Morocco is a country that is diverse on every level. Morocco’s national and official languages are Arabic, which is spoken by the majority of the country’s population, and Tamazight, which is spoken by the country’s native population. The latter is usually spoken by those who live in rural regions.
Moroccan Arabic, commonly known as Darija, is a dialect of Arabic spoken by more than half of the people of Morocco. It belongs to the Maghreb linguistic family, which also includes Algerian and Tunisian Arabic, and is mainly mutually intelligible. We will take a look at the most frequent Moroccan Arabic words and phrases in this post.
Facts about Moroccan Arabic words.
- Moroccan Arabic differs significantly from other dialects in the region. It is thought to be the most difficult for Arabs in the Middle East to grasp.
- Moroccans take terms from Spanish and employ a number of French words in everyday conversation. The word “kitchen” is “kuzina” which comes from the Spanish word “cocina.” “Week” is “simana”, it is derived from the Spanish word “semana”.
- Vowels are commonly omitted because they are too short: “land,” which is pronounced “balad”, becomes “blad” or “bled.”
- Knowing Moroccan Arabic words and common phrases is essential for communicating throughout your stay in the kingdom of Morocco. Here are some phrases that can help you communicate effectively with Moroccans.
Greetings and goodbyes:
- Salam – Hello.
- Merhaba – Welcome.
- Sbah Al kher or Sbah El nour – Good morning.
- As-salamu alaykum – Peace be upon you.
- Alhamdullilah – Thank God/God be with you/God be praised – Also in response to how are you.
- Labas or labas Aalik? – How are you?
- Kulchi bekher, or Hania- Good or all is well.
- Laila saida – Good night.
- Beslama – goodbye.
Ask & thank:
- Choukran – Thank you.
- Choukran Bezzaf – Thank you very much.
- Aafak – Please.
- Mabrouk – Congratulations, after an achievement/acquisition/examination, etc.
- La shukra alla wajib or Hanya – you are welcome.
Idioms and phrases:
- Naam/Iyyeh – Yes.
- La – No.
- Safi – All clear/okay.
- Baraka – Enough, also means stop.
- Wakha – Agree/sure/all right/ok.
- Makayn mochkil – No problem.
- Inshallah – God willing.
- Yallah – Let’s go.
- Ma brit walo – I do not want anything.
- Fin kayn l’hotel? Where the hotel is located ?
- Kankalab alla lmedina lkdima – I am looking for the old medina.
- Bghit kahwa – I want a coffee.
- Brit nakol – I want to eat.
- Brit nemchi – I want to go.
- Fhemtini? – do you understand me?
- Hada taman mzyan – the price is good.
- Hada ghali – This one is expensive.
- Finahwa toilet – Where is the bathroom.
The most asked questions:
- Kidayr? – How are you? (ask a man).
- Kidayra? – How are you? (ask a woman).
- Chnu hada? – What is this?
- Wach naasti mzyan? – Did you sleep well?
- Wach Andak …..? Do you have….?
- Wach Kayn…… ? – Is there……?
- Fin kayn….? Where is the…..?
- khasni ….- I need/i want ….
- Chehal hada? – How much is for this one?
- Ana kankalab alla… – I am looking for…
The most used question words:
- Chkun? – who?
- Maa men? – with whom?
- Fen? – where?
- Aalach? – why?
- Imta? – when?
- Kifach? – how?
- Chal taman? – How much is the price?
- Ach briti? – what do you want?
In the Bazaar/souk:
- Chhal hada? – How much is it?
- Hada ghali bezaf – This one is too expensive.
- Taman dyali houwa… – My price is…
- La, hadchi bezaf – No, that is too much.
- Radi nerjaa redda – I will come back tomorrow.
Time & date:
- Lyoum – today.
- Redda – tomorrow.
- L`bareeh – yesterday.
- Daba – now.
Numbers & counting:
- Wahed – one.
- Jouj – two.
- Tlata – three.
- Arbaa – four.
- Khemsa – five.
- Setta – six.
- Sebaa – seven.
- Tamania – eight.
- Tessud – nine.
- Aachra – ten.
- Aachrin – twenty.
- Miya – one hundred.
The first conversation:
- Merhaba – Welcome.
- Salam alaykoum – Hello/ Peace be upon you.
- Chnu Smitk– What is your name?
- Esmi howa……. – my name is …..
- Menin nta/ fin sakn? – Where are you from?
- Wach nta mn Tangier? – Are you from Tangier?
- Ana Mericani – I am American.
- Fin kateskon ? – where do you live?
- Chal f aamrek ? – how old are you?
- Fin katekhdem or fin Kheddam? – where do you work?
- Ana jayy – I am coming.
- Chkoun? – means who?
- Hdar blati, or hdar bshwYa – Talk slowly.
- Brit nserraf lflpuss dyali – I want to change my money.
- Mabghitch – I do not want to.
- Bezzaf – That’s is a lot.
- Shwya – a little bit.
- Kbir – Giant.
- Srir or sghir – small.
- Ghadi nmchi – I am going.
- Kanbrik or Kanbghik – I love you.
- Bared – cold.
Order food in Morocco? No longer a problem!
That should suffice as a starting point. Now that you’ve learned the fundamentals, you’ll be able to communicate effectively throughout Morocco. For example, in Moroccan restaurants, you can now order delectable couscous, traditional Moroccan chicken with salty lemon, or lentil soup. Feel confident; Moroccans are really helpful individuals who will be able to interpret your request even if the pronunciation of the Moroccan words isn’t perfect.
A large percentage of Moroccans speak French in addition to Moroccan Arabic, commonly known as Darija. The Spanish language is also spoken in Morocco’s northwestern region.
There is also the Berber language, often known as Tamazight, in addition to these major language groupings. Tachlhit, Tarifit, and Tassoussit are the three dialects that make up this group.
Travelling to Morocco soon? Contact us!