What languages ​​are spoken in Egypt?

If you have ever thought about traveling to the country of the pyramids, you are interested in knowing what languages ​​are spoken in Egypt. As it happens anywhere in the world, you can defend yourself with the English or French, but, if you know the native languages, much better to understand you there.

The colonial influence in the area of ​​both English and French has made their respective languages ​​have a lot of diffusion in Egypt. We remind you that Napoleon He conquered it at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, although Gallic domination only lasted a few years. But the British one was more prolonged under various modalities such as the protectorateIt began at the end of the 1936th century and lasted until XNUMX. However, previously the land of the pharaohs had lived more than three thousand years of history and in it we find the answer to what languages ​​are spoken in Egypt today.

The Arab

The Arabic language entered Egypt around the seventh century AD. Until then, in those lands the Coptic, which in turn had been derived from the ancient languages ​​of the time of the pharaohs. But, as with all languages, Arabic has a large number of dialect varieties and even regulations. And, in addition, it has evolved a lot since it arrived in the country of the pyramids. In the case of this, we fundamentally differentiate three modalities.

Masri, the first answer to what languages ​​are spoken in Egypt

Derived from the early Arabic that entered Egypt, the masri or egyptian arabic combines that with Coptic influence. It was developed in the nile delta and in the area where you are today El Cairo.

Its grammar is a simplification of that of the classical arabic. Thus, certain dual forms of nouns and verbs have been replaced by their respective plurals. Maybe we should clarify that the dual it is, in short, a way of expressing plurality. In order not to extend too much, we will give you an example. Instead of saying two cars, this dual noun is used in the singular accompanied by a specific and different ending from the plural. Likewise, the so-called union vowels disappear.

View of Cairo

El Cairo

Regarding phonology, Egyptian Arabic or Masri has five vowels that are pronounced differently from classical ones. But, in short, all these are linguistic technicalities that are irrelevant. It will be more interesting to know that Egyptian Arabic is the official language of the country and also the one spoken by the vast majority of its inhabitants. Even due to the influence of television series produced in Egypt, which are very successful in the eastern Arab world, the Masri language is understood in practically all the countries around him.

Saidi Arabic

This variant of classical Arabic is spoken by most Egyptians from the southern rural areas. It encompasses an area that goes from Cairo almost to the border with Sudan. Outside of these areas, it is barely accepted except by emigrants from the areas where it is said that they have settled in the north of the country.

The arab bedawi

Even more minority is this variant of the Arabic language as it is only spoken by some three hundred thousand Egyptians. Specifically, it is a Bedouin minority that lives mainly in the Sinai peninsula. However, as a typical language of this nomadic people, it is also spoken in areas of Jordan, Syria, Gaza Strip and even Israel.

Nubian languages

In upper nile valley there is another minority of also about three hundred thousand inhabitants who preserve Nubian languages. Among the range of them, the two that are preserved in that area are the noblin and kenzi-dongolawi. It would not be surprising that their settlement in the Upper Nile was due to the Nubian slaves who served in the imperial age of Ancient Egypt.

The Temple of Gerf Hussein in Nubia

Gerf Hussein Temple in Ancient Nubia

The beya

This language has a different origin that is spoken in the red sea coast and in the Eastern Desert because he was born in this same territory. Today it is the means of communication for almost eighty thousand Egyptians.

Domarí, the most curious of the languages ​​spoken in Egypt

When answering what languages ​​are spoken in Egypt, we also have to mention this authentic linguistic curiosity. It is a variant of Romany used by the gypsy people and preserved in the areas of Luxor y El Cairo. It is spoken by about three hundred thousand people, all of them belonging to the ethnic group Dom, which precisely comes from India. As you may have guessed, the domarí has ​​its origin in the Sanskrit.

French and English

As we told you, a good part of the illustrated Egyptian population has knowledge of English and French. And this mainly for two reasons. The first is that is studied in educational centers. And the second has to do with him tourism. Many Egyptians who live on it understand each other in these languages ​​with visitors to the country.

Other languages ​​spoken in Egypt

We have told you about the main languages ​​spoken in Egypt, both the majority and those spoken by a minority. However, in the country of the pyramids there are other languages ​​that are even more minority. It is the case of Greek, which speak about sixty thousand inhabitants of Alexandria. It is precisely in this city that there is also a minority of Italian speakers, as in El Cairo. Finally, in the capital of Egypt there is also a group of inhabitants who use the armenio for communicating.

View of alexandria

Alexandria

Finally, as a curiosity but that you are interested in knowing if you are going to travel to Egypt, we will give you some information. Among the more than four thousand tour guides that are registered in Egypt, there are about three hundred and fifty They not only speak Castilian, but are Spanish-speaking. That is to say, from countries that speak our language.

In conclusion, if you wanted to know what languages ​​are spoken in Egypt, we have clarified which are the most important. However, it is not an issue that you should worry about if you plan to visit the land of the pharaohs. One of their great income is tourism and, consequently, the Egyptians they defend themselves perfectly in many languages including, as we said, the Spanish.


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