Language Egypt, High Arabic and Egyptian Arabic

Today, depending on the occasion, two different variants of Arabic are spoken in Egypt. While High Arabic is of course spoken in the mosque and on official occasions, Egyptian Arabic is the colloquial language for everyday life.

Language in the media

Both languages ​​are also used on television, the news is broadcast in standard Arabic, while most entertainment programs speak Egyptian-Arabic. Since most Arab cinema films were shot in Egypt and also shown in other Arabic-speaking countries without further processing, Egyptian Arabic in the form of the Cairo city dialect has developed into the second Koine language within the Arab world. Arabic is written with its own script from right to left.

Arabic was introduced to Egypt between the tenth and thirteenth centuries and had finally replaced Coptic Egyptian in the middle of the seventeenth century.


In southern Egypt, Nubian is still spoken as a colloquial language. Nubian is one of the Nilosaharanic languages ​​and is also written in Arabic today. However, this is a secondary phenomenon, the original spelling of this language was in Coptic script. The oldest language level of Nubian that has been handed down to us dates from the Middle Ages.

The ancient Egyptian language

The ancient Egyptian language is primarily known through inscriptions, which are to a large extent inside burial grounds. Egyptian is a language within the Afro-Asian language family and is most closely related to Arabic and Hebrew. The hieroglyphs used in writing were only partly a picture script, but combined characters for common terms with syllables and characters for individual sounds; characters also existed for the Presentation of grammatical relationships. An italic font was developed for faster writing, which only gave an idea of ​​the original image.

Ancient Egyptian was gradually replaced by demotic tables with their own script, this language level prevailing at different times in the different Egyptian regions. From the third to the seventeenth century AD, Coptic was the central Egyptian dialect. In the Coptic Christian church the Coptic language is still used today. The Coptic Alfabet is similar to the Greek, while the vocabulary is a continuous development of the ancient Egyptian language.

The tourist

In today’s Egypt, tourists can usually communicate in English in the tourist centers. Especially for bargaining on the But some basic knowledge of the Arabic language is useful at the bazaar.


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