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

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Languages
Open map of MoroccoFlag of MoroccoMorocco /

Figures in 1000.
Semitic 22,200 71.0%
22,200 71.0%
22,100 71.0%
60 0.2%
5 <0.1%
Afro-Asiatic 9,000 29.0%
9,000 29.0%
3,500 11.0%
3,500 11.0%
2,000 7.0%

Languages of Morocco are in daily use Arabic and Berber, but with a strong French presence.

About 2 of 3 Moroccans have Arabic is daily language. In Morocco it is spoken in 3 main dialects. About 99.7 of all use Moroccan. In the deep south, communities speaking Hassaniya emerges, this being the dialect of Mauritania, but is spoken only by about 60,000. Judeo-Moroccan, a variant used only by Jews, is now a dying dialect. Whether all 5,000 Jews use this dialect, or a smaller group, is not documented (the only two places here this is spoken is in Casablanca and Marrakech).

Berber is divided into 3 dialects, very much divided by geography. About 1 of 3 Moroccan speak a Berber language. Many scholars claim that the Berber dialects of Morocco should be labelled different languages.
Tachelhit is spoken in southwestern Morocco, along the coast from Sidi Ifni to Agadir in the north, then from the outskirts of Marrakech and east to the Draa' Valley, along the Souss Valley. Among the Tachelhit Berbers it is common that the men are bilingual in Arabic and often also French.
Tamazight is about as large language as Tachelhit and spoken in the Middle Atlas and eastern High Atlas. About half are monolinguals, the rest has Arabic as second language and often also French.
Tarifit is spoken in the northern part of the country, known as the Rif Mountains. Within this group there are variants that could be defined as separate languages.
Since 1990's there has been an increased focus on Berber language. State television has daily news bulletins in the 3 Berber dialects, but Berber activists want that half of broadcasting to be in Berber language.

French and Spanish
French is a strong language in Morocco, almost all well-educated Moroccans speak and write the language very well. French is used for many newspapers and magazines, in television and radio, and remains a strong language in higher education. Some groups of Moroccans, mainly secular higher middle class and up, tend to use French in everyday speech.
Spanish is listed among the spoken languages of Morocco, but from our available information this appears to rely upon misunderstandings. Some may include Spanish North Africa as part of Morocco, but this does not correspond with the actual situation, only a demand by racist Moroccan nationalists.
English is strong gaining ground in Morocco as first foreign language, but, if ever, it will not replace French in a long time.

By Tore Kjeilen