The Languages spoken in Qatar

The official language of Qatar is Arabic which is divided into two types, Standard and Gulf. Either or both of them are also spoken and understood by other countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Yemen, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran and other countries surrounding or near Qatar. The Standard is also known as Al Fus-Ha and Al Arabiya or High Arabic. Gulf Arabic’s other names are Qatari and Khaliji, and which can be divided further into two dialects, North and South Qatari. Another language commonly spoken is Western Farsi, a Persian language widely spoken in Iran and nearby countries.

Because of the huge influx of foreigners working in the country’s petrochemical industry, non-Qataris currently outnumber the natives. These expatriates not only brought their skills and services but they also carried with them their languages, among them are Urdu, Malayalam, Hindi, Pashto, Balochi, Tamil, Bengali, Tagalog and several other languages. Aside from their native tongue many of the locals also know and speak at least one these foreign languages. But knowing a phrase or two in Arabic can impress the locals.

Qatar was once a British protectorate and English is also spoken here. It is considered and the Government is actually encouraging it as the second language next to Arabic. Because of the many languages spoken by different people coming different countries, English is being used as the de facto language between Arabic and non-arabic speakers. There are also English newspapers with Arabic titles that published and can be read here.