Skills
- 1. The Sea Creatures Song by Arabian Sinbad
- 2. أطلقي سرك – Arabic Version of Let It Go
- 3. يا طيبة by Toyor Al Jannah
- 4. The Snake by Lana Lubany
- 5. Ghareeb Alay by Elyanna and Balti
- 6. المحكمة by Kadim Al Saher and Asma Lmnawar
- 7. شاطر by Nancy Ajram
- 8. نسم علينا الهوا by Fairuz
- 9. انت عمري by Umm Kulthum
- 10. في يوم و ليلة by Warda
- 11. 3 Daqat by Abu
- 12. اكثر by Assala
- 50+ More Arabic Songs for Learning Arabic
- Benefits of Learning Arabic Through Music
- Final Tip to Use Arabic Songs to Make Learning Much Easier
PS: If you’re doubting how useful music can be to learn a language, give this article by Benny Lewis, founder of Fluent in 3 Months, a read!
I’ll also discuss the pros of using music as a way to learn Arabic later in the post, so stick around 😉
Now that you know how much music can help you better learn Arabic, you must be impatient to start incorporating Arabic songs into your language learning system.
I’ve gathered 12 Arabic songs that I think are ideal for Arabic learners. These songs vary in dialect from MSA to Levantine Arabic. There’s something for everyone!
Please note that they aren’t in any specific order, as tastes differ from one person to the next.
If you’re just at the beginning of your Arabic learning journey, the Sea Creatures Song is the ideal song for you to pick up basic vocabulary.
It is simple and easy to follow.
This video also included English captions, so you’ll find it easier to associate the Arabic words with their equivalents in English.
Before starting in on more adult*-ish* Arabic songs, it makes sense to listen to a tune that is familiar to you (especially in the beginning). Try songs you already know by heart in your native language and read the Arabic lyrics to clearly see how each word translates.
For example, if you’re a fan of the famous Disney movie Frozen, the Arabic version — *أطلقي سـرك * (read “Atliqi sirraki”) — of Let It Go would be a brilliant choice to start with.
You already know the song by heart, so try listening to its Arabic version and learn what each word is in Arabic.
If you ask an Arab about some of the popular Arabic songs, chances are يا طيبة (“Ya Taiba”) will come up. This is a well-liked Arabic song that makes me, and so many other Arabs, quite nostalgic.
Amina Karam, a Moroccan singer, sang this version for Toyor Al Jannah, an Arabic channel dedicated to producing Arabic songs mainly for children. Though, as an adult, I still find their songs a treat to the ears!
Check out the original “Ya Taiba” here.
If you’ve been looking for an Arabic artist that integrates English words in their songs, look no further!
The Snake (which translates to الافعى or “Afaa” in Arabic) by Lana Lubany is such a great song! I’ve been listening to it on repeat and it gets better each time.
The slow singing, the angelic voice, and the great melody, that sure sounds like a treat!
Be sure to check out Lana’s other songs. She’s truly talented.
Again, a song that mixes Arabic with English (just a couple of English words this time though).
Sung by the talented Elyanna and Balti, Ghareeb Alay (in Arabic: غريب علي, means “stranger to me”) sure is a great song to listen to. It uses both Levantine Arabic and Tunisian.
The difference might not be apparent when you first listen to it but pay attention to their accents, like how each one of them pronounces القضية (“ElQadiya”).
If you’re learning Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), you’ve probably read or heard about Nizar Qabbani. He is a famous Arabic romance poet.
Kadim Al Saher has used many of Qabbani’s poems as inspiration for his songs—they are truly masterpieces. In fact, he’s been called Caesar of the Arabic song for how good his songs are.
المحكمة “Al Mahkkamah” (means “the court”) is one of his greatest creations. It’s a collaboration with Asma Lmnawar, and it is one of the best Arabic songs you’ll listen to.
Don’t forget to also check out Asma Lmnawar’s songs, especially if you’re choosing Moroccan Arabic as your target dialect.
Dubbed by Spotify as the “Queen of Arab Pop”, Nancy Ajram is surely an Arab artist you’ve stumbled on previously if you listen to Arabic music.
Fairuz is one of the most famous Arab singers. Her songs are melancholic and full of feelings.
نسم علينا الهوا (Nassam Alayna El Hawa) is a song where she’s talking about her longing for her homeland. The song’s title means “The Breeze (or Love) Is Upon Us” in English.
Would this be a post about Arabic songs without mentioning Umm Kulthum? Hmm, probably not.
Umm Kulthum’s a legend in the history of the Arabic world. She is well known for her euphonious voice, she had a large range of. انت عمري (Enta Omri, literally “You Are My Life”) is a song about romance and freedom.
Visit any Levantine restaurant and chances are a few of Warda’s songs will be on the playlist.
We can’t talk about Arabic songs without also talking about the legend, Warda. She has a talent for conveying feelings into her lyrics and في يوم و ليلة (Fee Youm We Leila, “In A Day and A Night” in English) is concrete proof of that.
I don’t know about you, but ثلاث دقات (Talat Daat, literally “Three Beats”) is a song that I find myself singing at the most random times.
It is the kind of tune that gets stuck in your head, always on repeat. Something that’s really helpful, especially if Egyptian dialect is your target language.
Assala is another Arabic artist you should keep on your radar. Her song اكثر “Aktar” (means “More”) is one of her most popular songs. It’s captivating, harmonious, and upbeat along with such great lyrics. This will lift up your mood if you’ve been feeling particularly gloomy or disheartened.
Of course, these songs are just a few of many amazing Arabic songs, and you can find many more that fit your musical taste!
Here are some resources to help you find more lovely Arabic tunes:
- Best Arabic Music 2023: This Spotify playlist has 60 Arabic songs. You will surely have a great time listening to it!
- Most Viewed Arabic Songs: This YouTube playlist includes more than 300 Arabic songs that have been popular for the last decade. Perfect for all levels of Arabic learners.
Let’s close our grammar textbooks for a moment and tune in to some catchy Arabic tunes!!
Learning Arabic with the traditional method can become quite boring, especially if you’re getting stuck.
No matter what your favorite musical genre is, I’m sure Arabic songs won’t disappoint.
Here’s the deal: it’s either you learn Arabic or you learn Arabic while also having fun.
So, what are you waiting for? Make your Arabic study sessions more lively by playing some Arabic songs you enjoy!
Music is an essential element of culture. Listening to music from a culture different from yours gives you an insight into different ways of living. It helps build a bridge between people from all over the world and brings them together. You’ll learn a lot from Arabic songs, not just vocabulary and grammar, but also context.
This is even more crucial when it comes to Arabic culture as the Western media doesn’t always show faithful representation of the Arab world.
Unless you’re familiar with them, you will find Arabic sounds hard to learn.
Yet, even if most words seem foreign at first glance, mimicking the words in a song will help you practice those tricky sounds in no time.
Listen to a song enough times and you will soon find yourself singing along. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things is that feeling when I’m singing along to a foreign song. It feels like overcoming a huge hurdle and coming out the other side unscathed.
Music will help you memorize Arabic words and expressions within a real life context. It helps you better recall words and grammar rules in a fun, practical way.
With its repetitive patterns and beautiful rhythm, music is a great tool that you must use to make your Arabic learning journey easier.
So, what are you waiting for? Find a song you like and start learning!
Remember to take a break from the usual learning methods and blast some fine tunes to liven up the mood.
Having said that, please be active about your learning! Make an effort to read and write down the lyrics, mimic the singers (don’t worry if you sound way off-kilter), and have fun!