A concept of inception of the Berber languages traces the north African tongue to about 200 AD. This is in spite of the fact that the proto-Berber language go as far back as 5,000 years ago.
The Berber languages are of Afroasiatic stock, sharing similarities with Hebrew and Arabic. Today the languages referred to as Berber are spoken in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania and Morocco by more than 30 million people.
Although pervasive in the aforementioned countries, the Berber languages are regarded as official state languages in only Morocco and Algeria.