What Languages Are Spoken in Morocco?
Regardless of how we look at it, the answer to the question “What language is spoken in Morocco” can be adequately addressed with a view of Morocco’s ethnicity, since the two are inextricably linked. As a result, we’ll now examine the numerous languages spoken in Morocco in terms of this criterion.
There are a variety of languages spoken in Morocco, making it a difficult topic to address. Morocco’s inhabitants are recognized for their ability to learn quickly and speak several languages fluently. The languages are spoken, however, might differ from one region to the next. For example, several languages may be spoken in the marketplaces of Marrakech due to the number of visitors, but the situation changes as you travel farther into the city proper.
Morocco has two official languages: Tamazight “Berber” and Modern Standard Arabic. Moroccan Arabic, commonly known as Darija, is the spoken native dialect of Morocco. It varies significantly from standard Arabic and has no resemblance to other Berber languages. However, it should be mentioned that the most widely spoken languages in Morocco are Arabic and French, with French being the second most widely spoken language.
Berbers, also known as Amazigh, are considered to be Morocco’s earliest settlers. According to estimates, around 40% of the population speaks the language, which has been well preserved to this day. The Berber language is split into three dialects, the most common of which are spoken in Morocco. Tarifit (a northern language), Tamazight (a central language), and Taschelhit (a southern language) are among them ( spoken around the southern part of the country).
Tarifit, which is extremely distinct from Tamazight and Taschelhit, is considered to be very similar in that you may comfortably participate in a discussion with another person of either dialect and create an understanding, but this is not the case with Tamazight and Taschelhit. Tamazight was also approved and identified as an official language of the country in 2011, and it is being taught in schools. Originally, the Tuareg script known as Tifinagh was used to write Berber languages, but currently, Berber is written in a modified Arabic script that occasionally uses the Latin alphabet.
Tamashek (common among Tuareg), Ghomara (spoken in Northern Morocco), Senhaja de Srair (spoken in the Rif mountain districts), and the uncommon Judeo Berber language are all spoken in Morocco (common in Israel). They are, however, of little or no relevance nowadays.
The Berber dialects are difficult for visitors and tourists to grasp. In addition, compared to Darija, there are fewer localities where they are spoken. As a result, learning the language is not recommended if you are simply visiting Morocco and will not be staying there for an extended length of time.
Morocco’s official main language is Arabic (Darija), which is spoken by roughly 90% of the population. Moroccan Arabic, commonly known as Darija, is a unique dialect that differs significantly from standard contemporary Arabic, which is used formally in government and administrative settings. While the Roman alphabet is written from left to right, Arabic is written in the other direction, from right to left.
The Darija, like many other Moroccan languages, is the product of borrowing terms from local Berber languages as well as other well-known languages such as French. Darija is claimed to have developed from classical Arabic and the native Berber language, from which certain components were created. As a result, the Darija differs from conventional Arabic in that it has several syllabuses that lack vowels or affirmative sounds.
So, if you speak Darija in Morocco, it will be quite simple for you to get along and do business with others; but, this will not be the case for visiting tourists, who will struggle to engage in discussions and comprehend what is said well enough to relate to people.
In Morocco, French is the official language. It has been like way since the colonial era. It is taught in schools and is the country’s most widely spoken European language. It may be found in numerous dual-language information notices printed in Arabic or French, which are usually found in museums (for visitors).
Since a result, speaking French is very recommended when traveling in Morocco, as you will be able to communicate well in both towns and larger exposed communities. Rural and interior places with little or no exposure, where inhabitants solely speak one of the Berber dialects and Arabic, may have a different narrative.
Whereas French is taught as a first foreign language in Moroccan schools, English is taught later in secondary schools. Although English is not as widely spoken as French, most places have tour guides, waiters, drivers, and other employees who are fluent in the language.
As a result, if you try to communicate in English outside of major cities and most marketplaces, you might not go very far. In most museums, information and signage are rarely printed in English; however, if you join a mixed-nationality tour, you will find that English is frequently spoken.
During the colonial time, the Spanish language was also widely spoken in Morocco. The Mediterranean coast and regions along the Atlantic Ocean are two places where it is widely spoken. However, as compared to French, Spanish is not as popular in Morocco, as the latter is. As a result, you may expect Spanish to assist you in the coastal areas and northern Morocco, as well as in marketplaces and shopping centers in major towns and on tourist trips.
German is practically never spoken in Morocco, thus your prospects of getting assistance are slim. However, some major hotels have German-speaking workers, and you may also run across someone who speaks German at malls or market areas who will be glad to engage in a discussion with you and share their experiences.
Finally, before you decide to travel or spend your vacation in Morocco, you should learn one of the primary languages to ensure that you have a pleasant and trouble-free stay.