So you thought to yourself: hey, what language Moroccan people speak? Well let’s talk about Morocco first!
It’s a North African Arab country which a rich and long history as well as culture. This already says a lot since its position on Earth brought a lot of people to this land. But don’t worry, this won’t take long.
To cut it short, the official language of Morocco is Arabic. It’s the language of the government and any official paperwork done in the country. The Moroccan people speak their own dialect of Arabic which they generally call Darija Arabic.
To be clear, they write in Modern Standard Arabic in official paperwork and not in their dialect! All Arabic countries have their own Arabic dialect and Arab culture which can differ slightly from each other. One way for us to understand this better is how there are different dialects of Spanish depending on what Spanish speaking country it is.
The same applies to Arab speaking countries. This is very normal to happen when it comes to language that spreads on a vast area of land. Moroccan Arabic is very similar to classical Arabic however it has a lot of consonant clusters. So sometimes other Arabic speakers find it hard to understand since it doesn’t have that many vowels! But that’s how their Arabic evolved over the time.
Many people think Darija Arabic is not technically Arabic when in fact, it is very close to classical Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic. This is also known as ‘formal Arabic’ that is found in the Quran, the Muslim Holy Book. So next time someone tells you Darija Arabic isn’t ‘true Arabic’ (whatever that means), teach them about how truly close it actually is!
However, Moroccans speak multiple languages due to the different people that have colonized them over the years. This includes French and Spanish due to both the French and Spanish colonies there. It’s very common for Moroccans to be either bilingual or more because of this.
Spain colonized some specific areas so you can find Spanish speakers there, whereas France colonized other areas. So you will find many French speakers there. This is similar to how some third world countries speak English as a second language because that colonization happened by the British Empire.
But wait, we’re not done with listing the languages. In fact we came to one of the most interesting part of this article! Moroccans are a mixture of Berbers and Arabs after the Arabs went to the land and mixed with them. The Berbers have their own language and some of them still speak it till today.
Believe it or not, the Berber language Tamazight is 3000 years old! Pretty cool, huh? Some Amazigh have preserved the language and still teach it to their kids despite it not being an official language in the country. To add on to this, Tamazight has its own dialects as well. In 2011, Berber became an official language in Morocco. So now you know why Moroccans may speak multiple languages!
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