Riffian is a member of the Northern Zenati branch of the Berber language family. It is spoken mainly in the Rif region of northern Morocco, and also in nearby parts of western Algeria, by about 4.3 million people.
In Morocco, Riffian is spoken mainly in the provinces of Al Hoceima, Nador, Driouch and Berkane, and also in Tangier, Oujda, Tetouan and Larache. There were about 4.24 million speakers 2016. In Algeria it is spoken in Oran and Tlemcen provinces, and in 2010 there were about 126,000 speakers. There are also communities of Riffian speakers in Belgium, the Netherlands and a few other countries.
Riffian is also known as Tarifit, Arrif, Northern Shilha, Rif, Rif Berber, Riff, Rifia, Rifiya, Ruafa, Shilha, Tamazight, Tarifiyt, Tarifyt Berber, Tmaziɣt or Tmazight.
Riffian has been written with versions of the Arabic, Tifinagh (Berber), and Latin alphabets. It is used to some extent in literature and newspapers, on the radio and TV, and parts of the Bible have been translated into it.
Hear how to pronounce Riffian:
Information about the Riffian language
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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