Jebli Arabic

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Native to Morocco
Ethnicity Jbala
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 (included in ary)
Glottolog jebl1238[1]
The Jebala region of northern Morocco

Jebli (Jebelia, Jbala) is a pre-Hilalian variety of Arabic spoken in the mountains of the north of Morocco, this dialect was spoken by the first Arab settlers in Morocco, before the arrival of the Banu Hilal tribe.

The word jebli / jbala means "mountain dweller". The Jbala people refer to themselves by their tribe or city.

Jebli Arabic is heavily influenced by Amazigh in many words and grammar; also it is influenced by Spanish and French. the majority of the words are from Arabic origin, for example, fiwakh? means when. It comes from the Arabic sentence fi ay wakt? (?في اي وقت). Typically words have meanings different from their origins: For example (mamsouakchi = I don't care) which includes souk (the Arabic word means market). Souk is added to local language suffixes and prefixes, e.g., ma for the negation and the terminal chi to confirm the negation.

From the Moorish migration into northern Morocco to the present, Jebli has been influenced by the Arabic language. Through this period Jebli evolved from an Amazigh language to a rich admixture. Jebli includes multiple dialects, although they are mutually comprehensible. Jbala speak rapidly and often shorten words, e.g., l'ka (sun) for l'kaila (sun) and l'aa (Girl or Boy) for l'aaila (Girl) or l'aaiel (Boy).

Examples of Jebli[edit]

Jebli English translation Same word in an other language
Trabzoz Blue jeans Trowsers (English)
Acellas Darkness Acellas (Berber)
Carretera Car road Carretera (Spanish)
Ntina you
Ayel (3aiel), Tfol Boy
Stitou Little (Berber)
Hami (7ami) Warm
Kayela (9aila) Sun
Jrou Dog جرو (Arabic)
Yemma Mom (Berber)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Jebli". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.