The name

ilès: (ˈʔilɘs) noun, Berber for “tongue, language”
(compare with لسان ).

We are a team of translators working together in Tunis, Algiers, and Safi.
Since 2012, we translate mainly from English to Arabic and Arabic to English.

The Team

Our passion: Linguistics

Every Languages matters

That’s what we believe. Each language is a wealth of knowledge, filled with wisdom about the world around us. No language is quite the same in the way it describes and views the world. So each person’s mother tongue is a valuable treasure worth preserving.
And no matter how well someone speaks another language, his or her mother tongue will always have significantly more power to convey meaning, build relationships, and shape a community. That’s why we believe in language development: the analysis, documentation and promotion of minority languages in North Africa.

Language Development

Our goal is to support the development of these languages through:
  • Linguistic research: phonology and orthography, grammar, dictionary, etc.
  • Documentation of proverbs, music forms, poetry, and language data in general
  • Promotion: encouraging the verbal and written use of minority languages in all domains of life, including the home, school, work, the arts and education
ILES works with linguists and language development specialists to provide top-level service in each of these areas.


The following are some of the projects we’re currently working on:

  • Dictionary of Tunisian Arabic into English: We’re putting together a database for a Tunisian Arabic-English dictionary. (Finished, see
  • Description of the Mozabite Language (Tumzabt) in Algeria: A team is working on a description of the phonology and grammar of the Mozabite Language, with plans to produce a dictionary in the future.
  • Publication of a small booklet on Chaoui orthography with a team from the area (Algeria).
  • In preparation: Dictionary and website for a Berber language in Morocco.