French Speaking Countries – Algeria and Morocco

Here are Frenchplanations we like to put out content on all things French. We’ve decided to start writing about the different countries around the world where French is spoken. For our very first entry we’ve decided to write about Algeria and Morocco. Let’s get started…

The world is comprised of a multitude of fantastic countries, and as humans, we should extend our knowledge and learn more about them. But, it doesn’t always have to involve scanning through the archives and discovering facts about countries which are hundreds of years old. You see, there are plenty of regions which have emerged relatively recently, and one of those is Algeria.

Why has it only emerged recently? Because until 1962, it wasn’t its own country, it was under French control. Although, it only managed to gain independence due to a violent battle – a battle in which millions of Algerians lost their lives. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom; the country is often referred to as the ‘gateway between Africa and Europe’.

That’s because Algeria is located at the very northern point of the African continent, and so it experiences gorgeous weather, and is blessed with being on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. So, it’s a very popular destination for European tourists, as the flight isn’t too long, but people from all over the globe flock there every year.

In terms of geographical size, the country is one of the largest on the planet (10th to be specific) and is by far the biggest on the African continent. Although, it’s worth pointing out that not all of it is habitable. Approximately 80% of land is accounted for by the Saharan desert, which is basically a ton of empty space.

Despite that, Algeria has an impressive population size of 36.5 million, and the majority of those reside somewhere along the northern shore. Its capital, Algiers, is the busiest city and possesses many cultural influences. For instance, there’s the Notre-Dame d’Afrique which is a beautiful church that links to the French ruling.

Additionally, there’s ties to the Roman empire with the ruins in Tipaza. In terms of languages spoken there, you can expect to find most people speaking fluently in Arabic. But, there’s people who can also speak Berber and/or French. So, if you were to head to Algeria, it would be wise to learn the lowest level Arabic, just so you could communicate in basic scenarios.

Now, being a North African country, the main religion that is practiced there is Islam. Until 1999, there were major conflicts between Islamists and the government, and still to this very day there’s minor Islamist insurgency troubles. But, in 1999, Abdelaziz Bouteflika took charge, and devised a strategy to steady the country – a national reconciliation policy.

He is still the president, and is currently serving his fourth term in office, despite being affected by health problems following a stroke in 2013. Bouteflika has got Algeria in a much stronger position, which helps make it a popular destination to visit or live in.

Let’s move on to Morocco…

Millions of people love traveling, and that’s because the world has plenty to offer; there’s different cultures, cuisines and landscapes across this planet that people want to explore. But, on the flip side, there’s people that desire to travel, but don’t possess the geographical knowledge to do so.

Therefore, we decided to provide some information on some great destinations, and in this article, we’re going to focus on Morocco…

Morocco is a country deep in the heart of North Africa. It’s surrounded by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Plus, the weather is renowned for being scorching hot all year round. So, if you’re looking for a region where you can absorb an abundance of sun and take a dip in the fresh ocean to cool down, it’s Morocco.

Alongside the vast array of tourists, you’ll also be able to share company with the 35 million permanent residents (35.28 million to be precise). The population epitomizes traditional Arabian culture, but it also has influence from Berber and Europe, which creates a very vibrant community nationwide.

You may be wondering – ‘How long has the culture been developing for?’ Well, Morocco was founded not too long ago, in 1956. Before that, the French had the region under its protectorate, but on April 7, 1956, Morocco gained full independence. These days, you’ll typically find wonderful, thriving marketplaces which are full of energy, selling things like authentic jewelry and ceramics.

One of the most popular areas in the country is Marrakesh. However, Marrakesh isn’t actually the capital city – Rabat is. Here you’ll find a multitude of attractions that tie in closely to its heritage, such as the Kasbah of the Udayas and the Hassan Tower. Officially, the country is known as the Kingdom of Morocco, and it is ruled by a monarchy, as well as a government.

The king of the country is King Mohammed VI and is joined by Princess Salma Bennani (also known as Princess Lalla Salma) …

The president of the government is then appointed carefully by the king, and there has actually been a reappointment in recent times. Back in 2017, Saadeddine Othmani was placed into the position of president, which is a similar role to a Prime Minister. Othmani was then entitled to select the ministers which serve underneath him.

Being a North African country, there are a few languages spoken, but the majority are bilingual. In a nutshell, most residents are fluent in the modern Arabic language, but can also understand Berber, or Moroccan Arabic. Moreover, considering France and Spain were present before Morocco gained independence, there is also some French and Spanish influence. French is often used in the business community although it has no official status in Morocco.

Ultimately, Morocco is a fantastic country which is steeped in history, blessed with interesting culture, and also acts as a brilliant holiday destination. So, if you want to do some exploring, you’ll be welcomed with open arms!

What did we forget? Tell us below your favorite fact about Algeria and Morocco!

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