Language of Morocco

The two official languages in Morocco are Standard Arabic and Moroccan Tamazight (a subset of the Amazigh or Berber languages). Tamazight is the standardized form of Moroccan Berber, however there are many different types of Berber spoken throughout the country, such as Tashelhit , Tarifit, Kabyle, and Tamahaq. Many Moroccans also speak Moroccan Arabic known as Darija; this is considered the native vernacular.

Three Arabic words on a mountain in Agadir: “Allāh, al Waṭan, al Malik” meaning  God, Homeland/Nation, and King. (Location on map).
A Moroccan stop sign written in Arabic

Arabic and Berber are used throughout the country, however a large Moroccan population also speak French due to Morocco becoming a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956. French is often a language used in education and jobs related to the economy, such as tourism. English is also spoken by some locals in highly populated tourist areas.

Morocco is a good example of how geography and language are often related. The cities of Tangier and Tétouan in the North have a geographically close location to Spain and a large Spanish speaking population. The Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, located in Northern Morocco, also have an influence on the Spanish language use in the region. The central mountain regions of Morocco are home to a large indigenous Berber population and the Amazigh language.

A road sign for Idikl in the Anti-Atlas written in Latinized Berber letters and the Tifinagh equivalent.

Common Berber Phrases:

Hello:  Manzakine / Salam

Hotel:  Lotel

How much? Menshke aysoua

Lunch: Emkelie

Market : Souk

Money:   Flooss

My Name is Jen: Neck Ghih Jen

Please:   Arebi

How are you? Manzakine Za

Tea:   Atay

Thank you: Ake Issrebeh Moulana

Tomorrow:   Sebahe

Today: Rass

Water:   Aman

Where is? Mahella

Common Darija Phrases:

Hello: Labass / Salam   

Hotel: Hotel   

House: Dar   

How are you? Kayfa Halouk   

How much? Beshehale  

Lunch: Leghda  

Please: Afak   

Tea: Atay   

Thank you: Shoukran   

Tomorrow: Gheda   

Water: Lmaa   

What is your name? Ashnou Esemouk   

Market: Souk      

Money: Flooss   

My Name is Sam: Esemi Sam  

Cat: Mersh

This entry was posted in Explore, language, Morocco

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