Chad hosts a myriad of different languages
- over 120 according to the CIA Factbook
. The most commonly spoken language in Chad is Arabic, which shares the status of official language with French.
The languages of Chad give insight into the history of the nation, with French
colonization (and great influence persisting to this day) resulting in a more elite class of French speakers, and Arab arrivals as far back as the fourteenth century resulting in Arabic dominance. Many people in Chad speak their native language in addition to Arabic, and it is often used for trade. There are different dialects of Arabic within Chad, but they have never been thoroughly documented.
For a thorough introduction to the Chadian dialect, we recommend Samir Abu Absi's works on "Chadian Arabic." We at Chad NOW believe Abu Absi to be the best-written source for studying the spoken Arabic of Chad. If you are serious about learning Chadian Arabic, you probably need to learn formal (modern standard) Arabic first. We would recommend in-depth academic courses in the language.