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Spanish Colonisation in the North of Morocco and its Impact on the Local Language


        Spanish protectorate of Morocco was established on 27 November 1912 by a treaty between Spain and France. This treaty was the real beginning of Spanish colonialism on north of  Morocco because the history of Spanish colonisation in Morocco is related to 1860. This treaty gave the right to Spain for controlling many regions as David mentioned in his book "Rebels in the Rif". The French-Spanish treaty of November 1912 had given Spanish Dominion over a jagged rectangle of land stretching  Atlantic  ocean to the West Malaya River close to the border of  Algeria on the west from the Mediterranean Sea on the north to An irregular line about twenty-five miles north of the Wergha river in the south."

        David S Wolman states that Spain divided its protectorate into five territories, which they are the jibala, Beni Hozmar tribes,  beni sakkar tribes, beni zerwal tribes and small tribes called collectively All these tribes nearly 66 became the Spanish zone. Hence, Spanish colonisation had controlled all the tribes in north Morocco. Actually, Spanish colonisation came across many stages namely the Spanish presence in North Africa dates back to the late 15th century example of Geuta and Melila in 1492 and Tetuan in 1860 then the protectorate in 1912.

        What is important in presenting all this information is that Rifian people are enhanced in Spanish culture and ideologies especially in the north meanly Elhociema, Nadour, Driouch, Midar, Kassita, Imzouran and the other near tribes. The people here, most of the vocabularies they are using are Spanish in the origin and they are watching television in Spanish as well. David said in the same vain too. "The greatest consentration of Berbers in Spanish Morocco genetically linguistically, and institutional speaking is to be found among the beni urriague (aith waryaghar), beni amart  and gezanaya tribes of the  Central  Rif". This part of Morocco that was under Spanish colonisation had been affected a lot by its language at the level that we find people using a set of Spanish vocabulary in their daily communication without any troubles as they are talking their mother tongue for example they are saying “cama” and “mesa”….instead of “Ando” and “Rachtho” and so on . The Spanish language had influenced in Moroccan lexical even that it did not use in government, education, and institutions as French did. Since there was a relationship between Spanish colonisation and north Rifian people, most of the words they are using are Spanish in  the origin as Mohamed Kruk states ”on the issue of multilingualism in Morocco” “there is a set of Spanish vocabulary that are used in many activities such as: aprico=coat; barco=coat; pluma=pen; vendja=bandage; vino=wine; Sello=postage stomp; contrato= contrite”.
 
        The problematic here is not the use of some words in Spanish, but the problem is that Spanish colonisation had destroyed the original culture of Rif’s people and a set of Rif or Amazigh vocabulary is nearly disappeared from the history. The new generation believes that a set of vocabulary they are using in their daily life is Rif ( Amazigh, Berber) language, but in fact it isn’t.  When we ask people of Rif regions about their attitudes toward this big change on their language; we find that nearly 40 % of them say that it is normal, which means they are satisfied by this change because Rif language is not a language of modernity, and it is just a language that is used at home with parents and friends of the same region. Moreover, they need to know other languages in order to interact with different people all over the world. On the other hand, 60% of them say that this destroys their culture and identity, and they hope if they can return to their original culture. 
        The question that full my mind at that time is why we are obliged to learn their languages, their culture and they are not obliged to learn ours???  Why not, as Rifian people are obliged to learn foreigners languages, also foreigners should learn Rif language too;  because it is a valuable language in itself, and it has its own grammatical rules concerning phonetics, syntax, phonology, morphology as other languages.  Why when Rifian people are in foreigners countries are obliged to speak their languages;  whereas they are not obliged to speak Rif language when they are in Rif regions, rather it is necessary for Rifian people to interact with them using their languages. So, Spanish, French, Arabic are languages, Rif is a language too. It should be taught in schools and spread all over the world.
        As a result of all what I have mentioned above, Rif language is in the way of extinction due to the linguistic imperialism and globalization. This appears especially in the new generation who do not know their mother tongue and become bilingual by speaking Rif and Spanish at the same time and sometimes they switch from Arabic and French. To solve this problem, why not in the future not to write books in Rif "Amazigh" language and spread them in the foreign countries; in order to, others learn Rif culture, the language in a kind of exchanging culters. It is a good idea to learn other languages, but it will be better if at the same time learn other languages and preserve the origin or mother language for the coming generation.   


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