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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Media
7. Demographics
8. Religions
a. Freedom
9. Peoples
10. Languages
11. History
12. Cities and Towns

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Languages
Open map of BahrainFlag of BahrainBahrain /

Figures in 1000.
Semitic 610 55.0%
610 55.0%
410 37.0%
130 12.0%
70 6.4%
Iranian 70 6.4%
70 6.4%
Other 420 38.0%
420 38.0%

Bahrain is a society with a strong presence of foreign workers, making English an important second language in addition to the two native languages, Arabic and Persian. Only Arabic has status as official language.
Figures here are rough estimates; demographics have changed dramatically in Bahrain in recent years.

Arabic is the dominating language of Bahrain, and spoken in two main variations; Baharna and Gulf. The indigenous Baharna dialect is three times more common than Gulf. The dialects are largely divided according to towns and villages. The dialects are easily intelligible, differing mainly in pronunciation, having a few grammatical variations but sharing most of the vocabulary.
While Gulf Arabic is a minority in Bahrain, it is by far the dominant along the Persian Gulf; from Kuwait, through Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and into Oman.

Persian is still actively used in Bahrain, by Persian immigrants with long history on the islands.

Foreign languages
Foreign language is English, which to a large degree also is the primary business language. It is compulsory second language from the 4th grade, but becomes gradually also a language of tuition.
The variety of other languages have no importance on Bahraini social life and culture, except involving a society in which several ethnic groups form parallel societies. But as immigrants have no chance of obtaining citizenship, these groups and their languages represent no permanent changes to the language structure of Bahrain.

By Tore Kjeilen