Algeria

Algerians speak their own local variety of Modern Standard Arabic, which is Algerian Arabic. Most Algerians are bilingual with Berber, which makes it the second official language of the Nation. French is widely used in formal situations, media, and educational settings and is easily understood by most of the population.

Algerian Arabic has been strongly influenced by both French and Berber. It is spoken by about 70% of the population in most informal settings.

The Berber languages have been considered the native languages of Algeria since forever. They were originally spoken by a group of indigenous to North Africa known as the Berbers. The Berber languages belong to the Afroasiatic language family and include a group of closely related languages. They are also spoken in regions of Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Egypt. As concerns Algeria, they are grouped in four main dialects:

  • Kabyle, mostly spoken in Algiers and Northern Algeria.
  • Shawiya, which owes its name to the Shawiya people, the inhabitants of Eastern Algeria.
  • Shenwa is mainly spoken on Mount Chenoua, in the Northwestern region of Algeria. 

Tuareg, mainly in the Hoggar Mountains of the Sahara and Southern Algeria.