Morocco

Talk

  • Moroccan Arabic is a dialect of Maghreb Arabic, also known as Moroccan Darija. The language is fairly different from the Arabic traditionally spoken in the Middle East and is also slightly influenced by French or Spanish, depending on where in the country you are, so don’t be surprised if you don’t understand the conversations of locals even if you are competent in Arabic. This dialect is also influenced by Spanish, as Spanish was heavily influenced by Arabic from Morocco before the expulsion of 1492. However, all Moroccans learn standard Arabic in school, so while not the first language of choice, speakers of standard Arabic should not have any major problems communicating.
  • Berber, or the Amazigh language, is spoken by Morocco’s Berber population. In the mountainous regions of the north the dialect is Tarifit, the central region the dialect is Tamazight, and in the south of the country the dialect is Tachelheet.
  • French is widely understood in Morocco due to its history as a French protectorate, and it is the most useful non-Arabic language to know. Almost all locals you meet will be bilingual in Arabic and French.
  • Although you will find people who speak English and Spanish in tourist centers, many of these will be touts and faux guides, who may become a burden. Some shop owners and hotel managers in urban centers also speak English, but outside of that English is not widely understood. (source: Wikitravel)

 

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