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Moroccans Debate Whether To Ditch French Language

ACTUEL (Morocco)

CASABLANCA - Should Morocco abandon the French language? The question is now being openly debated after the government announced it was pushing for more Arabic programming on public television, reports Moroccan magazine Actuel in a special feature devoted to the issue.

Morrocan Culture Minister Mustapha El Khalfi has made reassurances that French programming will maintain its current share of airtime, but the push for more Arabic programs has raised the real possibility that the langue de Molière is destined to disappear in the North African nation. Though the official languages have long been just Arabic and Berber, French is widely used in business, media and public administration.

But French is a remnant of the colonial past and the language of the moneyed elite say opponents, who argue that English is a much more useful foreign language nowadays. French is part of Morrocan culture, and does not exclude better teaching of Arabic, counter Francophiles, who insist French is still a formidable business tool.

Actuel's investigation included comparisons to the situation to neighboring Tunisia and Algeria where French also remains well entrenched.

Read the full article in French.

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