Berber Language (or Languages) Berber House 2021

Berber Language (Or Languages)

Moroccan society is socially and linguistically diverse; it is one of the richest cultural mixtures in North Africa. That is due to the numerous civilizations that colonized Morocco in the past like Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greek, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Spanish and the French. These invaders played a big role in influencing Morocco’s language policy and diversity.

Speaking more than one language in Morocco is very common. The average Moroccan can speak at least two languages. The most common ones are Arabic which is not exactly Arabic but it’s Morocco’s dialect, Almost every Moroccan can speak it, the second one is TBerbert it is the language of the indigenous people of Morocco and it is very much used with more than seven million speakers, and French comes last, though it is not an indigenous language in Morocco at least half of the population is capable of speaking it.

Now let’s get back to the Berber language what most people don’t know is that there are more than one Berber language, in fact there are three TBerbert (official), Tachelhit, and Tarifit. Before the Arab invasion the only languages spoken were the Berber dialects. The less used one is Tarifit with only one and a half million people speaking it.

The Berber language has many dialects 26 to be exact closely related to each other, with more than 20 million speakers in North Africa throughout the Mediterranean coast, the Sahara desert and Sahel which was occupied by the Berber before the Arab invasion. Nowadays the Berber-speaking people are located in Morocco and Algeria, Mali, Niger and Libya, and smaller groups in Tunis, Mauritania, Burkina-Faso, and Egypt. But the country with the highest number of Berber-speakers is Morocco.

  • In Morocco there is three Berber languages spoken:

– Tarifit

– Tachelhit

-TBerbert

The Tarifit dialect is used by the Berber who live in north Morocco the dialect contain Spanish words because it was affected by the Spanish invasion of the Maghreb, the second dialect is Tachelhit with more that 4 million speakers located in the south of Morocco, and the last and very common one is TBerbert its speakers are spread all over the Atlas mountains and only 10% of its speakers could be found in the cities. But these days you can find second or even third generation Berbers born and raised in the cities, if you live in Morocco you will notice that Their Berber is a little shaky and some of them can’t even speak it.

Unfortunately the Moroccan government took down the Berber languages from the education system. But this action created a lot of back clash which the government reacted to and recognized the language again as one of the officials languages in Morocco back in 2002

  • After Morocco comes Algeria with two dialects and more that 8 million speakers

-Kbayli: is the dominated Berber dialect in Algeria more than 6 million people can speak it

-Tachawit: comes second with 2 million speakers.

Both dialect speakers are located in the North and east of the country with some others living in the oasis of the desert in the heart of Algeria

  • Niger also has two Berber dialects:

-Tamajaq

-Tamajeq

With the total of almost two million speakers

 

  • Mali; the Berbers there are called Touareg:

Their dialect is called Tamasheq.Touargans are known as travelers and artists

  • Libya; the dialect there is called Nafusi.

Before the revolution in Libya in 2011 Berber faced massive discrimination by the deceased president EL khadafi but things got much better after the civil war, now the Berber language is included in television programs and more other fields.

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