What Languages Are Spoken In Morocco?

Arabic is one of the official languages of Morocco.
Arabic is one of the official languages of Morocco.

Morocco recognizes both Modern Standard Arabic and Berber as its official languages. Between 60% and 80% of Morocco's population is Berber speakers. French is the country's primary language of economics, culture, commerce, medicine, and sciences and it is used in government and schools as well.

The Official Languages Of Morocco


The Standard and Classical forms of Arabic are among Morocco's prestige languages. The Moroccan Arabic dialect, known as Darija, is the most widely used native language. The dialect compares similarly with dialects used in Libya, Mauritania, Tunisia, and Algeria. Standard Arabic is mostly heard in schools, administrative offices, and mosques. Classical Arabic can sometimes be heard in traditional formal addresses, debates concerning religion, and cultural and literary aspects. Moroccan Arabic, on the other hand, is not written and it is used in homes and the streets. Hassani Arabic is used by an estimated 0.7% of Morocco's population, most of whom inhabit the southern Sahara areas of the nation. Other speakers reside in metropolitan regions such as Casablanca, Agadir, Rabat, and Marrakech.


Morocco, like most North African countries, does not traditionally include language data in the censuses they carry out thus it is difficult to determine the exact population of Berber speakers. Berber is popularly used in rural Morocco, and the speakers do not use it in writing. Berber has several dialects spoken in Morocco. In 1990, there were about 1.5 million speakers of the Riffian dialect which is mainly used in the Rif region in the north of Morocco. The Tashelhit language ranks as the most popular dialect, and it is spoken in the Souss-Massa-Drâa, Tadla-Azilal, and Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Regions. There were about 3 million speakers of the Central Morocco Tamazight dialect in 1998, and it is mostly used in the East High Atlas, High Atlas, and Middle Atlas regions. The Eastern Middle Atlas, Ghomara, Eastern Zenati, Figuig Shilha, and the Senhaja de Srair are other Berber dialects in the nation.

Foreign Languages Spoken In Morocco


The introduction of French in Morocco is attributed to the French colonial authorities who instituted it as the language of media, government, and education. After acquiring sovereignty, Morocco initiated the Arabization process but also promoted French when it sought to strengthen its links with France and Europe at large. In modern day Morocco, French is used across various spheres from industry, banking, education, government, and commerce. Morocco's inhabitants learn French in school, and those who complete secondary school achieve fluency in the language. Many Moroccans are thus fluent in French as well as Moroccan Arabic.

English And Spanish

Nearly 5 million of Morocco's population use Spanish particularly those residing in the northern region of the country. The presence of Spanish in both northern Morocco and Western Sahara can be traced back to the time when Spain had lay claim to the area and recognized Western Sahara as a province. Spanish in these regions is mostly used in media and public discourse. Spanish has been gaining popularity in the nation owing to the proximity of Spain and Morocco and the high number of legal immigrants from Morocco to Spain. The use of English was promoted by the national educational reforms started in 2002. English features in Morocco's education, business, and science sectors.


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