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Lesson Transcript

ArabicPod101.com presents Arabic Survival Phrases. This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Arabic speaking countries, with particular focus on Morocco. So join us for Arabic Survival phrases. You will be surprised at how far a little Arabic will go.
Now before we jump in, remember to stop by ArabicPod101.com, there you’ll find an accompanying PDF, additional learning tools in the premium learning center, and other great Arabic language learning materials. In addition, you’ll find more information in the post. And if you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.

Lesson focus

The currency used in Morocco is the Dirham, abbreviated as Dh, with denominations consisting of ryal and centime.
1 Dirham is divided into 20 ryals or 100 centimes.
As of September 2007, the exchange rate is roughly 9 Dirhams to one US dollar and roughly 11 Dirhams to one Euro.
Paper currency includes 20, 50, 100, and 200-Dh bills, and1 ryal, 2-ryal, 4-ryal, 10-ryal, 1-dirham, 5-dh, and 10-dh coins.
There’re actually no coins for francs and centimes, and you’ll deal in ryal and dirham most of the time.
Let’s look at some numbers here.
5 francs are 1 ryal. And 20 ryals are 1 Dh.
When converting from ryals to dirhams, divide by 20.
For example, 100 ryals: 100 ÷ 20 = 5 Dh.
If you want to convert dirhams to ryals, multiply by 20.
E.g. 2 Dh × 20 = 40 ryals.
Let’s go over the words one more time and check how they’re pronounced.
Dirham - singular is dirham
Let’s break it down: dirham
Dirhams - plural is dirham
Let’s break it down one more time: dirham
Ryals is ryals
Now, the foreign exchange rate is always fluctuating, but I like to calculate the rate as roughly 10 Dhs per one US dollar. Using this rough equation, a 100 Dh-bill is like a 10-dollar bill.
As for phrases necessary for foreign exchange, we’ll cover those in another lesson.
Now on the bank notes, there is either one or a combination of these kings of Morocco: Mohamed VI (the current king of Morocco, 1999-) is on all of the recent bank notes.
Hassan II (father of Mohamed VI and King of Morocco from 1961 to1999) is on all of the older bank notes that are still in circulation.
Mohamed V (grandfather of Mohammed VI and King of Morocco from 1955 to 1961) is on the recent 100-Dh notes only.
Morocco is relatively cheap compared to Japan, Europe or the US. But the cost of living in large cities such as Casablanca and Rabat is rapidly increasing.
Here are a few prices to give you an idea: A big Mac costs about 36 Dhs, which is about 3.6 US dollars. Make sure you have small change in cash when shopping in small stores.
You don’t need to carry around too much money, but expect to pay around 300 Dh a day if you’re on an average budget, on transportation and 3 decent meals. (Hotels not included)
Nowadays, francs are not as common, for practical reasons, you can think of ryals as cents and dirham as dollars.


All right. This is going to do it for this lesson of Arabic Survival Phrases. Remember to stop by ArabicPod101.com. There you’ll find an accompanying PDF, additional learning tools in the premium learning center, and other great Arabic language learning materials. See you soon, which in Arabic is - ilā al-liqāʾ.