The official language of Jordan is Modern Standard Arabic and this language is the official language of domestic government, education, and media in the nation. Although Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of written documents and media, many Jordanians speak a colloquial, but mutually intelligible, Jordanian Arabic language. Modern Standard Arabic is from the Afro-Asiatic family of languages and there are three distinct dialects of the Modern Standard Arabic in Jordan. The three dialects are Bedouin Jordanian, rural Arabic, and urban Arabic. The Bedouin dialect is often reserved for Royal families and the Bedouin people living in the desert of Eastern Jordan. The language of Jordan has been heavily influenced by English, French, and Turkish.

The country of Jordan is made up of approximately 9.5 million people and over 95% of these people are of Arab descent. Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools but many citizens of the country will also have an understanding of English. Over 92% of the population is considered literate in Modern Standard Arabic and about 70 percent of the population lives in urban areas which makes the urban Jordanian Arabic dialect the most spoken in the country.

Arabic is an incredibly hard language to learn how to read and write, but speaking it is a lot more manageable. "As-salam alaykum" is a common Arabic phrase meaning “peace be unto you” and can be used as a casual greeting as well as a formal one. The correct response to this phrase is “wa alaykum as-salam” which means, “and unto you, peace”. The phrase “shuk-ran”, means thank-you, and excuse me is pronounced "af-wan".

Minority languages in Jordan include Armenian, Chechen, French, and German. French and German have become minority languages in the country due to them being taught alongside cultural studies in many schools and universities. English is also taught in many schools and has become an important language for international business and politics in Jordan. Many universities stress the importance of learning English as the Jordanian economy and job market has become more globalized and even hold many classes in the English language.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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