The mineret that takes you home

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links

Tamazight Dictionary

English - Tamazight
Tamazight - English

Peace Corps/Morocco
NOV. 2007


This dictionary is the end product of many months of work, and expands upon an earlier version that was compiled in 1997 by editors Laurel Groh and Eric Poolman. While I initiated this project and took charge of its design and implementation, it would not have been possible without the help of LCF Mohamed Arguine. He spent many long days working with me to go through the dictionary word by word to make sure that all the language contained within is correct, and though I am sure there were times when he would have preferred to strangle me than work with me for even one more minute, we made it through the whole thing to create this updated version, which I hope will be a valuable resource for all the Tamazight speaking volunteers coming in. I am extremely grateful for all his help, for without Mohamed this work would never have come into fruition.

I would also like to thank Lahcen Azaguagh, who worked with me to compile the list of God phrases and put the finishing touches on the book, and Abderrahmane Boujenab, as without his support this project never would have happened.

In this edition, I removed the Arabic letters and placed the whole thing in transcription, took out Tashelheit vocabulary, corrected the mistakes contained within, and considerably expanded the breadth from the previous version. I also removed the regional references, instead listing words and all their possible translations in one line, and made it both English-Tamazight and Tamazight-English so words can be looked up either way.

In addition, I added a verb section, where you will find not only the infinitives but also the present continuous and first person past conjugation for each of the verbs. While some verbs do not necessarily make sense when conjugated in the first person, most were still conjugated that way simply to indicate which pattern they follow. The exception is those verbs which are only used in one way (i.e. to bloom, which always refers to flowers) and were therefore conjugated as such.

Finally, I also included a current list of all the countries in the world, and a section for God phrases, including their literal translation and the contexts in which they are used.

While I hope this edition is an improvement over the previous version, I am well aware that it is by no means exhaustive. I am sure there are still innumerable words that are not included here, as well as much vocabulary that would be different in another region. While I hope that the words listed here include those from all of Morocco’s Tamazight speaking regions, both Mohamed and I live in the south, meaning that the vocabulary contained within will likely be closest to the Tamazight spoken in the Kelaa Mgouna/Boumalen Dades region.

I hope this document helps with your language learning, and wish you the best of luck with your service.


Stacy Alboher

Return to Friends of Morocco Home Page

About Membership Volunteer Newsletters Souk Links