Egyptian Arabic

Egyptian Arabic is the language spoken by contemporary Egyptians. It is more commonly known locally as the Egyptian colloquial language or Egyptian dialect. Look below for local namings.

Egyptian Arabic is a variety of the Arabic languages of the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. It originated in the Nile Delta in Lower Egypt around the capital Cairo. Descended from the spoken Arabic brought to Egypt during the seventh-century AD Muslim conquest, its development was influenced by the indigenous Coptic of pre-Islamic Egypt, and later by other languages such as Turkish/Ottoman Turkish, Italian, French and English. The 80 million Egyptians speak a continuum of dialects, among which Cairene is the most prominent. It is also understood across most of the Arab World due to the predominance of Egyptian media, making it the most widely spoken and one of the most widely studied varieties of Arabic.

While it is essentially a spoken language, it is encountered in written form in novels, plays, poems (vernacular literature), as well as in comics, advertising, some newspapers, and transcriptions of popular songs. In most other written media and in television news reporting, Literary Arabic is used. Literary Arabic is a standardized language based on the language of the Quran, i.e. Classical Arabic. The Egyptian vernacular is almost universally written in the Arabic alphabet for local consumption, although it is commonly transcribed into Latin letters or in the International Phonetic Alphabet in linguistics text and textbooks aimed at teaching non-native learners. Also, it is written in ASCII Latin alphabet mainly online and in SMSs.

Read more about Egyptian Arabic:  Namings, Geographic Distribution, History, Official Status, Spoken Varieties in Egypt, Phonology, Syntax, Coptic Substratum, Sociolinguistic Features, Regional Variation, Studying Egyptian Arabic, Text Example, Characteristic Words and Sentences in Egyptian Arabic

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