Shilha is a member of the Northern Atlas branch of the Berber language family. It is spoken in southwestern Morocco in the Atlas mountains, and along the Draa and Sous rivers. There are also some speakers in Béchar province in northwestern Algeria, where the language is known as Tachelhit. In 2016 there were about 7 million Shilha speakers in Morocco, and in 2014 there were about 6,000 speakers in Algeria.
Shilha is also known as Tashelhiyt or Tashelhit in English. In Moroccan Arabic it is known as Šəlḥa, and in French it is known as tachelhit, chelha or chleuh.
Shilha was written mainly with the Arabic script from the 16th century. A new Arabic orthography was devised in the 1970s. In the late 19th century the Latin started to be used. More recently the Tifinagh script has also been used. Modern literature in Shilha started to emerge in the 1970s.
In Morocco Shilha is taught in some primary schools, and is used in literature, newspapers, radio and TV.
Lqqiṣt n yan urgaz lli yzznzan tammnt ɣ ssuqq. Yan urgaz iɛmmr mnnaw yilmawn n tammnt ɣ ssuqq. Yašk nn dars yan urgaz, ira ad dars isɣ tammnt. Inna y as: "Mnšk at tzznzt tammnt ann?" Inna y as: "Mḍi tt, iɣ ak tɛžb ar gis tsawalt." Yasy urgaz ann yan yilm, ifsi t, imḍi tammnt, ifk t i bab nns, inna as: "Amẓ, ar kiɣ gussɣ wayyaḍ." Yamẓ t s ufus nns, yasi daɣ umsaɣ lli wayyaḍ, ifsi t, imḍi tammnt, ifk t daɣ i bab nns. Yamẓ t s ufus nns yaḍnin, yasy umsaɣ yan yilm n tammnt, irur. Iggammi bu tammnt mad a yskar i yilmawn lli yumẓ. Ar yaqqra y mddn at t fukkun.
Information about the Shilha language
Page last modified: 09.06.21
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