Darija Learning Resources

Online & Free (English base)

Painless Arabic

This excellent youtube channel provides real-life skits with Darija and English subtitles. The videos are honestly hilarious and filled with useful vocabulary.

Speak Moroccan Arabic
This site has great vocabulary lists and short phrase-based lessons. There is a forum, but seems to no longer be in use (as of January 2016, the last post was from 2014).

The Armchair Arabist
Amazing resource with transcribed and translated videos of naturally spoken Darija.

The Peace Corps Moroccan Arabic Textbook
Pretty much the best developed free Moroccan Arabic lessons available.

LangMedia Resources for World Languages
This is a wonderful resource of transcribed and translated videos discussing the culture of the speakers (there is material from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya).

Loecsen Free Moroccan Arabic Lessons
Illustrated phrasebook with sound.

Moroccan Arabic Intermediate Reader by Wali A. Alami (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2), published by the Intensive Language Training Center of Indiana University – Bloomington in 1969.
It is now provided (for free!) through various government agencies, including through ERIC. The reader comes in two volumes — the first with transcription, the second with (handwritten) Arabic script. Volume 1 is the story of Rashid and includes pre-listening drills, notes and translations of the drills. Volume 2 first includes the pre-listening drills of Volume 1 written in Arabic script and then a new series of texts. Despite being from 1969, the recordings are still appropriate for today (and clear and easy to understand).
Volume 1 is available here through ERIC: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED031698
Volume 2 is available here through ERIC: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED031713
I rewrote one of the listening exercises here.

Advanced Moroccan Arabic, by Earnest T. Abdel-Massih. MPublishing University of Michigan Library and Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, 2011. [Available for free from the University of Michigan library (link), it is a reprint of a 1974 edition. It contains over 30 texts with accompanying questions. It does, however, use its very own system of transcription. I’ve only used it a little bit, but I appreciate its existence greatly. I just wish it also contained Arabic script. ]

Online & Paying (English base)

Playaling (as of 21/01/2023 Playaling has announced it will soon be a paid service)

Playaling is a fantastic resource for Arabic dialects, including North African Darija. It takes short clips and gives you transcripts in Arabic and in English. The clips are rated by difficulty. Most of the North African Darija-tagged clips are Moroccan.

Talk in Arabic
This relatively new website offers content in many different Arabic dialects. As of right now (November 2017), I don’t recommend subscribing for the Moroccan resources…. There are not many options, no new options seem to have been added in the past several months. I, DO, however like their Essential Moroccan Verbs package. While there are a few options that would strike me as obvious to include (need, for example) were excluded and I found the tense order they selected (1s, 2sm, 2sf, 2pl, 1pl, 3sm, 3sf, 3pl) a bit odd, it is a great resource for getting used to Moroccan Arabic conjugation.

Arabic Pod 101
I have a yearlong subscription to Arabic Pod 101 and, I have to say, I regret this somewhat. The site/app is highly frustrating due to its lack of clarity as to which materials are available in which dialects. The Absolute Beginner > Survival Phrases are focussed on Moroccan Arabic and the Absolute Beginner > Newbie Season 1 also has Moroccan Arabic versions available for every lesson.

Online (French base)

Speak Moroccan Arabic
French version of the Speak Moroccan Arabic site.

Loecsen cours d’arabe marocain
French version of the Loecsen site.


Bahhadi, Myriem, Laïla Gadouar, Farid Aitsiselmi & Lahsen Taibi. Parler l’arabe en voyage. Harrap’s, 2014. [A fantastic phrasebook of Darija. It indicates where there are differences between the Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian dialects. I use it for learning vocabulary.]

Chekayri, Abdellah. An Introduction to Moroccan Arabic and Culture. Georgetown University Press, 2011. [I will write a review of this book in the future, once I’ve gotten further in the material. According to the introduction, it was created for use in conjunction with Modern Standard Arabic studies and assumes prior knowledge of the Arabic alphabet. The book comes with a CD-Rom containing the recordings of the dialogues and supplemental video resources on culture. The book is an excellent resource, very thorough, though I sometimes question some of the pedagogical choices. For instance, the difficulty in accessing the dialogue recordings — they are only accessible to listen to through the CD-Rom program (though, if you were willing to put in the work, you can, of course, copy the mp3s onto your phone/computer/mp3 player). Dialogues are at a natural pace, that is to say, they are not slowed down for the beginner. For this reason, I would recommend copying them over so that you may listen to the dialogues multiple times with ease.]

Jalaly, Az Eddine. Initiation à l’arabe parlé au Maroc. L’Harmattan, 2012. [This French-language instruction book comes with a CD and is written purely in transcription. I’ve included a track from the CD for you to check out.]

Muñoz-Cobo, Bárbara Herrero. ¡Habla Árabe Marroquí!: Método para principiantes. Universidad de Almería, 2010. [A Spanish-language resource with a set of 3 CDs. It definitely uses the Northern Moroccan variant for grammar/vocabulary/accent, but is a great resource if you speak Spanish. It mostly uses its own transcription system, but all conversations are also written in Arabic script. I quite like the CDs, but the Spanish can throw me — I sometimes only understand the Spanish through the Darija…. Nevertheless, I think the audio exercises are excellent. I’ve included a track from the CD for you to check out.]

Muñoz-Cobo, Bárbara Herrero. Gramática de Árabe Marroquí para Hispano-hablantes. Universidad de Almería, 2010. [A grammar book for hispanophones — I haven’t really used this except for “fun” reading.]

Muñoz-Cobo, Bárbara Herrero. Vocabulario Español-Árabe Marroquí. Universidad de Almería, 2010. [Transcribed rather than written in Arabic script, I only use this as a last resort.]

Sakulich, Aaron. Moroccan Arabic: Shnoo the Hell is Going on H’naa?. Collaborative Media International, 2011. [This is a somewhat bizarre book, not so much instructional as an excellent collection of lists of vocabulary and grammar. There are also some great selections of proverbs. The organization is somewhat haphazard, but filled with a great wealth of knowledge if you’re willing to look for what you need.]

Wightwick, Jane & Mahmoud Gaafar. L’arabe avant de partir. Harrap’s, 2008. [This book and CD combo is sadly now out of print. The audio is excellent for listening to while doing other things and uses Darija, indicating when there are regional differences. It introduces the listener to the necessary vocabulary for many different situations — as well as grammatical structures. It’s quite the shame it’s no longer available.]