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  • Elizabeth Cochran

Morocco and Multilingual identity

Did you know that Moroccans can speak on average two to three languages? I met numerous Moroccan where they can speak nearly seven, I informed them you are a polyglot my friend! You are a genius!

How can they speak so many languages?

When they are young they learn to speak Moroccan Arabic- known as Darija or others learn Tamazight, which is the language of the Native berber people.

In primary and secondary school they will learn French or Standard Arabic for their curriculum. Furthering their language skills, but they don't stop their as when they get to their final years of secondary they can choose to learn other languages, which include English, Spanish, and German to name a few. Some will continue their studies in University to apply this knowledge of languages. That means that a lot of Moroccans can fluently speak five languages, and others can speak seven fluently. A multilingual society is normal for Moroccans. This was such a unique experience to hear them just switch between languages so smoothly.

Native peoples language - Tamazight

I did a presentation about the native peoples language Tamazight, because it fascinated me. I saw street signs with these symbols, that to me looked like art and something I had never seen. This language is not as commonly used compared to Standard Arabic and French. That is because Arabic and French are the languages used for work and business. But a lot of people still do speak it in Morocco. It is also recognized as one of Morocco's languages.

Tamazight alphabet, looks so cool right?

The Moroccan dialect - Darija

Another language of all the Moroccans is Darija, which is the Moroccan Arabic dialect. It is such an interesting language. There are many words that are influenced by French and also Arabic. It is a language of French and Arabic into one. A unique thing about this language is there isn't an official alphabet for Darija.

They use English letters, numbers, and sometimes just write it phonetically using the standard Arabic alphabet. I had learnt Darija as it was useful for me to speak to the locals and everyone can speak Darija in Morocco, no matter their age or economical status is. I picked this language up because of my internship and then I used it in the markets and I just kind of became the language I picked up on in Morocco.

I love how multilingual this country is and how Morocco is such a blend of languages and cultures, but it makes Morocco, Morocco. Alhamdulillah!

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