Languages of Moroccoby Hassan El Amrani on 01/29/16
Most travelers know that understanding or using a few native phrases can greatly enhance one's experience in a foreign country. So what should visitors to Morocco know about its native languages?
There are actually many languages being used in Morocco!
- Darija - the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, and the most widely spoken language. We include a couple of common phrases for visitors to try below:
- Salam alikum - Hello/Peace be upon you (general greeting)
- Labas alik - How are you?
- Afak - Please
- Shokran - Thank you
- Standard Arabic - most Moroccans understand this form of Arabic, which is spoke and written throughout much of the Middle East and North Africa. In general, Arabic television programs use Modern Standard Arabic
- Hassaniyya Arabic - spoken by over 40,000 inhabitants of Southern Morocco, this form of Arabic is also known as Moor
- Judeo-Moroccan Arabic - spoken by about 9,000 inhabitants in small, conscribed areas of the country
- Spanish, French, and English - Previously under control by Spain and France, Morocco has cultural and linguistic influences from these countries. Many Moroccans are fluent in Spanish and/or French, and a growing number are also becoming fluent in English.
- Berber dialects
- Tachelhit - this is a Berber dialect spoken by 3-4 million Moroccans
- Central Atlas Tamazight - another Berber dialect spoken by around 3 million Moroccans
- Tarifit - another Berber dialect spoken by around 1.5 million Moroccans
- There are also extinct Berber dialects such as Ghomara and Senhaja de Srair