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Tribe Hero

Posts : 162
Join date : 2010-09-28

PostSubject: Berberaaaaa   Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:02 pm

The single oldest known native language of Morocco is the Berber language. Its current number of speakers is unknown. The government avoids highlighting this issue for political reasons. Berber in Morocco has three main accents or varieties: Tamazight Tarifit, Tamazight of the Atlas, and Tamazight Tashelhit.

Contrary to stereotypical beliefs held by many foreigners, Berber-speaking Moroccans live in the cities too and not only in rural areas. The cities of Casablanca and Rabat, for example, have sizable Berber-speaking populations that might amount to a third or more of their total respective populations.

The number of Tamazight-Tarifit speakers was estimated at around 1.5 million in 1990.[45] The language is spoken in the Rif area in the north of the country, and is the smallest Berber dialect in Morocco, by number of speakers. The Tashelhit dialect is the most widely spoken variety of Berber, as it covers the whole of the Region Souss-Massa-DraĆ¢, and is also spoken in the Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz region. Studies done in 1990 show around 3 million people, concentrated in the south of Morocco, speak Tashelhit.[45]

Linguistically, Berber belongs to the Afro-Asiatic languages group, and has many accents or variants. Collectively, these are known by many Moroccan-Arabic-speakers as "Shelha". Classical Arabic of the Middle East still uses the word "Barbaria". Although, there is an increasing tendency by Arab Media (e.g. Aljazeera, Asharq Alawsat) to use the word "Amazighiyya" because the Arabic word "Barbari" means both "Berber" and "Barbarian". The terms "Barbar" and "Shelha" (or "Shalha") are considered by most Berber activists to be offensive. They prefer the word Amazigh. However, the European word "Berber" is not considered offensive by Berbers because European languages distinguish between "Berber" and "Barbarian".

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