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Though most of us are not born linguists, striving to achieve even a small level of communication between ourselves and the inhabitants of the country we are visiting can be a most rewarding endeavor. Because of the varied historical influences on the people of Morocco, there is a large variety of languages spoken throughout the country. In order to help you in your pursuit to communicate better, we have provided a list of these languages.

Communicating to some degree in one of the nine living languages still spoken in Morocco can greatly enhance your experiences in the country. When Moroccans note your attempts to communicate, they are often treat you quite differently are become much more friendly and helpful. Thus, a world of adventure becomes opened to you, simply because you put a little effort into it.

Fortunately for us, most Moroccans are capable of speaking more than just one of their native languages. At least half of the country's population is capable of speaking French and many of those involved in the tourism industry are capable of speaking some English and a few other foreign languages as well. This means you should be able to get by in most parts of the country quite easily without even trying very hard. But if you really want to open doors or have a less frustrating adventure, you should really try to speak a little Arabic or French.


**** The Linguistic Diversity ****


There are several different forms of the various languages spoken in Morocco, as well as a few that are non-verbal. The following is a breakdown of the 11 listed languages that are or were spoken in Morocco:


Living Languages

* Moroccan Arabic - This is the official language of Morocco. Though it is somewhat different from most other types of Arabic, most Moroccans can understand conventional Arabic.

* Tamazight Language - it is the language of native people in North Africa and it is formed from a lot of different dialects which differ from a region to another:

  • Tachelhit -  people from Southern Morocco (Sous region; Marrakesh, Agadir, Taroudannt, Tafraoute...etc) speak this form of Tamazight.
  • Central Atlas Tamazight - People from Central Atlas and Eastern of Morocco (Middle Atlas, Azilal, Midelt, Errachedia, Rissani, Azrou, Ifrane...etc) speak that form of Tamazight.
  • Tarifit - the word Tarifit is originally descended from the word "Rif" (Rif Region in the North) which is the region where this Dialect is widely spoken.

* Hassaniyya Arabic - Also known as Moor. Over 40 000 in Southern Morocco people speak this form of Arabic.

* Judeo-Moroccan Arabic - Only about 8 925 people speak this form of Arabic. It is generally confined to certain small areas in Morocco.

* Standard Arabic - Most Moroccans can understand this form of Arabic which is spoken and written much throughout the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. Most Arabic television programs are in this form of Arabic.

* Moroccan Sign Language - There is a large number of deaf men who speak sign language in the city of Oujda. It is hard to determine how many women are capable of sign language as they do not speak it in the streets. There are a few small deaf schools which teach the language though it is not generally used in Rabat, Tangier and Casablanca. Most people who use MSL cannot read or write Arabic. MSL is very different from American Sign Language and people conversant in the two sign languages would struggle to understand each other.

* Spanish - Over 20 000 people in Morocco are capable of speaking Spanish. Besides being only a short distance away, Spain also acted as a protectorate of Morocco for a while after 1912. This resulted in Spanish influence in culture and language.


Extinct Languages

Ghomara - was a dialect of Berber which is generally considered to no longer be in use.

Senhaja de Srair - this is the fifth dialect of Berber which has also unfortunately fallen into disuse.


Other Languages

French - though not seen as an indigenous language in Morocco, at least half of the population is capable of speaking it. This is due to the strong French influence during the period of 1912 to 1956, which has also left a large amount of French architecture in parts of Morocco.




**** Words & Phrases to Learn ****

 


 
here are some Arabic words translated into English, i made this collection for you trying to make your trip easier for those who are travelling on their own.

“Sh” is like She in English.
“Gh” is like French R in Mardi.
“Kh” is like J , Julio in Spanish.

* Communication:

- No --> Lla
- Yes --> Iyyeh, ah, wah
- Shame on you! --> Hshuma aalik! / or just Hshuma!
- Please! --> A’afak!
- Thanks! --> Shokran!
- Thanks a lot! --> Shokran bzzaf!
- Welcome / you are welcome! --> Mrehba / Mrehba Bik!
- Bye / goodbye! --> B’slama!
- Okay! --> Wakha!
- Now! --> Daba!
- Not now! --> Mashi daba!
- Or… --> Oula…
- And… --> W… or Ou...
- Where? --> Fin?
- How? --> Kifash?
- A lot. --> Bzzaf.
- A little. --> Shwiya.
- Not me / It wasn’t me! --> Mashi ana!
- I don’t want! --> Mabghit’sh!
- I am done / I finished. --> Salit / or Kmelt.
- It’s your turn! --> Noubtek!
- Where is the W.C? --> Fin Kayna Twalit?/ or Fin Bit Lma?/ or Fin l WC?
- No, not yet. --> lla Mazal / lla Baqi.
- What did you say? --> Shnu glti?
- Slowly please. --> B’shwya a’afak.
- Repeat please. (to a man, to a woman) --> A’awed a’afak / A’awdi a’afak.
- I don’t speak Arabic. --> Ma kanhdersh laarbia.
- I don’t understand! / I did not understand! --> Ma kanfhemsh! / Mafhemtsh!
- Do you understand me? / did you understand me? --> Wash katfhemni? / Fhamtini?
- I don’t know. --> Ma areftsh.
- I forgot. --> Nssit.
- I have to go. --> Khassni Nemshi.


* Introduction Phrases:

Below are basic phrases to introduce oneself in Darija (Moroccan Arabic). These phrases are useful to break the ice, and get to know more about the new people you meet in Morocco.
- Hello, hi (peace) --> Salam /or/ Assalamo Alaykom (Peace be upon you).
- Hello (as a reply) --> Salam /or/ Wa aalaykom Salam (And peace be upon you (too)).
- Good morning! --> Sbah Lkhir!
- Good afternoon / evening! --> Msa’lkhir!
- Nice to meet you! --> Metsherfin!
- How are you (masc, fem.)? --> Kif dayr? / Kif dayra?
- Are you fine? --> Labas?
- Good, thanks be to God. --> Labas /or/ Bikhir, l-нamdullah.
- Everything is fine! --> Kulshi bikhir!
- What’s your name? --> Ashno Smiytek?
- My name is… --> Smiyti…
- How old are you? --> Sh’hal f aamrek?
- I am … years old. --> A’andi…Aam.
- Are you married? (masc, fem) --> Mjewwej? / Mjewwja?
- Yes, I am married. (masc, fem) --> Ah, ana mjewwej. / Ah, ana mjewwja.
- No, I am not married. (masc, fem) --> Lla, ana ma mjewwejsh / Lla, ana ma mjewwejash.
- Where are you from (masc, fem.)? --> Mnin nta? / Mnin nti?
- I am from xxx --> Ana mn xxx.
- I am from Morocco. --> Ana mn l-mghrib.
- I am Moroccan. (masc, fem) --> Ana mghribi / mghribya.
- Are you ... (masc, fem)? --> Wash nta/ Wash nti ...?
- And you? (masc, fem) --> W nta /W nti?


* Offering Help / Asking for Favors:

- Can I help you? --> Wash na’awnek?
- Can you help me, Please? --> Momkin t3awnni, A’afak?
- Excuse me. (to a man, to a woman) --> Smeh Lia / Smehi lia.
- Give me ... please. --> A’atini…A’afak.


* Transportation Expressions:

- I want to go to ... --> Bghit nmshi l…
- Take me to ... please. --> Ddini l…A’afak.
- Stop here, please. --> Wqef hna, A’afak.
- Is the meter on? --> Wash l’kuntur khddam?
- Turn on the meter, please. --> Khddem l’kuntur a’afak.
- Where is the train station? --> Fin kaina la gare?
- Where is the bus station? --> Fin kaina l’mahtta d’lkiran?
- Where is the city bus stop? --> Fin kaina l’mahtta d’tubissat?
- Stop here, please! --> Wqef hna, A'afak!


* Responses to Problems/Difficulties/Apologies:

- It’s not a problem. --> Mashi mushkil.
- There is no problem. --> Makayn mushkil.
- Excuse me (masc, fem)--> Smeh Lia / Smehi Lia


* Congratulations:

- Congratulations. --> Mebruk.
- Happy holiday. --> mebruk l’Aaid.
- May God grant you grace. (response to the above) --> Allah ybarek fik.


* Expressions for Nighttime / Sleeping:

- I’m tired. (masc, fem) --> Ana a’ayan./ Ana a’ayana.
- I want to read a little bit. --> Bghit nqra shwyia.
- I want to go to bed. --> Bghit na’aes.
- Where I am going to sleep? --> Fin ghadi na’aes ?
- Excuse me; I want to go to bed. (addressing a group of people) --> Smhu li, bghit nmshi na’aes.
- I want to go to bed early. --> Bghit na’aes bkri.
- I want to get up early. --> Bghit nfiq bkri.
- I want a blanket. --> Bghit wahd l manta.
- Good night --> Layla sa’aida.


* Meals and Drinks:

- In the name of God (said when you begin an activity: eating, drinking, working, studying, traveling, etc.). --> bismillah
- Thanks to God (said after finishing a meal, or after expressing that all is well in life). --> l-нamdullah
- I don’t eat ... meat --> Makan’akulsh…L’hem.
- Eggs --> L’bid.
- Fish --> L’нut.
- Chicken --> D’djaj.
- I drink tea / coffee without sugar. --> Kan’shreb atay/ l’qhwa bla skkar.
- I eat everything. --> Kan’akul kulshi.
- I eat vegetables only. --> Kan’akul ghir l’khudra.
- I don’t feel like eating. --> Mafya ma’yakul.
- I want just/only ... --> Bghit ghir…
- I don’t want to have breakfast. --> Ma’bghitsh n’fter.
- The food is delicious. --> Lmakla bnina.
- I’m full. --> Shba’at.
- I want to learn how to cook. --> Bghit nta’allem ntiyyeb.
- May God replenish / reward you. (said after a meal to thank host) --> Allah ykhlf.
- To your health (said to someone after eating, drinking, coming out of the hammam, wearing new clothes, having a hair cut, etc.) --> B’ssehha / Bssehhtek.
- May God grant you health too. --> Allah Iaatik ssehha


* Shopping-Money:

Moroccan people use different names for the currency; same money but different names and numbers; Ryal, Frank and Dirham:
* From Ryals to Dirhams, divide by 20, e.g. 1000 Ryals: 1000 ÷ 20 = 50 DHs = 5000 Franks.
* From Franks to Ryal, divide by 5, e.g. 2000 Franks ÷ 5 = 400 Ryals = 20 DHs.
* From Franks to Dirhams, divide by 100. For example, 200 Franks ÷ 100 = 2 DHs = 40 Ryals.

- How much is this? --> Bsh’hal hadi?
- it is very expensive! --> Ghali bzzaf!
- give me the change back. --> Red lya serf.
- I don’t have any money! --> Ma andish leflouss!
- Do you have change? Wash A’andk serf?
- Do you have change for ...? --> Wash A’andk serf dyal..?
- I want… --> Bghit…
- Beautiful (masc, Fem). --> Zwin / Zwina.
- Bad, ugly. --> Khayb.
- Big (masc, fem). --> Kbir / kbira.
- Small (masc, fem). --> Sghir / Sghira.
- Good! --> Mezyan!
- Here, take. --> Hak / or Shed.
- Give me… --> A’atini…


* Hygiene/Cleanliness Expressions:

- I want to wash my hands with soap. --> Bghit nghsel yiddi b sabun.
- I want to brush my teeth. --> Bghit nghsel snani.
- I want hot water, please. --> Bghit l’ma skhun aafak.
- I want to take a shower. --> Bghit nduesh.
- I want to go to the hammam. --> Bghit nmshi l hemmam.
- I want to change my clothes. --> Bghit nbedel hwayji.
- Where is the toilet? --> Fin bit l’ma?
- I want to do laundry. --> Bghit nsbben hwayji.
- Where can I do laundry? --> Fin ymkn nsbben hwayji?


* At the Internet Café:

While staying in Morocco, if you don’t have internet at home or at the hotel, you’ll find an Internet café in the area. The phrases in this part will be of help for your dealings in the Internet café in Morocco.

- May I use this computer? --> Neqder nesta’amel had l-PC?
- Isn’t there a webcam? --> Ma kaynash lkamera?
- Isn’t there a microphone? --> Ma kaynsh lmikru?
- How much does is cost per hour here? --> Sh’hal kaddir ssa’aa hna?
- This computer is not working. --> Had l-PC ma khddamsh
- The keyboard is not working. --> L-clavier ma khddamsh.
- Do you have a printer? --> Aa’endkom tabiaa/ or imprimante?
- I want to print some documents. --> Bghit netbe’aa shi wraq.
- How much does it cost to print a page? --> Bsh’hal kateba’ao ssefha?
- Do you have a scanner? --> Aa’endkom scanner?
- I want to scan some documents. --> Bghit neskani shi wraq.
- How much does it cost to scan a page? --> Bsh’hal katskaniw ssefha?
- Can I use Internet with my computer? --> Neqder nesta’amel l’internet ma’a l-PC diali?
- The computer is freezing. --> Tbloka l-PC.
- Thanks for your help. --> Shokran a’ala lmosa’ada.


* Weather Phrases:

You will find in this part a few useful phrases to ask about or comment on the weather in Moroccan Arabic.
- It’s hot today. --> Skhun lhal lyum / Kayn ssehd lyum.
- It’s cold today. --> Bard lhal lyum / Kayn lberd lyum.
- The weather is nice today. --> Zwin ljow lyum.
- The weather is bad today. --> Khayb ljow lyum.
- It’s raining. --> Kayna shta.
- It’s snowing. --> Kayn ttelj.
- It’s pouring down. --> Shta khit men ssma.
- I don’t have an umbrella --> Ma’aendish lmdal.
- There was a lot of rain this morning. --> Sebbat shta bzzaf had sbah.
- It will probably not rain tomorrow. --> Muhal wash tkun shta ghdda


* At the hospital: (hopefully nobody will need those words and everybody will remain safe and healthy.)

On this part, you can learn useful phrases to use at the hospital while in Morocco.
- I want to rest a bit. --> Bghit nrtah shwiya.
- Do you feel better? --> Briti shwiya?
- I am sick. (masc, fem) --> Ana mrid / Ana mrida.
- I am allergic to penicillin. --> A’andi hasasiya dial pinisilin.
- I need to see a doctor immediately. --> Khassni nshuf shi tbib daba.
- I suffer of asthma. --> Fiyya ddiqqa.
- I need pain medication. --> Khassni shi dwa dial le’alam.
- I have a headache. --> Kayderrni rassi.
- I have a stomachache. --> Katderrni lme’aada diali.
- I have a backache. --> Kayderrni dehri.
- I have a fever. --> Fiyya sskhana.
- I throw up / I have nausea. --> Fiyya rreddan.
- I have diarrhea. --> Fiyya ssehal.
- I feel dizzy. --> Fiyya ddoukha.
- Where can I buy this medicine? --> Fin neqder nshri had ddwa?
- Is there a drugstore nearby? --> Kayn fermasyan qrib men hna?

realized by Rachid Oubasslam

i really wish that those words will be useful enough to make your trip easier and much enjoyable.

greetings from the land of peace
Rachid
peace & hugs