Morocco language

morocco flag

The Kingdom of Morocco is a country in North Africa, whose capital is Rabat. It has a population of 36 million inhabitants (38th) and an area of ​​446,550 km 2 (57th). Its human development index is medium (123rd) and its official currency is the Moroccan dirham. But what language is spoken in Morocco?

What language do they speak in Morocco?

Morocco has two official languages:

  • Classical Arabic, spoken by 41% of Moroccans.
  • Berber, spoken by 45% of the population.

It is necessary to distinguish between classical Arabic and Moroccan Arabic (dariya), since the first is the official language and the second is the one that is actually spoken by the majority in Morocco (spoken by 79% of the inhabitants). Of these Moroccan Arabic speakers, 18% speak it as a second language, most of them native Berber speakers.

Despite the fact that French and Spanish are the most widely spoken foreign languages, English is making more and more room for itself, especially in business and international trade.

The Arabic language

Moroccan Arabic (الدارجة) is the most widely spoken language in the country. Its speakers understand the official language of the country (Classical Arabic), but a speaker of Classical Arabic will not understand a speaker of Moroccan Arabic. The laws are written in classical Arabic and translated into French (occasionally Spanish). Classical Arabic is also used in administrative offices, in mosques, and in schools. For its part, Moroccan Arabic is used in cultural and literary aspects.

The Berber language

The Berber languages ​​(ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ) are a group of languages ​​of the indigenous population of Morocco, with a total of 16 million native speakers. In this country there are up to 5 different Berber languages, which are (in parentheses the number of speakers):

  • The ghomari (10,000)
  • The sanhaji (50,000)
  • The tashelhit (7,060,000)
  • Tamazight (4,590,000)
  • The Rif (4,240,000)
Berber languages ​​in Morocco

The French language

French (français) is the language used in business, in higher education, in government institutions, and in the media. It has 10.9 million speakers, 30% of the population (99.2% of them as a second language). French is compulsory taught in schools.

arabic french morocco language

The Spanish language

Spanish is spoken by 1.5 million people , 4.5% of the population (99.5% of them as a second language). It is spoken in the Rif, Tarfaya and Yebala regions (they were part of the Spanish protectorate of Morocco). Cities in which the use of Spanish is widespread are Tetouan, Nador, Larache, Tangier, Alhucemas, Sidi Ifni. With a smaller proportion, but still with great use are the cities of Marrakech, Rabat, Fez, Agadir, Kenitra, Casablanca, Taza, Mequinez and Oujda.

To promote the use of Spanish in Morocco there are up to 6 centers of the Cervantes Institute (the second country with the most, after Brazil). It is one of the most studied languages ​​in schools, along with Arabic, Berber and French. Radio and television broadcasts from Spain can be received in the northern part of the country.

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