I’m sitting in my host family’s living room, passively listening to Al Aoula, a public Moroccan TV channel, in Amazigh (an indigenous language and, in addition to Arabic, the second official language of Morocco). Amazigh isn’t really spoken in Rabat, and I don’t understand it, so I tune out, and I start browsing websites on my laptop.
Then I hear something that I can understand, so I start paying attention again. I look at the TV, expecting the broadcaster to be speaking French, because I know what they’re talking about now—celebrations for the anniversary of the Green March around Morocco, and the US presidential elections.
lol, but it’s not in French—it’s a rundown of the daily news in Spanish. I watch the Spanish news for about fifteen minutes. It’s a really nice refresher of all the Spanish that
I’ve learned back in the US, and hearing Spanish makes me really, really happy.
Then the channel switches to showing a program in Darija. I’m watching a reality-TV music show in Darija right now. The language people use in reality shows is pretty basic, so I can get the general gist of what they’re saying (also that might be because they insert French words like “merci beaucoup,” “allons-y,” “normalement,” and “exactement” into every few sentences).
So, in Morocco, you can stay on the same TV channel for thirty minutes and hear three different languages. But that’s not all! The same channel broadcasts news in both French and Standard Arabic (or at least, as “standard” as you can get) during the evenings.
During a day, then, that’s five different languages on one TV channel:
- Darija (Moroccan Arabic)
- Modern Standard Arabic
Little things like this make me really love and appreciate Morocco.