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Languages of Morocco

by 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

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