Holiday Deals To Marrakech

Survival Phrases For Your Holidays in Marrakech

The survey was based on 10 specific categories grading popularity, behaviour, manners, willingness to learn the language and try local cuisine, generosity, tidiness, volume, fashion sense and propensity to complain. According to the survey and concerning language, knowledge of the language is an important criterion: it is obviously quite rude not to speak a little bit of the local language, even if it is just a few common words and phrases, which will at least show that you have bothered to pick up a pocket dictionary or even found out the basic words to get your point across.

In Marrakech, although most people speak French very fluently and their English is quite good, you will make good friends and give an excellent impression if you try to speak the local language, called Darija or Derija, the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. Moreover, with just a few learnt phrases you will easily get around the city in case you encounter some inhabitants that only speak their local language. In fact, it is easy to find people speaking other languages (mostly French, English, Spanish and a little bit of German or Italian) in the cities, but it is much harder to find them in rural areas.

So here are a few words and phrases in Moroccan Arabic that will prepare you for a warmer and more enjoyable holiday in the wonderful Marrakech, also known as “The pearl of the South”.


Of course, greetings are amongst the most basic and important things one should know. Here are some of the most common greetings, called the “Salam Alek” in Moroccan Arabic:


- Hello: “Salamoo Alaykoom” (literally, it means “Peace be upon you”). The answer to this greeting is “Alaykoom Salam” (meaning “Peace upon you as well”) 

- Goodbye: “Bisslama” 

- How are you?: You will certainly hear two very common expressions used to ask if one is doing OK.

1. First, and slightly more polite, is “Labas Alik?” (literally meaning “No harm upon you?). The answer would be “Labas, Ham-doo-la” (meaning “Thank God” or, more literally, “Praise be to Allah”).

2. Second, you will be asked “Cool-she Beh-hair?”, which means “Is everything fine?”. The answer should be “Beh-hair, Ham-doo-la”.

Other useful expressions are basic polite phrases:

- Please: “Afak”

- Thank you: “Shoo-kran”

- Sorry: “Smah-alee-ah” (also equivalent to “Excuse me”)

- Biss-ha: “Enjoy” (your meal)

Other basic expressions include:

- Yes: “Nam” (although in Marrakech most people will say “Aâ”, where the “â” is very guttural)

- No: “La”

These are just a few expressions and, as little as they may seem, you will be surprised how far you can get with a little talking, a big smile and some gesticulating and pointing. Besides, once you learn these words and phrases, you will already have some basic tools on which you can build up further knowledge, if so you want. Once you know this basic Derija, you’re ready for your holidays in Marrakech!

Once there, you can stay in one of the many fantastic Marrakech hotels or, better yet, in one of the typical riads of Marrakech. You can also stay in a lovely villa in Marrakech, closer to the rural areas, where landscapes are stunning and where the inhabitants will welcome you with open arms.

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Posted by admin - March 15, 2017 at 7:31 pm

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