Expats, which language should you speak in Morocco?
When I first moved to Morocco, I was hearing so many languages around me that I did not know where to start: the waiter ordered in French at the restaurant, colleagues wrote emails in English at work, taxidrivers Darija And the TV program to present spoke inclassical Arabic ... I was even forced to babble with Spanish at the time when I traveled to Tangier last time and our guide spoke Berber when I went hiking in the Atlas Mountains.
Question: Do I have to speak as many languages as the general secretary to be able to live my life there?
Here are a few tips / hints on what you should do when considering a language when moving to Morocco.
First tip, you should NOT stick to English only . This is not even an option. Let's make it clear, Moroccans are used to speaking different languages - that's a fact. But English is not a common language in daily life: shopping in English is not a good idea since you will have a perfect target for "foreign hunters" who will double or triple the standard prices so that you will have to fight every time you Are Buying a kilo of potatoes. But beyond that, you will have the impression to live aside or develop a self-protection attitude (I am afraid because I do not understand people around me) and get isolated. This is one of the best places to stay in Morocco. So keep your English only for your professional activities. If you want to feel like you're living in the country.
Life will be okay for you if you learn French . Why? Casablanca, Rabat or Marrakech for instance, it is the minimum language that you need to make your life "normal":
Should you learn Arabic? YES , this is a great idea. But having said that it will depend on your capacity and the investment time you want to make.
Make sure to choose the right Arabic before you start because you have 2 different options:
1. First one is to learn "classical" Arabic . Arabic speaking country - you have 26 countries in the world for which it is the official language. To start with Classical Arabic, you will learn to write and read, which is good if you want to get in the country culture because you will have access to more material (press, books, law texts, etc.).
However, Moroccans speak to each other. So it's the best way to understand the country's cultural roots, a good value to have on your CV for future opportunities and a smart way to prepare a move to Arabic country. But it is not a matter of time, but it does not matter.
2. Second option is to dive directly into the Darija world .
What is it? Darija is the Moroccan dialect, derived from Arabic and Berber (and bit of some other languages). Here are the best reasons to learn Darija when you arrive in Morocco:
What about the other languages? Well you can probably start learning Berber when you master Arabic perfectly and still have some energy and time left. If you can not find what you're looking for, click here.
As a bonus and to encourage you, below is a short Darija glossary to start your partner before you move to Morocco.