You are on page 1of 31

Moroccan Arabic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Jump to: navigation, search

Moroccan Arabic

‫ مغربي‬Maġribi

Pronunciation [mɑɣribi]

Spoken in Morocco

Total speakers 19,480,600


Afro-Asiatic
Language
family • Semitic
o West Semitic
 Central Semitic
 South Central Semitic
 Arabic

 Moroccan Arabic

Writing system Arabic alphabet

Official status

Official none
language in

Regulated by none

Language codes

ISO 639-1 None

ISO 639-2 –

ISO 639-3 ary

Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

Moroccan Arabic (also known as Darija, ‫ )الدارجة‬is the variety of Arabic spoken in the
Arabic-speaking areas of Morocco, as opposed to the official communications of government
and other public bodies which use Modern Standard Arabic, as is the case in most Arabic-
speaking countries, while a mixture of French and Moroccan Arabic is used in Business. It is
within the Maghrebi Arabic dialect continuum.

Contents
[hide]

• 1 Overview
• 2 Relationship with other languages
• 3 Pronunciation
o 3.1 Vowels
o 3.2 Consonants
• 4 Writing
• 5 Code switching
• 6 Vocabulary
o 6.1 Some words borrowed from Berber
o 6.2 Some words borrowed from French
o 6.3 Some words borrowed from Spanish
o 6.4 Some examples of regional differences
o 6.5 Some useful sentences
• 7 Grammar
o 7.1 The past tense
o 7.2 The present tense
o 7.3 Other tenses
o 7.4 Negation
 7.4.1 Negative interrogation
• 8 Evolution
• 9 Diglossia and social prestige
• 10 Artistic expression
• 11 Newspapers
• 12 See also
• 13 References
• 14 Bibliography

• 15 External links

[edit] Overview

An overview of the different Arabic dialects

Native speakers typically consider Moroccan Arabic a dialect because it is not a literary
language and because it lacks prestige compared to Standard Arabic (fuṣḥa). It differs from
Standard Arabic in phonology, lexicon, and syntax, and has been influenced by Berber
(mainly in its pronunciation, and grammar), French and Spanish.

Moroccan Arabic continues to evolve by integrating new French or English words, notably in
technical fields, or by replacing old French and Spanish ones with Standard Arabic words
within some circles.
It is worth mentioning that Darija (which means dialect) can be divided into two groups:

• The pre-French protectorate: when Morocco was officially colonized by France in


1912, it had an accelerated French influence in aspects of everyday life. The pre-
French Darija is one that is spoken by older and more conservative people. It is an
Arabic dialect with Berber influences that can be found in texts and poems of
Malhoun, and Andalusi music for example. Later, in the 1970s, traditionalist bands
like Nass El Ghiwane and Jil Jilala followed this course, and only sang in "classical
darija".

• The post-French protectorate: after the coming of the French, any word, whether a
verb or a noun, could be thrown into a sentence. This was more a habit of the young
educated generations of the cities.

A similar phenomenon can be observed in Algerian Arabic and Tunisian Arabic.

[edit] Relationship with other languages


Moroccan Arabic has a distinct pronunciation and is nearly unintelligible to other Arabic
speakers, but is generally mutually intelligible with other Maghrebi Arabic dialects with
which it forms a dialect continuum. It is grammatically simpler, and has a less voluminous
vocabulary than Classical Arabic. It has also integrated many Berber, French and Spanish
words.

There is a relatively clear-cut division between Moroccan Arabic and Standard Arabic, and
most uneducated Moroccans do not understand Modern Standard Arabic. Depending on
cultural background and degree of literacy, those who do speak Modern Standard Arabic may
prefer to use Arabic words instead of their French or Spanish borrowed counterparts, while
others often adopt code-switching between French and Moroccan Arabic. As elsewhere in the
world, how someone speaks, what words or language he uses is often an indicator of their
social class.

[edit] Pronunciation
Moroccan Arabic has a distinct pronunciation nearly unintelligible to Arabic speakers from
the Middle East. It is heavily influenced by Berber pronunciation, and it has even been argued
that it is Arabic pronounced with a Berber accent, or with Berber phonemes. This is similar to
the phenomenon in the south of France where some pronounce French with Occitan
phonemes.

[edit] Vowels

One of the most notable features of Moroccan Arabic is the collapse of short vowels. Initially,
short /ă/ and /ĭ/ were merged into a phoneme /ə/ (however, some speakers maintain a
difference between /ă/ and /ə/ when adjacent to pharyngeal /ʕ/ and /ħ/). This phoneme was
then deleted entirely in most positions; for the most part, it is maintained only in the position
/...CəC#/ or /...CəCC#/ (where C represents any consonant and # indicates a word boundary),
i.e. when appearing as the last vowel of a word. When /ə/ is not deleted, it is pronunced as a
very short vowel, tending towards [ɐ] in the vicinity of emphatic consonants, [a] in the
vicinity of pharyngeal /ʕ/ and /ħ/ (for speakers who have merged /ă/ and /ə/ in this
environment), and [ɪ] elsewhere. Original short /ŭ/ usually merges with /ə/ except in the
vicinity of a labial or velar consonant. In positions where /ə/ was deleted, /ŭ/ was also
deleted, and is maintained only as labialization of the adjacent labial or velar consonant;
where /ə/ is maintained, /ŭ/ surfaces as [ʊ]. This deletion of short vowels can result in long
strings of consonants (a feature shared with Berber and certainly derived from it). These
clusters are never simplified; instead, consonants occurring between other consonants tend to
syllabify, according to a sonorance hierarchy. Similarly, and unlike most other Arabic dialects,
doubled consonants are never simplified to a single consonant, even when at the end of a
word or preceding another consonant.

Some dialects are more conservative in their treatment of short vowels. For example, some
dialects allow /ŭ/ in more positions. Dialects of the Sahara, and eastern dialects near the
border of Algeria, preserve a distinction between /ă/ and /ĭ/ and allow /ă/ to appear at the
beginning of a word, e.g. /ăqsˁărˁ/ "shorter" (standard /qsˁərˁ/), /ătˁlăʕ/ "go up!" (standard
/tˁlăʕ/ or /tˁləʕ/), /ăsˁħab/ "friends" (standard /sˁħab/).

Long /a/, /i/ and /u/ are maintained as semi-long vowels, which are substituted for both short
and long vowels in most borrowings from Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Long /a/, /i/ and
/u/ also have many more allophones than in most other dialects; in particular, /a/, /i/, /u/
appear as [ɑ], [e], [o] in the vicinity of emphatic consonants, but [æ], [i], [u] elsewhere. (Most
other Arabic dialects only have a similar variation for the phoneme /a/.) In some dialects, such
as that of Marrakech, front-rounded and other allophones also exist.

Emphatic spreading (i.e. the extent to which emphatic consonants affect nearby vowels)
occurs much less than in many other dialects. Emphasis spreads fairly rigorously towards the
beginning of a word and into prefixes, but much less so towards the end of a word. Emphasis
spreads consistently from a consonant to a directly following vowel, and less strongly when
separated by an intervening consonant, but generally does not spread rightwards past a full
vowel. For example, /bidˤ-at/ [bedɑt͡s] "eggs" (/i/ and /a/ both affected), /tˤʃaʃ-at/ [tʃɑʃæt͡s]
"sparks" (rightmost /a/ not affected), /dˤrˤʒ-at/ [drˤʒæt͡s] "stairs" (/a/ usually not affected),
/dˤrb-at-u/ [drˤbat͡su] "she hit him" (with [a] variable but tending to be in between [ɑ] and
[æ]; no effect on /u/), /tˤalib/ [tɑlib] "student" (/a/ affected but not /i/). Contrast, for
example, Egyptian Arabic, where emphasis tends to spread forward and backward to both
ends of a word, even through several syllables.

Emphasis is audible mostly through its effects on neighboring vowels or syllabic consonants,
and through the differing pronunciation of /t/ [t͡s] and /tˤ/ [t]. Actual pharyngealization of
"emphatic" consonants is weak and may be absent entirely. In contrast with some dialects,
vowels adjacent to emphatic consonants are pure; there is no diphthong-like transition
between emphatic consonants and adjacent front vowels.

[edit] Consonants
Labial Dental/Alveolar
Pharyn-
Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
geal
emphatic
plain plain emphatic
labialized

Nasal m (mˤʷ)2 n

voiceless (p)3 t͡s, (t)1 tˤ k q6 ʔ


Stop
voiced b (bˤʷ)2 d dˤ g6,7

voiceless f (fˤʷ)2 s8 sˤ ʃ x ħ h
Fricative
voiced (v)3 z8 zˤ ʒ7 ɣ ʕ

Tap ɾ ɾˤ4

Approximant l (lˤ)5 j w

1. In normal circumstances, non-emphatic /t/ is pronounced with noticeable affrication,


almost like /t͡s/ (still distinguished from a sequence of /t/ + /s/), and hence is easily
distinguishable from emphatic /tˁ/. However, in some recent loanwords from
European languages, a non-affricated, non-emphatic /T/ [t] appears, distinguished
from emphatic /tˁ/ primarily by its lack of effect on adjacent vowels (see above; an
alternative analysis is possible).
2. mˤʷ, bˤʷ, fˤʷ are very distinct consonants that only occur geminated, and almost
always come at the beginning of a word. They function completely differently from
other emphatic consonants: They are pronounced with heavy pharyngealization, affect
adjacent short/unstable vowels but not full vowels, and are pronounced with a
noticeable diphthongal off-glide between one of these consonants and a following
front vowel. Most of their occurrences can be analyzed as underlying sequences of
/mw/, /fw/, /bw/ (which appear frequently in diminutives, for example). However, a
few lexical items appear to have independent occurrences of these phonemes, e.g.
/mˤmˤʷ-/ "mother" (with attached possessive, e.g. /mˤmˤʷək/ "your mother").
3. (p) and (v) occur mostly in recent borrowings from European languages, and may be
assimilated to /b/ or /f/ in some speakers.
4. Unlike in most other Arabic dialects (but, again, similar to Berber), non-emphatic /r/
and emphatic /rˁ/ are two entirely separate phonemes, almost never contrasting in
related forms of a word.
5. (lˤ) is rare in native words; in nearly all cases of native words with vowels indicating
the presence of a nearby emphatic consonant, there is a nearby triggering /tˁ/, /dˁ/,
/sˁ/, /zˁ/ or /rˁ/. Many recent European borrowings appear to require (lˤ) or some
other unusual emphatic consonant in order to account for the proper vowel allophones;
but an alternative analysis is possible for these words where the vowel allophones are
considered to be (marginal) phonemes on their own.
6. Original /q/ splits lexically into /q/ and /g/; for some words, both alternatives exist.
7. Original /dʒ/ normally appears as /ʒ/, but as /g/ (sometimes /d/) if /s/ or /z/ appears
later in the same stem: /gləs/ "he sat" (MSA /dʒalas/), /gzzar/ "butcher" (MSA
/dʒazza:r/), /duz/ "go past" (MSA /dʒu:z/).
8. Original /s/ is converted to /ʃ/ if /ʃ/ occurs elsewhere in the same stem, and /z/ is
similarly converted to /ʒ/ as a result of a following /ʒ/: /ʃəmʃ/ "sun" vs. MSA /ʃams/,
/ʒuʒ/ "two" vs. MSA /zawdʒ/ "pair", /ʒaʒ/ "glass" vs. MSA /za:dʒ/, etc. This does
not apply to recent borrowings from MSA (e.g. /mzaʒ/ "disposition"), nor as a result
of the negative suffix /ʃ/ or /ʃi/.

[edit] Writing
Moroccan Arabic is rarely written (most books and magazines are in French or Modern
Standard Arabic), and there is no universally standard written system.[2] However, most
systems used for writing Moroccan Arabic in linguistic works largely agree among each other,
and such a system is used here.

Long (aka "stable") vowels /a/, /i/, /u/ are written a, i, u. e represents /ə/ and o represents /ŭ/
(see section on phonology, above). ă is used for /ă/ in speakers who still have this phoneme in
the vicinity of pharyngeal /ʕ/ and /ħ/. ă, ĭ, and o are also used for ultra-short vowels used by
educated speakers for the short vowels of some recent borrowings from MSA.

Note that in practice, /ə/ is usually deleted when not the last vowel of a word, and hence some
authors prefer a transcription without this vowel, e.g. ka-t-ktb-u "You're (pl) writing" instead
of ka-t-ketb-u. We maintain the e in accordance with Richard Harrell's reference grammar of
Moroccan Arabic. In the system with a maintained e, it cannot occur in an open syllable
(followed by a single consonant and then a vowel), so in such a situation the e is transposed
with the preceding consonant (or geminate consonant), which ends up following the e. This
procedure is known as inversion.

y represents /j/.

ḥ and ` represent pharyngeal /ħ/ and /ʕ/.

ġ and x represent velar /ɣ/ and /x/.

ṭ, ḍ, ṣ, ẓ, ṛ, ḷ represent emphatic /tˁ, dˁ, sˁ, zˁ, rˁ, lˁ/.

š, ž represent hushing /ʃ, ʒ/.

[edit] Code switching


Many Moroccan Arabic speakers among the educated class, especially in the territory which
was previously known as French Morocco, also practice code-switching (moving from
Moroccan Arabic to French and the other way around as it can be seen in the movie Marock).
In the northern parts of Morocco, some people also switch from Moroccan Arabic to Spanish.
This is due to the place once being invaded by Spain and for their proximity to Spanish
enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

[edit] Vocabulary
Moroccan Arabic is grammatically simpler, and has a less voluminous vocabulary than
Classical Arabic. It has also integrated many Berber, French and Spanish words. Spanish
words typically entered Moroccan Arabic earlier than French ones. Some words might have
been brought by Moriscos who spoke Andalusi Arabic which was influenced by Spanish
(Castilian), an example being the typical Andalusian dish Pastilla. Other influences have been
the result of the Spanish protectorate in Spanish Morocco. French words came with the
French protectorate (1912-1956).

There are noticeable lexical differences between Moroccan Arabic and most other dialects.
Some words are essentially unique to Moroccan Arabic: e.g. daba "now". Many others,
however, are characteristic of Maghrebi Arabic as a whole, including both innovations and
unusual retentions of Classical vocabulary that has disappeared elsewhere such as hbeṭ' "go
down" from Classical habaṭ. Others distinctives are shared with Algerian Arabic such as
hḍeṛ "talk", from Classical hadhar "babble" and temma "there" from Classical thamma.

There are a number of Moroccan Arabic dictionaries in existence, including (in chronological
order):

• A Dictionary of Moroccan Arabic: Moroccan-English, ed. Richard S. Harrell &


Harvey Sobelman. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1963 (reprinted
2004.)
• Mu`jam al-fuṣḥā fil-`āmmiyyah al-maghribiyyah ‫معجم الفصحى في العامية‬
‫المغربية‬, Muhammad Hulwi, Rabat: al-Madaris 1988.
• Dictionnaire Colin d'arabe dialectal marocain (Rabat, éditions Al Manahil, ministère
des Affaires Culturelles), by a Frenchman named Georges Séraphin Colin, who
devoted nearly all his life to it from 1921 to 1977. The dictionary contains 60 000
entries and was published in 1993, after Colin's death.

[edit] Some words borrowed from Berber

• Mouch or Mech : cat (orig. Amouch) (IPA pronunciation: [muʃ])


• Khizzou : carrots (IPA pronunciation: [xizzu])
• Yekh : onomatopoeia expressing disgust (orig. Ikhan) (IPA pronunciation: [jɛx])
• Dcher or Tcher : zone (IPA pronunciation: [tʃɑr])
• Yeh : yes (IPA pronunciation: [jɛh])
• Neggafa : wedding facilitator (orig. taneggaft) (IPA pronunciation: [nɪggafa])
• sifet or sayfet : send (IPA pronunciation: [sˁaɪfɪtˁ])
• Mezyan : good (IPA pronunciation: [mɪzjæn])
[edit] Some words borrowed from French

• forchita : fourchette (fork) (IPA pronunciation: [forʃitˁɑ])


• tomobile or tonobile : automobile (car) (IPA pronunciation: [tˁomobil])
• telfaza : télévision (television) (IPA pronunciation: [tɪlfɑzɑ])
• radio : radio (IPA pronunciation: [rɑdˁjo])
• bartma : appartement (apartment) (IPA pronunciation: [bɑrtˁmɑ])
• tobis : autobus (bus) (IPA pronunciation: [tˁobis])
• camera: caméra (camera) (IPA pronunciation: [kɑmerɑ])
• portable: portable (cell phone) (IPA pronunciation: [portˁɑbl])
• tiliphune: téléphone (telephone) (IPA pronunciation: [tilifu:n])
• brika: briquet (lighter) (IPA pronunciation: [bri-key])

[edit] Some words borrowed from Spanish

Some of these words might also have come through Andalusi Arabic brought by Moriscos
when they were expelled from Spain following the Christian Reconquest.

• roueda : rueda (wheel) (IPA pronunciation: [rwedˁɑ])


• cuzina : cocina (kitchen) (IPA pronunciation: [kuzinɑ])
• simana : semana (week) (IPA pronunciation: [simɑnɑ])
• manta : manta (blanket) (IPA pronunciation: [mɑltˁɑ])
• rial : real (five centimes; this term has also been borrowed into many other Arabic
dialects) (IPA pronunciation: [rjɑl])
• fundo : fondo (bottom of the sea or the swimming pool) (IPA pronunciation:
[fundˁo])
• carrossa : carrosa (carrosse) (IPA pronunciation: [kɑrrosɑ])
• courda : cuerda (rope)(IPA pronunciation: [kordˁɑ])
• cama (in the north only) : cama (bed) (IPA pronunciation: [kamˁɑ])
• blassa : plaza (place)(IPA pronunciation: [blasɑ])

[edit] Some examples of regional differences

• Now: "daba" in the majority of regions, but "druuk" or "druuka" in the South, and
"drwek" or "durk" in the East
• When?: "fuqash" in most regions, but "yimta" in the Atlantic region,and "waqtash" in
Rabat region
• What?: "Ashnu","ash" in most regions, but "shenni","shennu" in the North,"shnu","sh"
in Fes, and "washta", "wasmu", "wash" in the Far East

[edit] Some useful sentences

Note: All the sentences are written according to the transliteration of the Arabic alphabet.

Northern (Jebli, Tetouani) Eastern (Oujda)


English Western Arabic
Arabic Arabic
La bas? / Rak ġaya /
How are you? La bas / Ça va? La bas? / Bikhayr?
Rak Shbab?

Can you help


Yemken lek tʿaweni? Tekdar dʿaweni? Yemken lek tʿaweni?
me?

Waš katehdar
Do you speak Waš tehdar
lingliziya / wash Waš kadehdar bel ingliziya?
English? lingliziya?
katidwi bil lingliziya?

Excuse me Smaḥ liya Smaḥ li Smaḥ liya

Good luck ḥaḍ saʿid ḥaḍ saʿid ḥaḍ saʿid

Good
ṣbaḥ el-khir ṣbaḥ el-khir ṣbaḥ el-khir
morning

Good night Teṣbaḥ ʿla khir ṣbaḥ ʿla khir Teṣbaḥ ʿla khir

Goodbye Beslama Beslama / howa hadak ah Beslama

Happy new
Sana saʿida Sana saʿida Sana saʿida
year

As-salam ʿleykum /
Hello Salam / Ahlan As-salam ʿlikum
Ahlan

How are you


La bas ʿlik? La bas ʿlik? La bas ʿlik?
doing?

Ki dayer ? (masculine) /
How are you? Kif el-ḥala? Ki rak?
Ki dayra ? (feminine)

Is everything Kulši mezyan ? / Kulšî huwa Kulši mliḥ? / Kulšî


Kulši mezyan ?
okay? hadak ? zin?
Nice to meet
Metšarfin Metšarfin Metšarfin
you

No thanks La šukran La šukran La šukran

Laykhallik / Layʿizek / Khaylah /


Please Allāh ikhallik / ʿafak Allāh ikhallik / yʿizek
Khaylak

Take care Thalla f raṣek Thallah / Thalla Thalla f raṣek

Thank you
Šukran bezaf Šukran bezaf Šukran bezaf
very much

Škad ʿaddel? / šenni khəddam? Faš tekhdem?


What do you
Faš khaddam? (masculine) / šenni khəddama? (masculine) / Faš
do?
(feminine) / škadekhdem? tkhedmi ? (feminine)

What's your Ašnu smiytek? / šu


Šenni ismek? Wašta smiytek?
name? smiytek

Where are Mnin nta? (masculine) / Min ntaya? / Min


Mnayen ntina? / Mayen ntina?
you from? Mnin nti? (feminine) ntiya?

Where are Naymaši? (masculine) / Naymaša? Ferak temši? / Ferak


Fin ġadi temši?
you going? (feminine) rayaḥ

You are La šukr ʿlâ wajib / Bla


La šukr ʿlâ wajib/mashi mushkil La šukr ʿlâ wajib
welcome jmil

[edit] Grammar
The regular Moroccan verb conjugates with a series of prefixes and suffixes. The stem of the
conjugated verb may change a bit depending on the conjugation. Example:

The stem of the Moroccan verb for "to write" is kteb.


[edit] The past tense

The past tense of kteb "write" is as follows:

I wrote: kteb-t

You wrote: kteb-ti

He/it wrote: kteb (kteb can also be an order to write, e.g.: kteb er-rissala: Write the letter)

She/it wrote: ketb-et

We wrote: kteb-na

You (pl) wrote: kteb-tu

They wrote: ketb-u

Note that the stem kteb turns into ketb before a vowel suffix, due to the process of inversion
described above.

[edit] The present tense

The present tense of kteb "write" is as follows:

I'm writing: ka-ne-kteb

You're (masculine) writing: ka-te-kteb

You're (feminine) writing: ka-t-ketb-i

He's/it's writing: ka-ye-kteb

She's/it's writing: ka-te-kteb

We're writing: ka-n-ketb-u

You're (pl) writing: ka-t-ketb-u

They're writing: ka-y-ketb-u

Note that the stem kteb turns into ketb before a vowel suffix, due to the process of inversion
described above. Between the prefix ka-n-, ka-t-, ka-y- and the stem kteb, an e vowel
appears, but not between the prefix and the transformed stem ketb, due to the same restriction
that produces inversion.

In the north, "you're writing" is always ka-de-kteb, regardless of whom you are speaking to.
This is also the case of de in de-kteb, as northerners prefer to use de and southerners prefer
using te. Instead of the prefix ka, some speakers prefer the use of ta (e.g. ta-ne-kteb "I'm
writing"). The co-existence of these two prefixes is due to historical differences. In general ka
is more used in the north and ta in the south. In some regions like the east (Oujda) the
majority of speakers don't use any preverb (ne-kteb, te-kteb, y-kteb, etc.).

[edit] Other tenses

To form the future tense, just remove the prefix ka-/ta- and replace it with the prefix ġa-, ġad-
or ġadi instead (e.g. ġa-ne-kteb "I will write", ġad-ketb-u (north) or ġadi t-ketb-u "You (pl)
will write").

For the subjunctive and infinitive, just remove the ka- (e.g. bġit ne-kteb "I want to write",
bġit te-kteb "I want you to write").

The imperative is conjugated with the suffixes of the present tense but without any prefixes or
preverbs:

kteb "Write! (masc. sing.)"

ketb-i "Write! (fem. sing.)"

ketb-u "Write! (pl.)"

[edit] Negation

For negative expressions, the prefix ma and suffix ši or š are added to the verb.

Examples:

• ma-ġa-ne-kteb-ši "I will not write"


• ma-te-kteb-ši "Do not write"

Negative pronouns such as walu "nothing", ḥta ḥaja "nothing" and ḥta waḥed "nobody"
could be added to the sentence without ši as a suffix.

Examples:

• ma-ġa-ne-kteb walu "I will not write anything"


• ma-te-kteb ḥta ḥaja "Do not write anything"
• ḥta waḥed ma-ġa-ye-kteb "Nobody will write"
• wellah ma-ne-kteb or wellah ma-ġa-ne-kteb "I swear to God I will not write"

Note: wellah ma-ne-kteb could be a response to a command to write kteb, while wellah ma-
ġa-ne-kteb could be an answer to a question like waš ġa-te-kteb? "Are you going to write?" .

[edit] Negative interrogation

In Moroccan Arabic, the word order doesn't change for negative questions in the northern
parts of Morocco, but in the western areas and other regions, the word order is preferably
changed. The pronoun waš could be added in the beginning of the sentence, although it rarely
changes the meaning of it. The prefix ma can rarely be removed when asking a question in a
fast way.
Examples:

• ma-ġa-te-kteb-ši? "Aren't you going to write?"


• ma-ġadi-ši-te-kteb? (same)
• waš ma-baġi-ši te-kteb? "You don't want to write?" (North)
• waš ma-bġi-t(i)-ši te-kteb? (same) (Western and other regions)

A ka can be added in the beginning of the sentence when asking a question in an angry or
surprised way. In this case, waš can't be added.

Examples:

• ka ma-ġa-te-kteb-ši?!
• ka ma-ġadi-ši-te-kteb?!

This section requires expansion.

[edit] Evolution
In general, Moroccan Arabic is one of the most innovative (in the technical sense of "least
conservative") of all Arabic dialects. Nowadays Moroccan Arabic continues to integrate new
French words, mainly technological and modern words. However, in recent years constant
exposure to revived classical forms on television and in print media and a certain desire
among many Moroccans for a revitalization of an Arab identity has inspired many Moroccans
to integrate words from Standard Arabic, replacing their French or Spanish counterparts or
even speaking in Modern Standard Arabic while keeping the Moroccan accent to sound less
pedantic. This phenomenon mostly occurs among literate people.

Though rarely written, Moroccan Arabic is currently undergoing an unexpected and pragmatic
revival. It is now the preferred language in Moroccan chat rooms or for sending SMS, using
Arabic Chat Alphabet composed of Latin letters supplemented with the numbers 2, 3, 5, 7 and
9 for coding specific Arabic sounds as is the case with other Arabic speakers.

The language continues to evolve quickly as can be noted when consulting the Colin
dictionary. Many words and idiomatic expressions recorded between 1921 and 1977 are now
obsolete.

[edit] Diglossia and social prestige


While being a natural localization of Classical Arabic for geographic and historical reasons, as
French has evolved from Vulgar Latin, Moroccan Arabic is considered as a language of low
prestige[citation needed] and suffers from the fact that Classical Arabic is the language of the Qur'an
which serves as a reference. While the Moroccan Arabic is being the mother tongue of nearly
twenty million people in Morocco it is rarely written, this situation probably explains in part
the high illiteracy rates in Morocco.

This situation is not specific to Morocco, but occurs in all Arabic speaking countries. The
French Arabist William Marçais coined in 1930 the term diglossie (diglossia) to describe this
situation, where two (often) closely-related languages co-exist, one of high prestige, which is
generally used by the government and in formal texts, and one of low prestige, which is
usually the spoken vernacular tongue.

[edit] Artistic expression


There exists some poetry written in Moroccan Arabic like the Malhun. In the troubled and
autocratic Morocco of the ’70s with no freedom of speech, the legendary Nass El Ghiwane
band wrote beautiful and allusive lyrics in Moroccan Arabic which were very appealing to the
youth even in other Maghreb countries.

Another interesting movement is the development of an original rap music scene, which
explores new and innovative usages of the language. Generally, Moroccan Arabic remains the
preferred language of Moroccan singers.

[edit] Newspapers
There are now at least three Moroccan Arabic newspapers, their aim is to bring information to
people with a low level of education. Telquel Magazine has a Moroccan Arabic edition
Nichane. There is also a free weekly magazine that is totally written in "standard" Moroccan
dialect: Khbar Bladna, i.e. 'News of our country'.

Moroccan Arabic, vocabulary and phrases


This page has some useful phrases to communicate well in Morocco. The Moroccan Arabic
is very different from the standard Arabic, that is, if by chance you learn Arabic in a school it
means you’ll learn the classic Arabic and later coming to Morocco, practically no one will
understand you.

Moroccan Arabic vocabulary


• FOUQASH – when
• BABA – father
• MAMA – mother
• DAR – house
• FI – in
• TILIFOUN – phone
• KULCHI – all
• SEMEHLI – sorry
• LBARHE – yesterday
• SHUKRAN – thank you
• KIFACH – how
• BISAF – a lot
• WALOU – nothing
• DABA – now
• GHEDA – tomorrow
• BEIJO – kiss

Phrases in Moroccan Arabic


FOUQACH NAMSHIU 3AND BABAK?

When do we go to your father’s?

FOUQACH NAMSHIU 3AND WALID-DIALIK?

When do we go to your father’s?

FOUQACH DJI 3AND-I?

When do you come and meet me?

FOUQACH DJI 3AND-A?

When do you come and meet her?

FOUQACH DJI 3AND-U?

When do you come and meet him?

FOUQACH DJI 3AND-NA?

When do you come and meet us?

MANQDARCH NJI 3AND

I can not go and meet you

MANQDARCH NJI 3AND-U

I can not go and meet him

NQDAR NDKHUL?

Can I come in?

NQDAR NKHERJ?

Can I come out?

NQDAR N-HADAR?
Can I talk?

NQDAR NTAKALAM?

Can I talk?

NQDAR NMSHI?

Can I go?

FOUQACH NQDAR NJI 3ANDK?

When can I go and meet you?

NQDAR NMSHI MA3K

I can go with you

NQDAR NMSHI BOUHEDI

I can go alone

Learn Moroccan Arabic Phrases

Commonly used Moroccan Arabic Phrases include:

It is good to see you – mezian li tlaqina

See you later (to a male) – ntlaqaw menba’d

something – shi haja

who is that? – shkon hadak?

favorite – li kat’ejbek ktar

There are many more Moroccan Arabic Phrases but these are some of them.

Additional important phrases that are used often when speaking Moroccan Arabic are:

I like to see ..... - tay’jebni nshof ......

when is your .....? - m’ash ‘andek .....

Example: when is your flight? - m’ash ‘andek tyara?


Learn Moroccan Arabic Phrases

Commonly used Moroccan Arabic Phrases include:

It is good to see you – mezian li tlaqina

See you later (to a male) – ntlaqaw menba’d

something – shi haja

who is that? – shkon hadak?

favorite – li kat’ejbek ktar

There are many more Moroccan Arabic Phrases but these are some of them.

Additional important phrases that are used often when speaking Moroccan Arabic are:

I like to see ..... - tay’jebni nshof ......

when is your .....? - m’ash ‘andek .....

Example: when is your flight? - m’ash ‘andek tyara?

Moroccan Arabic
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Moroccan arabic)
Jump to: navigation, search

Moroccan Arabic

‫ مغربي‬Maġribi

Pronunciation [mɑɣribi]

Spoken in Morocco

Total speakers 19,480,600


Afro-Asiatic
Language
family • Semitic
o West Semitic
 Central Semitic
 South Central Semitic
 Arabic

 Moroccan Arabic
Writing system Arabic alphabet

Official status

Official none
language in

Regulated by none

Language codes

ISO 639-1 None

ISO 639-2 –

ISO 639-3 ary

Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

Moroccan Arabic (also known as Darija, ‫ )الدارجة‬is the variety of Arabic spoken in the
Arabic-speaking areas of Morocco, as opposed to the official communications of government
and other public bodies which use Modern Standard Arabic, as is the case in most Arabic-
speaking countries, while a mixture of French and Moroccan Arabic is used in Business. It is
within the Maghrebi Arabic dialect continuum.

Contents
[hide]

• 1 Overview
• 2 Relationship with other languages
• 3 Pronunciation
o 3.1 Vowels
o 3.2 Consonants
• 4 Writing
• 5 Code switching
• 6 Vocabulary
o 6.1 Some words borrowed from Berber
o 6.2 Some words borrowed from French
o 6.3 Some words borrowed from Spanish
o 6.4 Some examples of regional differences
o 6.5 Some useful sentences
• 7 Grammar
o 7.1 The past tense
o 7.2 The present tense
o 7.3 Other tenses
o 7.4 Negation
 7.4.1 Negative interrogation
• 8 Evolution
• 9 Diglossia and social prestige
• 10 Artistic expression
• 11 Newspapers
• 12 See also
• 13 References
• 14 Bibliography

• 15 External links

[edit] Overview

An overview of the different Arabic dialects

Native speakers typically consider Moroccan Arabic a dialect because it is not a literary
language and because it lacks prestige compared to Standard Arabic (fuṣḥa). It differs from
Standard Arabic in phonology, lexicon, and syntax, and has been influenced by Berber
(mainly in its pronunciation, and grammar), French and Spanish.

Moroccan Arabic continues to evolve by integrating new French or English words, notably in
technical fields, or by replacing old French and Spanish ones with Standard Arabic words
within some circles.

It is worth mentioning that Darija (which means dialect) can be divided into two groups:

• The pre-French protectorate: when Morocco was officially colonized by France in


1912, it had an accelerated French influence in aspects of everyday life. The pre-
French Darija is one that is spoken by older and more conservative people. It is an
Arabic dialect with Berber influences that can be found in texts and poems of
Malhoun, and Andalusi music for example. Later, in the 1970s, traditionalist bands
like Nass El Ghiwane and Jil Jilala followed this course, and only sang in "classical
darija".

• The post-French protectorate: after the coming of the French, any word, whether a
verb or a noun, could be thrown into a sentence. This was more a habit of the young
educated generations of the cities.

A similar phenomenon can be observed in Algerian Arabic and Tunisian Arabic.

[edit] Relationship with other languages


Moroccan Arabic has a distinct pronunciation and is nearly unintelligible to other Arabic
speakers, but is generally mutually intelligible with other Maghrebi Arabic dialects with
which it forms a dialect continuum. It is grammatically simpler, and has a less voluminous
vocabulary than Classical Arabic. It has also integrated many Berber, French and Spanish
words.
There is a relatively clear-cut division between Moroccan Arabic and Standard Arabic, and
most uneducated Moroccans do not understand Modern Standard Arabic. Depending on
cultural background and degree of literacy, those who do speak Modern Standard Arabic may
prefer to use Arabic words instead of their French or Spanish borrowed counterparts, while
others often adopt code-switching between French and Moroccan Arabic. As elsewhere in the
world, how someone speaks, what words or language he uses is often an indicator of their
social class.

[edit] Pronunciation
Moroccan Arabic has a distinct pronunciation nearly unintelligible to Arabic speakers from
the Middle East. It is heavily influenced by Berber pronunciation, and it has even been argued
that it is Arabic pronounced with a Berber accent, or with Berber phonemes. This is similar to
the phenomenon in the south of France where some pronounce French with Occitan
phonemes.

[edit] Vowels

One of the most notable features of Moroccan Arabic is the collapse of short vowels. Initially,
short /ă/ and /ĭ/ were merged into a phoneme /ə/ (however, some speakers maintain a
difference between /ă/ and /ə/ when adjacent to pharyngeal /ʕ/ and /ħ/). This phoneme was
then deleted entirely in most positions; for the most part, it is maintained only in the position
/...CəC#/ or /...CəCC#/ (where C represents any consonant and # indicates a word boundary),
i.e. when appearing as the last vowel of a word. When /ə/ is not deleted, it is pronunced as a
very short vowel, tending towards [ɐ] in the vicinity of emphatic consonants, [a] in the
vicinity of pharyngeal /ʕ/ and /ħ/ (for speakers who have merged /ă/ and /ə/ in this
environment), and [ɪ] elsewhere. Original short /ŭ/ usually merges with /ə/ except in the
vicinity of a labial or velar consonant. In positions where /ə/ was deleted, /ŭ/ was also
deleted, and is maintained only as labialization of the adjacent labial or velar consonant;
where /ə/ is maintained, /ŭ/ surfaces as [ʊ]. This deletion of short vowels can result in long
strings of consonants (a feature shared with Berber and certainly derived from it). These
clusters are never simplified; instead, consonants occurring between other consonants tend to
syllabify, according to a sonorance hierarchy. Similarly, and unlike most other Arabic dialects,
doubled consonants are never simplified to a single consonant, even when at the end of a
word or preceding another consonant.

Some dialects are more conservative in their treatment of short vowels. For example, some
dialects allow /ŭ/ in more positions. Dialects of the Sahara, and eastern dialects near the
border of Algeria, preserve a distinction between /ă/ and /ĭ/ and allow /ă/ to appear at the
beginning of a word, e.g. /ăqsˁărˁ/ "shorter" (standard /qsˁərˁ/), /ătˁlăʕ/ "go up!" (standard
/tˁlăʕ/ or /tˁləʕ/), /ăsˁħab/ "friends" (standard /sˁħab/).

Long /a/, /i/ and /u/ are maintained as semi-long vowels, which are substituted for both short
and long vowels in most borrowings from Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Long /a/, /i/ and
/u/ also have many more allophones than in most other dialects; in particular, /a/, /i/, /u/
appear as [ɑ], [e], [o] in the vicinity of emphatic consonants, but [æ], [i], [u] elsewhere. (Most
other Arabic dialects only have a similar variation for the phoneme /a/.) In some dialects, such
as that of Marrakech, front-rounded and other allophones also exist.
Emphatic spreading (i.e. the extent to which emphatic consonants affect nearby vowels)
occurs much less than in many other dialects. Emphasis spreads fairly rigorously towards the
beginning of a word and into prefixes, but much less so towards the end of a word. Emphasis
spreads consistently from a consonant to a directly following vowel, and less strongly when
separated by an intervening consonant, but generally does not spread rightwards past a full
vowel. For example, /bidˤ-at/ [bedɑt͡s] "eggs" (/i/ and /a/ both affected), /tˤʃaʃ-at/ [tʃɑʃæt͡s]
"sparks" (rightmost /a/ not affected), /dˤrˤʒ-at/ [drˤʒæt͡s] "stairs" (/a/ usually not affected),
/dˤrb-at-u/ [drˤbat͡su] "she hit him" (with [a] variable but tending to be in between [ɑ] and
[æ]; no effect on /u/), /tˤalib/ [tɑlib] "student" (/a/ affected but not /i/). Contrast, for
example, Egyptian Arabic, where emphasis tends to spread forward and backward to both
ends of a word, even through several syllables.

Emphasis is audible mostly through its effects on neighboring vowels or syllabic consonants,
and through the differing pronunciation of /t/ [t͡s] and /tˤ/ [t]. Actual pharyngealization of
"emphatic" consonants is weak and may be absent entirely. In contrast with some dialects,
vowels adjacent to emphatic consonants are pure; there is no diphthong-like transition
between emphatic consonants and adjacent front vowels.

[edit] Consonants

Labial Dental/Alveolar
Pharyn-
Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
geal
emphatic
plain plain emphatic
labialized

Nasal m (mˤʷ)2 n

voiceless (p)3 t͡s, (t)1 tˤ k q6 ʔ


Stop
voiced b (bˤʷ)2 d dˤ g6,7

voiceless f (fˤʷ)2 s8 sˤ ʃ x ħ h
Fricative
voiced (v)3 z8 zˤ ʒ7 ɣ ʕ

Tap ɾ ɾˤ4

Approximant l (lˤ)5 j w
1. In normal circumstances, non-emphatic /t/ is pronounced with noticeable affrication,
almost like /t͡s/ (still distinguished from a sequence of /t/ + /s/), and hence is easily
distinguishable from emphatic /tˁ/. However, in some recent loanwords from
European languages, a non-affricated, non-emphatic /T/ [t] appears, distinguished
from emphatic /tˁ/ primarily by its lack of effect on adjacent vowels (see above; an
alternative analysis is possible).
2. mˤʷ, bˤʷ, fˤʷ are very distinct consonants that only occur geminated, and almost
always come at the beginning of a word. They function completely differently from
other emphatic consonants: They are pronounced with heavy pharyngealization, affect
adjacent short/unstable vowels but not full vowels, and are pronounced with a
noticeable diphthongal off-glide between one of these consonants and a following
front vowel. Most of their occurrences can be analyzed as underlying sequences of
/mw/, /fw/, /bw/ (which appear frequently in diminutives, for example). However, a
few lexical items appear to have independent occurrences of these phonemes, e.g.
/mˤmˤʷ-/ "mother" (with attached possessive, e.g. /mˤmˤʷək/ "your mother").
3. (p) and (v) occur mostly in recent borrowings from European languages, and may be
assimilated to /b/ or /f/ in some speakers.
4. Unlike in most other Arabic dialects (but, again, similar to Berber), non-emphatic /r/
and emphatic /rˁ/ are two entirely separate phonemes, almost never contrasting in
related forms of a word.
5. (lˤ) is rare in native words; in nearly all cases of native words with vowels indicating
the presence of a nearby emphatic consonant, there is a nearby triggering /tˁ/, /dˁ/,
/sˁ/, /zˁ/ or /rˁ/. Many recent European borrowings appear to require (lˤ) or some
other unusual emphatic consonant in order to account for the proper vowel allophones;
but an alternative analysis is possible for these words where the vowel allophones are
considered to be (marginal) phonemes on their own.
6. Original /q/ splits lexically into /q/ and /g/; for some words, both alternatives exist.
7. Original /dʒ/ normally appears as /ʒ/, but as /g/ (sometimes /d/) if /s/ or /z/ appears
later in the same stem: /gləs/ "he sat" (MSA /dʒalas/), /gzzar/ "butcher" (MSA
/dʒazza:r/), /duz/ "go past" (MSA /dʒu:z/).
8. Original /s/ is converted to /ʃ/ if /ʃ/ occurs elsewhere in the same stem, and /z/ is
similarly converted to /ʒ/ as a result of a following /ʒ/: /ʃəmʃ/ "sun" vs. MSA /ʃams/,
/ʒuʒ/ "two" vs. MSA /zawdʒ/ "pair", /ʒaʒ/ "glass" vs. MSA /za:dʒ/, etc. This does
not apply to recent borrowings from MSA (e.g. /mzaʒ/ "disposition"), nor as a result
of the negative suffix /ʃ/ or /ʃi/.

[edit] Writing
Moroccan Arabic is rarely written (most books and magazines are in French or Modern
Standard Arabic), and there is no universally standard written system.[2] However, most
systems used for writing Moroccan Arabic in linguistic works largely agree among each other,
and such a system is used here.

Long (aka "stable") vowels /a/, /i/, /u/ are written a, i, u. e represents /ə/ and o represents /ŭ/
(see section on phonology, above). ă is used for /ă/ in speakers who still have this phoneme in
the vicinity of pharyngeal /ʕ/ and /ħ/. ă, ĭ, and o are also used for ultra-short vowels used by
educated speakers for the short vowels of some recent borrowings from MSA.
Note that in practice, /ə/ is usually deleted when not the last vowel of a word, and hence some
authors prefer a transcription without this vowel, e.g. ka-t-ktb-u "You're (pl) writing" instead
of ka-t-ketb-u. We maintain the e in accordance with Richard Harrell's reference grammar of
Moroccan Arabic. In the system with a maintained e, it cannot occur in an open syllable
(followed by a single consonant and then a vowel), so in such a situation the e is transposed
with the preceding consonant (or geminate consonant), which ends up following the e. This
procedure is known as inversion.

y represents /j/.

ḥ and ` represent pharyngeal /ħ/ and /ʕ/.

ġ and x represent velar /ɣ/ and /x/.

ṭ, ḍ, ṣ, ẓ, ṛ, ḷ represent emphatic /tˁ, dˁ, sˁ, zˁ, rˁ, lˁ/.

š, ž represent hushing /ʃ, ʒ/.

[edit] Code switching


Many Moroccan Arabic speakers among the educated class, especially in the territory which
was previously known as French Morocco, also practice code-switching (moving from
Moroccan Arabic to French and the other way around as it can be seen in the movie Marock).
In the northern parts of Morocco, some people also switch from Moroccan Arabic to Spanish.
This is due to the place once being invaded by Spain and for their proximity to Spanish
enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

[edit] Vocabulary
Moroccan Arabic is grammatically simpler, and has a less voluminous vocabulary than
Classical Arabic. It has also integrated many Berber, French and Spanish words. Spanish
words typically entered Moroccan Arabic earlier than French ones. Some words might have
been brought by Moriscos who spoke Andalusi Arabic which was influenced by Spanish
(Castilian), an example being the typical Andalusian dish Pastilla. Other influences have been
the result of the Spanish protectorate in Spanish Morocco. French words came with the
French protectorate (1912-1956).

There are noticeable lexical differences between Moroccan Arabic and most other dialects.
Some words are essentially unique to Moroccan Arabic: e.g. daba "now". Many others,
however, are characteristic of Maghrebi Arabic as a whole, including both innovations and
unusual retentions of Classical vocabulary that has disappeared elsewhere such as hbeṭ' "go
down" from Classical habaṭ. Others distinctives are shared with Algerian Arabic such as
hḍeṛ "talk", from Classical hadhar "babble" and temma "there" from Classical thamma.

There are a number of Moroccan Arabic dictionaries in existence, including (in chronological
order):
• A Dictionary of Moroccan Arabic: Moroccan-English, ed. Richard S. Harrell &
Harvey Sobelman. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1963 (reprinted
2004.)
• Mu`jam al-fuṣḥā fil-`āmmiyyah al-maghribiyyah ‫معجم الفصحى في العامية‬
‫المغربية‬, Muhammad Hulwi, Rabat: al-Madaris 1988.
• Dictionnaire Colin d'arabe dialectal marocain (Rabat, éditions Al Manahil, ministère
des Affaires Culturelles), by a Frenchman named Georges Séraphin Colin, who
devoted nearly all his life to it from 1921 to 1977. The dictionary contains 60 000
entries and was published in 1993, after Colin's death.

[edit] Some words borrowed from Berber

• Mouch or Mech : cat (orig. Amouch) (IPA pronunciation: [muʃ])


• Khizzou : carrots (IPA pronunciation: [xizzu])
• Yekh : onomatopoeia expressing disgust (orig. Ikhan) (IPA pronunciation: [jɛx])
• Dcher or Tcher : zone (IPA pronunciation: [tʃɑr])
• Yeh : yes (IPA pronunciation: [jɛh])
• Neggafa : wedding facilitator (orig. taneggaft) (IPA pronunciation: [nɪggafa])
• sifet or sayfet : send (IPA pronunciation: [sˁaɪfɪtˁ])
• Mezyan : good (IPA pronunciation: [mɪzjæn])

[edit] Some words borrowed from French

• forchita : fourchette (fork) (IPA pronunciation: [forʃitˁɑ])


• tomobile or tonobile : automobile (car) (IPA pronunciation: [tˁomobil])
• telfaza : télévision (television) (IPA pronunciation: [tɪlfɑzɑ])
• radio : radio (IPA pronunciation: [rɑdˁjo])
• bartma : appartement (apartment) (IPA pronunciation: [bɑrtˁmɑ])
• tobis : autobus (bus) (IPA pronunciation: [tˁobis])
• camera: caméra (camera) (IPA pronunciation: [kɑmerɑ])
• portable: portable (cell phone) (IPA pronunciation: [portˁɑbl])
• tiliphune: téléphone (telephone) (IPA pronunciation: [tilifu:n])
• brika: briquet (lighter) (IPA pronunciation: [bri-key])

[edit] Some words borrowed from Spanish

Some of these words might also have come through Andalusi Arabic brought by Moriscos
when they were expelled from Spain following the Christian Reconquest.

• roueda : rueda (wheel) (IPA pronunciation: [rwedˁɑ])


• cuzina : cocina (kitchen) (IPA pronunciation: [kuzinɑ])
• simana : semana (week) (IPA pronunciation: [simɑnɑ])
• manta : manta (blanket) (IPA pronunciation: [mɑltˁɑ])
• rial : real (five centimes; this term has also been borrowed into many other Arabic
dialects) (IPA pronunciation: [rjɑl])
• fundo : fondo (bottom of the sea or the swimming pool) (IPA pronunciation:
[fundˁo])
• carrossa : carrosa (carrosse) (IPA pronunciation: [kɑrrosɑ])
• courda : cuerda (rope)(IPA pronunciation: [kordˁɑ])
• cama (in the north only) : cama (bed) (IPA pronunciation: [kamˁɑ])
• blassa : plaza (place)(IPA pronunciation: [blasɑ])

[edit] Some examples of regional differences

• Now: "daba" in the majority of regions, but "druuk" or "druuka" in the South, and
"drwek" or "durk" in the East
• When?: "fuqash" in most regions, but "yimta" in the Atlantic region,and "waqtash" in
Rabat region
• What?: "Ashnu","ash" in most regions, but "shenni","shennu" in the North,"shnu","sh"
in Fes, and "washta", "wasmu", "wash" in the Far East

[edit] Some useful sentences

Note: All the sentences are written according to the transliteration of the Arabic alphabet.

Northern (Jebli, Tetouani) Eastern (Oujda)


English Western Arabic
Arabic Arabic

La bas? / Rak ġaya /


How are you? La bas / Ça va? La bas? / Bikhayr?
Rak Shbab?

Can you help


Yemken lek tʿaweni? Tekdar dʿaweni? Yemken lek tʿaweni?
me?

Waš katehdar
Do you speak Waš tehdar
lingliziya / wash Waš kadehdar bel ingliziya?
English? lingliziya?
katidwi bil lingliziya?

Excuse me Smaḥ liya Smaḥ li Smaḥ liya

Good luck ḥaḍ saʿid ḥaḍ saʿid ḥaḍ saʿid

Good
ṣbaḥ el-khir ṣbaḥ el-khir ṣbaḥ el-khir
morning

Good night Teṣbaḥ ʿla khir ṣbaḥ ʿla khir Teṣbaḥ ʿla khir

Goodbye Beslama Beslama / howa hadak ah Beslama


Happy new
Sana saʿida Sana saʿida Sana saʿida
year

As-salam ʿleykum /
Hello Salam / Ahlan As-salam ʿlikum
Ahlan

How are you


La bas ʿlik? La bas ʿlik? La bas ʿlik?
doing?

Ki dayer ? (masculine) /
How are you? Kif el-ḥala? Ki rak?
Ki dayra ? (feminine)

Is everything Kulši mezyan ? / Kulšî huwa Kulši mliḥ? / Kulšî


Kulši mezyan ?
okay? hadak ? zin?

Nice to meet
Metšarfin Metšarfin Metšarfin
you

No thanks La šukran La šukran La šukran

Laykhallik / Layʿizek / Khaylah /


Please Allāh ikhallik / ʿafak Allāh ikhallik / yʿizek
Khaylak

Take care Thalla f raṣek Thallah / Thalla Thalla f raṣek

Thank you
Šukran bezaf Šukran bezaf Šukran bezaf
very much

Škad ʿaddel? / šenni khəddam? Faš tekhdem?


What do you
Faš khaddam? (masculine) / šenni khəddama? (masculine) / Faš
do?
(feminine) / škadekhdem? tkhedmi ? (feminine)

What's your Ašnu smiytek? / šu


Šenni ismek? Wašta smiytek?
name? smiytek
Where are Mnin nta? (masculine) / Min ntaya? / Min
Mnayen ntina? / Mayen ntina?
you from? Mnin nti? (feminine) ntiya?

Where are Naymaši? (masculine) / Naymaša? Ferak temši? / Ferak


Fin ġadi temši?
you going? (feminine) rayaḥ

You are La šukr ʿlâ wajib / Bla


La šukr ʿlâ wajib/mashi mushkil La šukr ʿlâ wajib
welcome jmil

[edit] Grammar
The regular Moroccan verb conjugates with a series of prefixes and suffixes. The stem of the
conjugated verb may change a bit depending on the conjugation. Example:

The stem of the Moroccan verb for "to write" is kteb.

[edit] The past tense

The past tense of kteb "write" is as follows:

I wrote: kteb-t

You wrote: kteb-ti

He/it wrote: kteb (kteb can also be an order to write, e.g.: kteb er-rissala: Write the letter)

She/it wrote: ketb-et

We wrote: kteb-na

You (pl) wrote: kteb-tu

They wrote: ketb-u

Note that the stem kteb turns into ketb before a vowel suffix, due to the process of inversion
described above.

[edit] The present tense

The present tense of kteb "write" is as follows:

I'm writing: ka-ne-kteb

You're (masculine) writing: ka-te-kteb


You're (feminine) writing: ka-t-ketb-i

He's/it's writing: ka-ye-kteb

She's/it's writing: ka-te-kteb

We're writing: ka-n-ketb-u

You're (pl) writing: ka-t-ketb-u

They're writing: ka-y-ketb-u

Note that the stem kteb turns into ketb before a vowel suffix, due to the process of inversion
described above. Between the prefix ka-n-, ka-t-, ka-y- and the stem kteb, an e vowel
appears, but not between the prefix and the transformed stem ketb, due to the same restriction
that produces inversion.

In the north, "you're writing" is always ka-de-kteb, regardless of whom you are speaking to.
This is also the case of de in de-kteb, as northerners prefer to use de and southerners prefer
using te. Instead of the prefix ka, some speakers prefer the use of ta (e.g. ta-ne-kteb "I'm
writing"). The co-existence of these two prefixes is due to historical differences. In general ka
is more used in the north and ta in the south. In some regions like the east (Oujda) the
majority of speakers don't use any preverb (ne-kteb, te-kteb, y-kteb, etc.).

[edit] Other tenses

To form the future tense, just remove the prefix ka-/ta- and replace it with the prefix ġa-, ġad-
or ġadi instead (e.g. ġa-ne-kteb "I will write", ġad-ketb-u (north) or ġadi t-ketb-u "You (pl)
will write").

For the subjunctive and infinitive, just remove the ka- (e.g. bġit ne-kteb "I want to write",
bġit te-kteb "I want you to write").

The imperative is conjugated with the suffixes of the present tense but without any prefixes or
preverbs:

kteb "Write! (masc. sing.)"

ketb-i "Write! (fem. sing.)"

ketb-u "Write! (pl.)"

[edit] Negation

For negative expressions, the prefix ma and suffix ši or š are added to the verb.

Examples:

• ma-ġa-ne-kteb-ši "I will not write"


• ma-te-kteb-ši "Do not write"
Negative pronouns such as walu "nothing", ḥta ḥaja "nothing" and ḥta waḥed "nobody"
could be added to the sentence without ši as a suffix.

Examples:

• ma-ġa-ne-kteb walu "I will not write anything"


• ma-te-kteb ḥta ḥaja "Do not write anything"
• ḥta waḥed ma-ġa-ye-kteb "Nobody will write"
• wellah ma-ne-kteb or wellah ma-ġa-ne-kteb "I swear to God I will not write"

Note: wellah ma-ne-kteb could be a response to a command to write kteb, while wellah ma-
ġa-ne-kteb could be an answer to a question like waš ġa-te-kteb? "Are you going to write?" .

[edit] Negative interrogation

In Moroccan Arabic, the word order doesn't change for negative questions in the northern
parts of Morocco, but in the western areas and other regions, the word order is preferably
changed. The pronoun waš could be added in the beginning of the sentence, although it rarely
changes the meaning of it. The prefix ma can rarely be removed when asking a question in a
fast way.

Examples:

• ma-ġa-te-kteb-ši? "Aren't you going to write?"


• ma-ġadi-ši-te-kteb? (same)
• waš ma-baġi-ši te-kteb? "You don't want to write?" (North)
• waš ma-bġi-t(i)-ši te-kteb? (same) (Western and other regions)

A ka can be added in the beginning of the sentence when asking a question in an angry or
surprised way. In this case, waš can't be added.

Examples:

• ka ma-ġa-te-kteb-ši?!
• ka ma-ġadi-ši-te-kteb?!

This section requires expansion.

[edit] Evolution
In general, Moroccan Arabic is one of the most innovative (in the technical sense of "least
conservative") of all Arabic dialects. Nowadays Moroccan Arabic continues to integrate new
French words, mainly technological and modern words. However, in recent years constant
exposure to revived classical forms on television and in print media and a certain desire
among many Moroccans for a revitalization of an Arab identity has inspired many Moroccans
to integrate words from Standard Arabic, replacing their French or Spanish counterparts or
even speaking in Modern Standard Arabic while keeping the Moroccan accent to sound less
pedantic. This phenomenon mostly occurs among literate people.
Though rarely written, Moroccan Arabic is currently undergoing an unexpected and pragmatic
revival. It is now the preferred language in Moroccan chat rooms or for sending SMS, using
Arabic Chat Alphabet composed of Latin letters supplemented with the numbers 2, 3, 5, 7 and
9 for coding specific Arabic sounds as is the case with other Arabic speakers.

The language continues to evolve quickly as can be noted when consulting the Colin
dictionary. Many words and idiomatic expressions recorded between 1921 and 1977 are now
obsolete.

[edit] Diglossia and social prestige


While being a natural localization of Classical Arabic for geographic and historical reasons, as
French has evolved from Vulgar Latin, Moroccan Arabic is considered as a language of low
prestige[citation needed] and suffers from the fact that Classical Arabic is the language of the Qur'an
which serves as a reference. While the Moroccan Arabic is being the mother tongue of nearly
twenty million people in Morocco it is rarely written, this situation probably explains in part
the high illiteracy rates in Morocco.

This situation is not specific to Morocco, but occurs in all Arabic speaking countries. The
French Arabist William Marçais coined in 1930 the term diglossie (diglossia) to describe this
situation, where two (often) closely-related languages co-exist, one of high prestige, which is
generally used by the government and in formal texts, and one of low prestige, which is
usually the spoken vernacular tongue.

[edit] Artistic expression


There exists some poetry written in Moroccan Arabic like the Malhun. In the troubled and
autocratic Morocco of the ’70s with no freedom of speech, the legendary Nass El Ghiwane
band wrote beautiful and allusive lyrics in Moroccan Arabic which were very appealing to the
youth even in other Maghreb countries.

Another interesting movement is the development of an original rap music scene, which
explores new and innovative usages of the language. Generally, Moroccan Arabic remains the
preferred language of Moroccan singers.

[edit] Newspapers
There are now at least three Moroccan Arabic newspapers, their aim is to bring information to
people with a low level of education. Telquel Magazine has a Moroccan Arabic edition
Nichane. There is also a free weekly magazine that is totally written in "standard" Moroccan
dialect: Khbar Bladna, i.e. 'News of our country'.

[edit] See also


• Varieties of Arabic
• Dialect continuum
• Maghrebi Arabic
• Algerian Arabic
• Tunisian Arabic
• Libyan Arabic
• Tetuani
• The language of The Qur'an for the relationship between modern Arabic dialects and
the Qur'an's Arabic

[edit] References
1. ^ Watson (2002:21)
2. ^ Some effort has recently been made in that direction with the KtbDarija [1] (literaly
"WriteDarija") project, which proposes a Latin alphabet for writing Darija, and a set of
keyboard layouts for writing in this alphabet.

[edit] Bibliography
• Ethnologue entry for Moroccan Arabic
• Lonely Planet Moroccan Arabic Phrasebook ISBN 0-86442-586-4
• Ernest T. Abdel Massih, Introduction to Moroccan Arabic, Univ of Michigan,
Washington, 1982.
• Jordi Aguadé, "Notes on the Arabic Dialect of Casablanca", AIDA 5th Conference
Proceedings, Universidad de Cadiz, 2003, 301-308.
• Louis Brunot, Introduction à l'arabe marocain, Maisonneuve, Paris, 1950.
• Dominique Caubet, L'arabe marocain, Paris-Louvain, Peeters, 1993.
• Olivier Durand, L'arabo del Marocco. Elementi di dialetto standard e mediano,
Università degli Studi La Sapienza, Rome, 2004.
• Richard S. Harrel, A short reference grammar of Moroccan Arabic, Georgetown
University Press, Washington, 1962.
• Richard S. Harrel, A Dictionary of Moroccan Arabic, Georgetown University Press,
Washington, 1966.
• Jeffrey Heath, Ablaut and Ambiguity: Phonology of a Moroccan Arabic Dialect, State
University of New York Press, Albany, 1987.
• Angela Daiana Langone, "Khbar Bladna. Une expérience journalistique en arabe
dialectal marocain", in Estudios de Dialectologia Norteafricana y Andalusi n.7, 2003,
143-151.
• Angela Daiana Langone, "Jeux linguistiques et nouveau style dans la masrahiyya en-
Neqsha, Le déclic, écrite en dialecte marocain par Tayyeb Saddiqi", in Actes d'AIDA
6, Tunis, 2006, 243-261.
• Abderrahim Youssi, "La triglossie dans la typologie linguistique", in La Linguistique
n. 19, 1983, 71-83.
• Abderrahim Youssi, Grammaire et lexique de l'arabe marocain moderne, Wallada,
Casablanca, 1994.