Published September 21, 2017
This video was recorded by Kristen Tcherneshoff in Morocco, where Nawal lives and works. Moroccan Arabic, also known as Moroccan Darija or simply ‘Darija’, is spoken by as many as 21 million people, primarily in the North African nation of Morocco, as well as by diaspora communities worldwide. A variety of Maghrebi Arabic, Darija is closely related to Tunisian and Algerian, while demonstrating significant influence from Morocco’s indigenous Berber languages, as well as Spanish and French. Since Modern Standard Arabic and French are Morocco’s primary written languages, Darija is generally spoken and without a sizeable body of literature. However, in recent decades, an informal orthography based on the Latin alphabet has emerged online and in SMS texting platforms.