Arabic is the official language of Libya. It is the language of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. Muslims believe that the Qur'an contains the exact words of Allah (God), and Libyans must therefore know Qur'anic or classical Arabic in order to understand the true word of God. There are differences between the spoken and written forms of Arabic and also regional variations among the spoken versions of the language. The Arabic spoken in Libya is distinct from that spoken in other Arab nations. It includes many Berber words.

 Libyans value courtesy. It is considered rude to criticize another person directly or to discuss family matters in public. When two people meet, they begin their conversation with a series of formal questions and answers about their health and families. When asking and answering these ritual questions, people clasp each other's hands. A common Libyan greeting is "Salaam aleikum," which means "Peace be with you." Another common greeting is "Sabbahakum Allah bi'l-khair," which means "May Allah give you a good morning."

Most Berbers speak Arabic, but in a few isolated communities, people speak Numidian, an ancient North African language. The nomadic Tuareg people speak Tamacheq, sometimes called Tifnagh. In urban areas, some people speak English or Italian. 

All publishing companies in Libya are owned by the government, including Libya's only daily newspaper.The government must approve all material published in Libya.
  English Arabic
  Yes   Eeyeh/na'am
  No   La
  How are you?   Kayf haalek?
  Very well, thanks be to God    Bikher, al-Hamdu lillah
  Please   Afak/afik/afakum
  Thank you   Shukran
  Excuse me   Smeh leeya
  Goodbye   Ma'as as-salaama

  Did you know?
IIn North Africa, languages are classified as Semitic or Hamitic. Semitic languages include Hebrew and Arabic. The speakers of these languages are believed to be descendants of Shem, the eldest son of Noah. Hamitic languages include Egyptian and Berber. The speakers of these languages are believed to be descendants of Ham, Noah's second son.