Moroccan ArabicMoroccan Arabic

As commonly known, a major Romance language as French is widely spoken throughout all Morocco, since it is considered the language of science and business. Spanish is quite commonly spoken, too, mainly in the northern regions around Tetouan and Tangier, due to historic trade interactions with Spain. 

However, MSA and Standard Moroccan Berber are the two official languages of Morocco. Moroccan Arabic (known as Darija) is the most widely spoken and understood variant of Modern Standard Arabic. Just like all other local dialects of MSA, both Berber and Moroccan Arabic are only spoken in informal settings and are not used in writing.

As part of the Maghrebi Arabic group of dialects, Moroccan Arabic shows similar features to the dialects spoken in Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, even though it still differs in urban and rural areas. The mainstream variant is the one spoken in Casablanca, Rabat, and Fez, which is also mostly used in the media.

Standard Moroccan Berber is also known as Standard Moroccan Amazigh or Tamazight and refers to the ongoing project of combining the three major Moroccan Berber languages: 

  • Riffian Berber or Tarifit, which has different varieties itself and they are mostly spoken by the Rif people of the Rif provinces in Northern Morocco and by a large minority in the Spanish autonomous city of Melilla. 
  • The Atlas Languages, a subgroup of the Northern Berber languages of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. They include Shilha (or Tashlhiyt, spoken in southern Morocco); Senhaja de Srair, spoken in the southern part of the Rif; and Ghomara, spoken in the western part of the Rif.
  • Central Atlas Tamazight (or Central Morocco Tamazight), which is most used in the Atlas Mountains of Central Morocco and belongs to the Afroasiatic language family.

Despite the slight differences among these dialects, they are mutually intelligible.