Libya’s official language is Arabic, but as in many countries, most young people in Libya learn English as a second language and many university students can speak English fluently by the time they graduate.

Libyan students are also looking to other languages as well as English. Recently the University of Sebha in the south of Libya celebrated 25 years of teaching African languages. Several other Libyan universities and schools also teach African languages, thanks to a campaign by the government to promote their use.

Students at Sebha can choose between three African languages including Fulani (spoken in parts of West and Central Africa) and Hausa (spoken in Northern Nigeria).

The most popular language is Swahili which is the official language in Tanzania and Kenya and also spoken in several other East African countries.

Read more about the University of Sebha’s anniversary celebrations in this article from The Tripoli Post.

Image: ‘Al-Inkishafi’ Swahili manuscript from SOAS

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About the author

Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.