Berbers' Amazigh language becomes mainstream

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Oct 13 13:47:07 UTC 2008

Forwarded  From: edling at

Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Berbers' Amazigh language becomes mainstream

The Berbers of North Africa are the region's original indigenous people. But
their language - commonly known under the umbrella title of Amazigh - has
not been the lingua franca or commonly spoken language since the Arab
invasion in the 7th century.

When the Arabs came to Morocco from the Arabian peninsula, they subjugated
the Berbers and imposed their own language upon them. Amazigh was completely
marginalized and not even written down. But the language is currently
undergoing a remarkable transformation and resurgence in Morocco.

Under orders from King Mohammed VI, Morocco is recognising and encouraging
Amazigh. Not only is there Amaziah television programming but a law ensures
that every public school must be teaching the language by 2010.

Full story:


Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at

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