NALRC Language Map of Africa


Phoenicians settled in Tunisia in the 12th century B.C. Around the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. the great city-state of Carthage was established. Carthage was part of the Roman Empire until it was controlled by Arabs, 648–669. Various Arab and Berber rulers controlled Tunisia until 1570–1574 when it became part of the Turks’s Ottoman Empire until the 19th century.

By the seventeenth century, Tunisia, like the other North African states, was a province of the Ottoman Empire. The French later conquered and occupied it in 1881, leading to 75 years of French domination. Independence came in 1956 after Habib Bourguiba led his political party to the reigns of self rule.

Today, the Arabic language coexists with various local languages collectively known as Berber. Arabic is the official language of Tunisia, while French and Berber are used in trade and commerce.

Languages spoken

  • Tunisian Arabic
  • Berber (Shelha)


Arabic is the official language of Tunisia


Berber is used in trade and commerce