Moroccan Dialectical Arabic

Maymester 2004

Professor Kenneth Honerkamp

Department of Religion, University of Georgia
Location: Center for Language and Culture (CLC), Marrakech, Morocco

1. COURSE ID: ARAB 4000/6000


COURSE TITLE: Moroccan Dialectical Arabic



Moroccan Dialectical Arabic is a language course aimed at providing the student with a basic capacity for “survival” Moroccan Arabic through acquiring essential vocabulary and communication skills.Emphasis will be placed on the use of day to day language necessary for the student researcher of Moroccan culture, focusing in particular upon specific cultural contexts, including forms of social etiquette, greetings, and the language skills that convey Moroccan social values in everyday life.Classroom based training in comprehension and basic speaking skills will be supplemented by “homestays” with Moroccan families and interactive activities with Moroccan students and Moroccans in general.


- Acquire facility with some essential Islamic texts in Classical Arabic

- Memorize 10 short hadith or similar amount of poetry 

- Task oriented writing assignments, eg. a note, a letter, and postcard in Arabic. <

-Do interviews with a Moroccan craftsperson or shopkeeper and compile a Moroccan- English dictionary for the key terms of that craft or concerning that person's shop.

5. GRADING SYSTEM: A – F, by means of quizzes and a final exam, both oral and written.

6. CREDIT HOURS:4 credit hours (55 contact hours)


This is a maymester summer abroad program and will thus entail extensive travel throughout Morocco and homestays with Moroccan families, where the student will learn to use the skills acquired in class in real-life situations.The educational experience of this course will be of an on-going “linguistic immersion” type.  Moroccan native speakers will assist in the instruction.

8. REPEAT POLICY: With instructor permission, the class can be repeated for credit.

9. PRIMARY DELIVERY MECHANISM: Language class / travel / linguistic immersion


Text:Course packet and dictionary supplies

Course Objectives

The aim of the course is to give students a beginning level facility in the speaking and comprehension dimensions of Moroccan dialectical Arabic.A secondary objective is to introduce students to an in-depth understanding of the essential elements of Moroccan dialectical Arabic: its morphology, syntax and derivation from classical Arabic.The course will present the student with a practical “survival skill” and linguistic etiquette necessary for day to day life in a mainly Arabic speaking environment.

Course Outline and Schedule for the year 2001 class (the schedule for 2004 will be similar, although the program will begin around May 10 and end around June 7)

May 17, Thursday - Fly to Morocco

May 18, Friday- Arrive Casablanca Airport 7:00 am.

- Depart Casablanca for Marrakech at 8:03

- Arrive at Marrakesh 11:00, meet homestay families at the American Language Center

- Afternoon and evening free

Week 1 - May 19 to May 25

May 19, Saturday Part 1: Orientation and Introduction Moroccan Arabic

Marrakesh : - common place names

Orientation: Walk around town, banks, Post Office, introductions and basic etiquette

May 20, Sunday : - Free

May 21, Monday

- Phonology of Moroccan Arabic, phonetic script

- basic greetings

May 22, TuesdayPart 2: Basic Grammatical Structures - The Nominal Phrase

- nouns, their states, pronouns

- nominal sentences

May 23, Wednesday 

- nominal sentences and adjectives

May 24, Thursday 

- negation of the nominal sentence

- place and personal names

- cafe life, buying basic necessities

May 25, Friday 

- interrogative sentences and short responses

- Key terms for Islam and Islamic Culture in Morocco: Islamic institutions - masjid (mosque), madrasa (Qur'anic school), qasr (palace), malik (king), qadi (judge),  manzil (home), souq (urban market), bazaar (urban market), qala’(fort) (jihad),   medina (old city), daarih (saint’s tomb), salih (saint), zawiya (brotherhoods) and  qabr (tomb).

aWeek 2 - May 26 to June 1 :Part 3 : Basic Grammatical Structures - Verbs

May 26 to May 28 - Saturday, Sunday and Monday :

- Depart for trip to the southeastern region of Morocco with Arabic teacher 

- ordering lunch and coffee, the hotel, general practice

May 29, Tuesday

- Introduction to the verb in the perfect tense

- Conjugation of perfect

May 30, Wednesday 

- Day trip to Tinmil fortified mosque, no English spoken

- Picnic lunch in the country

May 31, Thursday

- Subject, adjective, and verb : agreement

- Interrogative form of the perfect tense

- Negative form of the perfect tense

June 1, Friday 

- Introduction to the imperfect tense

- Conjugation of imperfect

- Subject, adjective, and verb : agreement

Week 3 - June 2 to June 8 :Part 3 : General Usage

June 2, Saturday

- Morning in the Souq with Moroccan friends - No English

- Concert in the evening: Moroccan music

June 3, Sunday - Free

June 4, Monday , Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 

-Visit Casablanca and Rabat with teacher : No English

June 5, Tuesday - depart for Fes from Rabat - arrive in Fes early afternoon

- Visit to the Old City of Fes : Urban vocabulary

- Doorways to Islamic Art : technical terms in Arabic

- cafe life and shopping in the Old City

June 6, Wednesday - Fes 

- The dialect of Fes : some comments

- Lunch in a traditional restaurant of Fes, No English

June 7, Thursday- Fes

- free afternoon and evening - Use your Arabic

June 8, Friday- return to Marrakech

- Review of verbs and basic structures

Week 4 - June 9 to June 14

June 9, Saturday - Marrakech

- General usage and review work - talk about yourself

- General practical practice

June 10, Sunday - Free

June 11, Monday

- The bazaar : a guided visit in Moroccan Arabic

- Good-bye party with Moroccan Students : No English

June 12, Tuesday

- Student presentations : “introduce yourself”

- Student presentations : role play - the cafe, the restaurant . . . . .

- Moroccan jokes

June 13, Wednesday

- Leave Marrakech - Arrive Casablanca

June 14, Thursday

- Fly out of Casablanca

June 15, Friday

- Arrive New York


This course will abide strictly by the standards of academic honesty set forth in the University of Georgia publication “A Culture of Honesty” Policy on Academic Honesty