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Egyptian Arabic

Arabic is the official language of Egypt but it is a unique Egyptian dialect and therefore is referred to as Egyptian Arabic. As the language of the Qur'an, Arabic is widely understood n the Muslim world. Egyptian Arabic is spoken by about 50 million people residing in Egypt. For tourists who wish to interact with the locals and escape the boundaries of the tour group, it is very helpful to understand some commonly used words and phrases. Some background information on the dialect is also very helpful. 

 

The Arabic Alphabet

 

 

Overview Of Arabic

 

Arabic was the original language used by the nomadic tribes that lived in the central and northern regions of the Arabian Peninsula. During the Muslim conquest the language spread to the different areas where it is now widely spoken. The written forms include Arabic of the pre-Classical period which can be seen in inscriptions of central and northwestern Arabia, with Classical Arabic itself appearing in inscriptions dating from at least the fourth century. Pre-Islamic poetry, the Qur'an from the first half of the seventh century, and the language of contemporary Bedouin seem to be the foundation for the codification of the language during the eighth and ninth centuries.

 

Arabic is a Semitic language used by the Arabs-Canaanite group and belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family of languages spoken widely in Africa. The language has many branches like Berber, Chadic, Cushitic and Ancient Egyptian, whose modern version is Coptic, which has been preserved as a literary language. 

 

Egyptian Arabic

 

The daily usage of this language varies a lot in Egyptian society and differs from the colloquial speech of the uneducated, to a diversity of more sophisticated forms used by those who are educated, and on to the highly classical and formalized versions used among religious scholars and language experts. The use and importance of Classical Arabic is restricted to the religious context especially for use in the daily recitation of the Qur'an.

 

Learning Arabic For Foreigners

 

Learning Egyptian Arabic is not an easy thing and can turn very daunting for Westerners as there are some confusing irregularities seen in the grammar as well. Overall the alphabets used in Arabic are 28 in number which includes all consonants and three vowels which can be long or short. The colloquial dialects in Arabic use a lesser number of consonants but are more complex where the vowel part is considered and even in the syllable structure. Europeans and Americans are usually confused by the concept of the Arabic root and pattern system. Some of the sounds which are found to be unique to Arabic are also difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce correctly.

 

Some Useful Arabic Words

 

EnglishArabic
Hello / HiSalaam Alekom
WelcomeAhlan
YesAiwa
NOlaa
Pleaselaw samaht
Perfectmia mia
How muchBecame
WhoMeen
WhereFeen
I wantAna Ayez
Reallyya salam
Go awayAmshi
WaterMaya
I don't wantMoshayes
No thank youLaa shoukrn
Yes thank youAiwa shoukran
TeaShai
CoffeeKahwa
Thanks godElhamadollah
LeftShemal
RightYemin
Enoughkhalass

 

Common Arabic Words And Expressions

 

Milk = laban
Beer = biera
Sugar = sokkar
Key = moftah
Pillow = makhadda
Soap = saboon
Restroom = hammam
Bed = sireer
Door = bab
Left = sheemai
Right = yameen
Straight ahead = aala tool
Here = hena
There = henak
There is/are … = fee
Is/are there?= fee … ?
what's your name? = ismak/ismik he ? (m/f) 
I am / My name is… = ismi…
where is the hotel ? = fayn al fondok ?
where is the boat ? = fayn al markib ?
where is the airport? = fayn al matter ?
how much ? = bekam ?
how many ? = kam ?
why ? = lay ?
when ? = imta?
How? = izzay?
how are you? = izzaiyak/izzaiyik? (m/f) 
how do you do? aamil/aamla ay? (m/f)
I (me) = ana
You = inta/inti (m/f) 
You (plural) = intom
He = howa
She = heya
We = ehna
They = homma


Arabic Numbers

0

Sifr

٠

6

Sitta

٦

30

Talateen

٣٠

1

Wahed

١

7

Sabbah

٧

40

Arbaein

٤٠

2

Ittnen

٢

8

Tamaniya

٨

50

Khamseen

٥٠

3

Talata

٣

9

Tissa

٩

60

Setteen

٦٠

4

aRbah

٤

10

Ashara

١٠

70

Sabein

٧٠

5

khamsa

٥

20

aishreen

٢٠

80

tamanein

٨٠

 

Egypt is an ideal place to learn Arabic and precisely Egyptian Arabic. In Egypt there are also many courses are available for short or longer-term that will teach Arabic in a professional and effective way!

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