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The Languages spoken in Morocco

The official language of Morocco is the Moroccan Arabic. It is a dialect of Maghreb Arabic and it is also the most widely spoken language in the country with 85% of the total population. The language is fairly different from the common Arabic spoken in the Middle East and is also slightly influenced by French or Spanish. This dialect is also related to Spanish, as Spanish was heavily influenced by Arabic from Morocco before the expulsion of 1492.

About 10 million of the population of Morocco speaks the language Berber which exists in the country in 3 different dialects – the Tarifit, the Tamazight, and the Tachelheet. The dialect Tarifit is widely spoken in the mountainous regions of the north while the Tamazight is in the central region and the Tachelheet is in the south of the country.

The most useful non-Arabic language to know and widely understood in Morocco is the French language. At least half of the population is capable of speaking French because of the strong influence during the period of 1912 to 1956, which has also left a large amount of French architecture in parts of Morocco.

Spanish and English are spoken by shop owners and hotel managers in urban centers. Many in the northern part of the country speak Spanish besides being only a short distance away, Spain also acted as protectorate of Morocco for a while after 1912. English, while still far behind French and Spanish in terms of number of speakers, is rapidly becoming the foreign language of choice among educated youth. English subjects are taught in all public schools.


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