Libya

Language

Language

Standard Arabic is the official language, but the native language is Libyan Arabic. It is important to know that Arabic languages are mutually unintelligible, just like Chinese languages, but since Libyans learn Standard Arabic in school, foreign Arabs should be able to get along. English is widely understood especially by young residents of Tripoli, while older people are likely to speak Italian as a result of Libya's Italian colonial past, and even among younger people it is the second most known foreign language after English because of access to Italian television. Libyan Arabic is influenced by Italian, such as "semaforo" (traffic light) and "benzina" (gasoline).

Other languages, such as Berber and Touareg, are used in many small urban settings. Speakers of those languages will often be multi-lingual and be able to converse in Libyan Arabic and sometimes Standard Arabic as well.

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Libya - Travel guide

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