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One of the hardest things about relocating to a new country is adapting to a new environment. And one of the best ways to ease that adaptation is to learn how to communicate well with locals. Morocco's official languages are Modern Classical Arabic and Amazigh (Berber). However, most Moroccans speak the Moroccan Arabic dialect -Darija- and some French. In fact most businesses, higher education and the administration operate in both Arabic and French. In general, many young Moroccans do understand some English, but it is not necessarily a language that one can use to get around in the streets.
We do recommend learning some Darija and French to get by while in Morocco. Below you will find a list of online resources you can use to start learning these languages:
Resources to learn French:
Duolinguo: This is a great way to learn French for free. The tool is very popular and is adaptable to different levels. It feels more like a game than a class and the lessons are short and sweet and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing. It is available on the website but also on the go on your mobile or tablet devices.
Busuu: Another language learning app, it is different than Duolinguo in that the lessons feel more like actual language lessons with examples and explanations. You can take a quiz to get a level placement and choose either the travel lessons or classic lessons. You can learn the language for free using this app but to get access to specialized features like talking to native speakers and the offline mode you will need to get the premium subscription.
Linguee: This is a great translation/dictionary platform. Unlike other dictionaries and translators, Linguee gives you a sentence written and translated in the languages of your choice to see the words in context in several different sentences.
Resources to learn Arabic:
SpeakMoroccanArabic: This website has many resources for people who want to learn Darija. The lessons are organized by category and units and written for both French and English speakers.
Moroccan Arabic Textbook by the Peace Corps: This is THE resource for English native speakers as it uses English phonetics and covers the main language needs.
MEMRISE: This is an online language course that many expats recommend. We have not tried it ourselves, but we had a quick look at it and it seems good. It asks you to pay a subscription fee but we were able to try a lesson without paying.
Busuu: the language app mentioned above has Arabic for English speakers. It is classical Arabic though so while most Moroccans will understand what you are saying, they won't necessarily be able to reply in the classical form.
Google Translate and Clavier Arabe: Google Translate is a great tool to translate classical Arabic words into English and vice versa. You can also use clavier arabe to type Arabic words using latin letters and get the Arabic script back.
Good luck, have fun and let us know if there are other resources that you have found helpful in learning French, Darija or Classical Arabic!