The Kingdom of Morocco is a diverse country with rich culture. The geographic position of the country and the influence of Arab and European culture in languages and dialects spoken in Morocco.
- 1 Languages and Dialects Spoken in Morocco
- 2 Should I learn DARIJA as a Foreigner in Morocco?
- 3 Tips in Learning Moroccan Arabic
Languages and Dialects Spoken in Morocco
Official Languages in Morocco
Moroccan official languages are Arabic and Amazigh or Berber and the most important one in studies is Arabic which represents the administrative language of the country and Amazigh is taught in some primary schools.
Concerning dialects in Morocco, there are Moroccan Arabic (Darija) and Hassani dialect of Sahrawi people in the south of Morocco.
The importance of DARIJA in Morocco
DARIJA or Moroccan Arabic is a dialect containing the combination of Arabic (Predominant), French, Spanish and Berber. DARIJA has some similarities with the Algerian and the Tunisian dialect and you may hear that Moroccans speak too fast comparing to Algerians and Tunisians.
Generally speaking, between Moroccans in the streets, you will hear Moroccan Arabic, Berber or Hassani dialect, and never Classical Arabic. Also, you will find out that all Moroccans speak Darija but not all speak Berber or Hassani dialect. So, as a foreigner in Morocco, Darija is the most important if you are interested in communication with locals. But, you may find some old people in Berber villages with some difficulties in speaking Moroccan Arabic.
Foreign Languages in Morocco
French is spoken widely in Morocco and you will have more facilities if you are a French speaker. In northwestern Morocco, some locals speak also Spanish because of the proximity and the influence of the Spanish culture. For example in Tangier and Tetouan, locals use a lot of vocabulary coming from the Spanish language when they speak Darija.
In larger cities, English is an emerging language, and Moroccans are known to be good in foreign languages and you may be surprised in tourist areas markets where many sellers have never been in school and they speak many languages.
Should I learn DARIJA as a Foreigner in Morocco?
Like anywhere in the world, when you speak local languages or dialects, you will feel closer to locals and you enjoy more your stay in the country. So, Learning Moroccan Arabic can be useful for you as a foreigner in Morocco.
If you want to learn Arabic online with the help of a teacher, you write to him on Moroccan Arabic Online Classes.
Tips in Learning Moroccan Arabic
Moroccan Arabic Online websites/Youtube Channels
For those who do not live in Morocco, learning online is a good option via websites and youtube channels. It is good especially if you are planning to visit or live in Morocco.
MoroccanArabicLanguage is a new website for beginners containing Vocabulary, Expressions, and Courses sections related to different contexts useful to foreigners in English and Darija.
Some Youtube Videos
The videos below, belong to the Youtube Channel Learn Moroccan Arabic – Darija :
- How to introduce your name?
- Count from 1-10 in Darija?
- Count from 10-20 in Darija?
- How to pronounce Week Days in Darija?
Expose yourself to the language with locals
You can ask sometimes your Moroccan friends to talk in Darija, even if you don’t understand what is going on. Then, you keep listening, write down new words, sentences, and eventually the entire conversation. The more you do that, the more you notice that you start understanding a part or even all their conversations. In parallel to that, do not hesitate to ask for explanations and practice what you learned.
TV Shows and Films
To improve quickly your level in Darija, you can watch Moroccan TV channels like 2M TV and AL OULA TV as well as listening to the Moroccan news, watching Moroccan movies and Comedy series on TV or on youtube.
Exchange languages with Moroccan Friends / Family
You can also exchange languages with your Moroccan friends interested in learning your language and you fix a regular time with them for that. Then, try to be generous when they ask about your language to push them to do the same in Moroccan Arabic.