Arabic is the official language of Morocco. Nevertheless, due to its close relationship with France in times past, almost all of the Moroccan population speak French. In the north and in Atlantic areas, it's possible to communicate in Castilian.
You should try and learn a few basic phrases in Arabic. The locals greatly appreciate this as it is a sign that you respect their country and their culture. You'll also feel a lot more integrated and less of an outsider.
You should be aware that in Morocco they speak an impressive variety of languages; two official ones any multiple secondary languages.
Arabic is a classic language; a language of education, administration and a means of information. The daily language in Morocco is a dialect called "Tamazight" (of Berber origin). It's spoken in the Riff, Atlas and the Souss.
French is the most practical language to speak if living or travelling in Morocco. Everyone speaks it. All mass media, publicity and advertising are in French.
We have a wide variety of foreigners living here in Essaouira; people from all over the world. The city is very cosmoplitan. It's no wonder there's so much linguistic diversity; you'll hear English, German, Italian, French, Spanish - every language under the sun. Having said that, the strongest linguistic influences are still berber and tamazight.
In some zones, like Chauen for example, it's possible to communicate in Castillan, since it is very close to Spain. Some people in this region speak English too.
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