When studying Malagasy online, being able to listen to Malagasy language materials is very helpful. However, it is important to make sure that your listening materials are of appropriate quality by asking several questions:
- Do the audio recordings feature a native speaker (or someone with native fluency and pronunciation)?
- Do the audio recordings feature a speaker of Standard Malagasy, or of a specific dialect that you are trying to learn?
Many Malagasy language lessons on YouTube, for example, feature audio recorded by non-native Malagasy speakers, which may introduce undesirably non-neutral accents and pronunciation. Others are in regional dialects, which may include significant shifts in pronunciation and vocabulary.
Many of the highest-quality free listening resources in Malagasy were developed by groups that have a long history of bringing people to and working in Madagascar: the Peace Corps and Christian churches.
Here are some resources to consider for working on your verbal and listening skills, organized from beginner to advanced:
- Peace Corps Language Study in Malagasy https://www.livelingua.com/course/peace_corps/malagasy_language_lessons
While the lectures in these lessons were recorded by Americans, the samples of Malagasy speech were recorded by native Malagasy speakers. This is a useful starting resource for hearing and practicing your pronunciation, using the online Dictaphone tool. The lessons can be played in-browser, or (if you scroll down to the Downloads section) be saved to your computer or smartphone for listening to with your .mp3 player of choice.
- Malagasy Mianatra Anglais https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHvcaqlcXSJn8smzY-3wrBg/featured
This YouTube channel features a series of lessons for Malagasy speakers to learn French and English. However, it includes trilingual slides and native Malagasy speakers reading the content – which makes it very useful for learning in a phrasebook-like format. This is ideally used with keyboard shortcuts to quickly pause, replay, etc. for practice and repetition.
If you speak English and French, the repetition of the content in English, French, and Malagasy provides ample time for writing down the phrases. If not, pause as needed to transcribe slide content and work in the pronunciation.
- Tiako Be.fr https://www.tiakobe.fr
This online radio station features a diverse array of content including talk shows and Malagasy music. It can also be listened to using your web browser or via a smartphone app.
One of the primary reasons to listen using your web browser is the En ce moment sur Tiako be box on the main webpage, which lists what is currently playing, and the Déjà diffusés section that shows what is coming up next. These greatly facilitate searching for song lyrics online, because the listing includes artist names and song titles. You can, thus, proactively translate song lyrics or compare your spoken reading with the actual sung pronunciation.
Related content (some with French-language hosts, some with Malagasy-language hosts) can be found via the Emissions menu option.
- Global Recordings Network: Malagasy Language
This website hosts a variety of Christian bible study lessons, storytelling, and other content in multiple dialects of Malagasy, with each dialect being clearly labeled. When using this website, after selecting a piece of content, make sure to select More to see the links for downloading audio files and (for many materials) transcripts in English that you can use to check your listening and comprehension skills.
Because most of the content is based on specific (and labeled) Biblical passages, consider reading these in advance using an online parallel translation.
- Adventist World Radio: AWR Malagasy / Malgache
While Christian radio may or may not be a regular interest, this online radio station has several great advantages for practicing one’s Malagasy listening skills: a very high audio quality, and lots of downloadable content – as of 2022, more than 1,500 pieces of content that you can stream online or download as .mp3s. Includes short sermons, commentary, and Malagasy-language music. Recommended for use by Intermediate- and Advanced-level Malagasy learners.