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Languages in Palestine

Languages in Palestine

The main language spoken in Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza) is Palestinian Arabic which is a dialect of Standard Modern Arabic (Classical Arabic). There is not a huge difference between the dialects of Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinian Arabic is included in a subgroup of dialects of Levantine Arabic. Arabs who live in the Levant countries, or originate from them, (the eastern Mediterranean), countries such as Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel speak Levantine Arabic, which is also known as shaami Arabic.

The Classical Arabic language, known as fusHa, is recognized as the official language of a government’s use in such areas as Courts, Parliament, administrative agencies, as well as legal business, and most especially in the Koran. FusHa is used in all administrative agencies of the Palestinian Authority within Palestine.

Because of the presence of six hundred thousand Jewish settlers who live in the Palestinian territories, Hebrew has become more common; however, only a few Palestinians are able to speak Hebrew. This may be due to their employments as traders and workers who work in the Israeli economic markets, such as companies and factories.

Although English is considered the second language of Palestine, not all people, even a majority of Palestinians, cannot speak it. It will depend on your locale in Palestine. In some cities, such as Ramallah, Jerusalem, or Bethlehem, you will find more people speaking English, while in other cities people may speak only the basics of English that they have learned during school attendance.

The English language is taught by all Palestinian local schools starting from the first grade through high school. Moreover, most Palestinian universities’ curriculums are written and taught in English, especially scientific disciplines such as Medicine and Engineering.

In Palestine there are private international and local institutions that teach English, such as the British Council and Amideast. Other languages such as Hebrew, Turkish, and German are also taught by private language schools and organizations. You may find French, Russian, Italian, and other languages spoken as well because Palestine is a destination for numerous international travelers.