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Language for Morocco

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I'm With Stupid
Senior Member
Joined 4012 days ago

165 posts - 349 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Vietnamese

 Message 1 of 3
06 January 2016 at 5:46pm | IP Logged 
I might be going to work in Morocco for two years soon, and I was wondering what
language/combination of languages people would recommend learning. Basically, it's a choice
between French, MSA and Moroccan dialect. My French is limited to half-remembered GCSE
French. My Arabic is non-existent.

French is obviously a much easier language, and the interviewer recommended that as the
language to get stuff done, presumably while learning the odd phrase in the local dialect.
But I've read that French is gradually being phased out. The other advantage of French is
that it would allow me to work in France later on, which is far more interesting to me than
working elsewhere in the Arab world. The other advantage of French is that it would be
useful to me far quicker than Arabic would.

Arabic is obviously the more difficult option. Firstly, there are obviously a multitude of
dialects that are somewhat incomprehensible to each other. There are plenty of resources for
Modern Standard Arabic, and I'm told that Moroccans will understand that when spoken, but it
would be difficult for me to listen to anyone. But perhaps as a starting point, it could be
an option to build on. It's also important for reading. But I wonder, even in Morocco, how
many resources are available to learn specifically for that dialect. It would basically be
like learning two languages. I've heard that it's best to learn MSA and then graduate to one
of the dialects. I think this option would create a better impression with the locals, and
MSA is certainly a very valuable language to know nowadays.

What would you learn if you were me?

And yes, I know "both" is obvious option, but I probably don't have the time to commit to
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Joined 6336 days ago

265 posts - 288 votes 
Speaks: English*
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 Message 2 of 3
06 January 2016 at 11:14pm | IP Logged 
Try posting on as
you might get a few more answers. Of course this
site is still in use but due to various technical
issues an alternative forum was set up and is a bit
more active than this one.
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 3891 days ago

507 posts - 1098 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 3 of 3
07 January 2016 at 1:30am | IP Logged 
I concur with Rhian's suggestion, most of the "more active" members of the HTLAL have registered with the new/replacement language forum. So, were you to do likewise and post your questions there as well, your chances of receiving a reply would be greater.

I cannot respond to your question as to which language would be most useful. However, I just executed a "G-search" using "Morocco" as my search criterion and it listed 125 discussion threads in which the word appeared. Some of the discussion threads seem to touch upon your question. Try it out, yourself!

Edited by Speakeasy on 07 January 2016 at 1:31am

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