What Languages Are Spoken In Kuwait?

Kuwait City, the capital of Kuwait.
Kuwait City, the capital of Kuwait.

Although Modern Standard Arabic is Kuwait's official language, Kuwaiti Arabic is preferred for everyday life in the country. Kuwait is one of the world's Arab nations and thus Arabic is the predominant language. The nation hosts a large immigrant workforce especially from Asia who use English along with their native tongues. Expatriates represent about 70% of the Kuwaiti population which translates to increasing language diversity in the country. Tourists visiting Kuwait are advised to know a few Arabic or English terms.

Official Language Of Kuwait

Modern Standard Arabic in Kuwait is mainly used in education and journalism. The spoken form of Arabic has evolved depending on the region where it is used. Gulf Arabic is the variant used in Kuwait and more specifically Kuwaiti Arabic. Kuwaiti Arabic features loan words from Indian, English, Persian, Turkish, and Italian due to trade and immigration. There are some differences between the dialects used in Kuwait's rural and urban areas. Kuwaiti Arabic is locally known as Khaliji, Khamseh, and Al Hasaa in other Arab nations. Pupils are instructed in Modern Standard Arabic in Kuwait's public schools as well as private Arabic schools which inform their everyday use of Kuwaiti Arabic. At university levels, lectures are instructed in Arabic for courses with historical or religious focus. Official documents, magazines, books, and newspapers feature Modern Standard Arabic.

Major Foreign Languages Spoken In Kuwait

English and French

English occupies a significant place in Kuwait's educational curriculum. It is taught along with Arabic in the country's schools. The demand for western education has been growing in Kuwait due to factors such as the sophisticated curricula of the non-Arabic foreign educational institutions in Kuwait and the importance of an English foundation for advanced education overseas. The comparative high fees do not deter many students from enrolling in British and American curricula schools. English in Kuwait is widely understood, and it is sometimes used in business. The bulk of Kuwait's road signs are in English and Arabic as well as most restaurant and business signs. There are also several televisions and radio broadcasts in Kuwait which use English. French is a medium of instruction to the students learning humanities for only two years.

Primary Immigrant Languages Spoken In Kuwait

The history of Kuwait features historic immigration patterns. The Ajam Kuwaitis, for example, are Kuwaiti citizens who trace their origin to Iran. This group uses Persian, and they predominantly adhere to Shi'a Islam. Kuwait is popular with South Asian workers especially Indians and Pakistanis. Hindi and Urdu are thus often heard within these communities. As commonly observed with expats everywhere, immigrants in Kuwait often establish communities through which they keep their languages and cultures alive. The Farsi language is heard in Iranian communities as it is Iran's official form of speech. Other minority immigrant groups include Omani and Balochis.


The Tagalog language has been gaining ground in Kuwait such that Radio Kuwait broadcasts some programs using the language. Tagalog is a

language originating in the Philippines. Kuwait's government has been looking to the Philippines as a labor source and thus facilitating the immigration of Tagalog-speaking Filipinos to the nation.


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