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language and useful phrases


Language in Morocco

Dar Loughat

The official language is Classical Arabic but Morocco has a distinctive Arabic dialect called Derija that is widely spoken throughout the country, while most of the words find their root in Standard Arabic, some words are borrowed from Spanish, French and Berber.

As a majority of Moroccans have some Berber ancestors there are three Berber languages that are also spoken by over 10 million of the population, these being;

            Tarifit – Spoken in the Rif region 
            Tachelhit – Spoken in Souss Valley
            Tamazight – Spoken in Atlas region.

As Morocco has had many influences in its history French and especially in the north of Morocco Spanish are both widely spoken as is English in many cities and towns popular with tourists. 


Useful Phrases in Moroccan Arabic - Derija

We hope that you find the following words and phrases useful. They have generously been provided to by Dar Loughat - Cross-Cultural Language Center based in Tetouan, Morocco. They have also provided us with a few sample lessons; lesson 1 - Introducing People ; lesson 2 - Studying ; lesson 3 - When do you?

Hello: ahlan.
Good bye:  bslama.
Thank you:      shukran.
Please:             ‘afak.
Sorry:               asif/’afwan.
Excuse me:       smah li.
Yes:                   yeh, wakha.
No:                    lla.
Good evening:   msa l-khir
Good Morning:   sbah l-khir
Yesterday:  l-barah
Today:  l-yuma
Tomorrow: ghadda
This Morning/afternoon/evening: had s-sbah/l-‘shiya
Here:   hna
There:   temma
Big:   kbir
Small:   sghir
Hot:   skhun
Good:   mezyan
Bad:   qbih
Left:  sh-shmal
Right: l-limen
Straight Ahead: nishan
Near: qrib
Far: b’id
Where is (how do I find)...? fayen ja/jat (kifash njbar?)
I would like … bghit
Do you have...?     wash ‘andek
This one/ that one hada /hadak
Expensive ghali
Cheap rkhis
Menu please   menu ‘afak
The bill l-hsab
Coffee qahwa
Tea   atay
Mint tea na’na’
Orange Juice ‘asir d l-lechin
Water l-ma
1 wahed
2 juj
3 tlata
4 arb’a
5 khamsa
6 setta
7 seb’a
8 tmenya
9 ts’ud
10 ‘ashra
20 ‘eshrin
50 khamsin
100 mya
Monday - l-tnin
Tuesday - t-tlata
Wednesday - l-arba’
Thursday - l-khmis
Friday - j-jum’a
Saturaday - s-sebt
Sunday l-had



Click on the links below to try out some lessons;

lesson 1 - Introducing People

lesson 2 - Studying

lesson 3 - When do you?















Mint Tea


















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