Morocco, a country in North Africa, is a choice destination for a lot of tourists because of its beautiful landscapes, cultural inclinations and age-long artwork that are still relevant in our current world. Although a trip to Morocco could be arduous and costly, what the country has to offer would more than make up for all the troubles you might have had in the course of making the trip.
For potential tourists, one of the most important things you must do before visiting Morocco is to get a hold of their language. Now, we’re not in any way telling you to have a comprehensive knowledge of the Moroccan language as that might be hard to pull off in such a short period of time, but you must understand some basic phrases that will help you to communicate with the locals when you arrive in Morocco. Just like in every other country, an understanding of the languages there will go a long way in helping you to enjoy your stay better. This is even truer in Morocco, as the locals are more likely to accept you and grant you a few favors if they discover you are able to communicate a little bit in their languages.
We’ve put together a list of some basic Moroccan phrases that are commonly used at various places in the country. Whether you’re buying at the malls, taking a taxi, taking a bite at a local restaurant or visiting the local markets, these phrases will be useful for you in communicating with the locals.
Moroccans are a very humble people and they value their greetings. If you want to get on their good side, it is important you learn how to greet them, and it must be done respectfully. Here are some of the best phrases you can make use of:
Saba’a el kher
These are the words for ‘good morning’ in Moroccan. When you get to a store or a restaurant and you need to place an order, it might be very good to start by saying good morning in their language. This will strike a chord and may influence the whole interaction between you.
Masa’ el kher
This is the expression for ‘good night’. After all is said and done and you are about to leave in the evening, say these words, preferably with a simple bow, and that would do the magic.
After greetings, you might want to take a further step to get more acquainted and ‘La bas’ is what you need. It simply means ‘how are you’.
Another phrase you should master is ‘beslama’. It simply means ‘goodbye’. You can say this when leaving a place after completing your transactions.
When you want to compliment someone for doing something you love, these are the phrases you must master as they will bring smiles to the faces of the locals you are dealing with. Phrases in this category include:
Also spelt Chokran by the French speakers. This is the phrase for saying ‘thank you’. After getting a great service, just say ‘Shokran’ with a smile.
This is the phrase for ‘delicious’. After eating at a restaurant, you can just use this phrase and it would surely draw an approval.
This is the word for ‘please’ in Moroccan. You can add this when placing an order to show a bit of humility.
When trading and negotiating in Morocco, these phrases could come in handy every now and then. They include:
This is used to ask for the price of goods or services you wish to buy. When you want to buy a fine Moroccan cat, you could just say ‘shahal taman’, i.e. ‘how much’.
This is the word for ‘expensive’ in Moroccan. When you think something is too expensive and you are being overcharged, you can make use of this.
This is the word for ‘enough’. Maybe you are being served at a café and you want to tell them your cup is filled to your taste, you can just say Baraka and all will be well.
There are a few other phrases that will come in handy for your use in Morocco. They include:
This means ‘go with peace’.
Moroccans are a very religious people and they take words like this seriously. This means ‘Thanks to God’ or ‘Praises be unto God’.
This is the word for ‘no’.
This is the word for ‘yes’.
This means ‘okay’.
This is the name for the popular Moroccan mint tea that every tourist ends up falling in love with. You could use this as it would be easier to understand.
The Moroccan language is a mix of Arabic and the local Moroccan language, and this would make it easier for someone who understands Arabic to come to terms with it. However, in spite of that, it will require a lot of time and dedication to study this language even as someone who understands Arabic as there are a lot of differences. All in all, Morocco should be a great experience and it is very safe for tourists. Have fun there!