- Languages of Egypt
There are a number of languages spoken in
Egypt, but Egyptian Arabic(Maunicode|ṣri) is by far the most widely spoken in the country. Coptic, the last stage of the indigenous Egyptian language, is used by the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The official language of Egypt is
Standard Arabicand is used in most written media. Egyptian Arabicis the national and spoken language, and is occasionally written. English and French are also widely spoken and used in business and educated circles.
Egyptian languages(also known as Copto-Egyptian) consist of ancient Egyptian and Coptic, and form a separate branch among the family of Afro-Asiatic languages. The Egyptian language is among the first written languages, and is known from hieroglyphic inscriptions preserved on monuments and sheets of papyrus. The Coptic language, the only extant descendant of Egyptian, is today the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The "Koiné" dialect of the
Greek languagewas important in Hellenistic Alexandria, and was used in the philosophyand scienceof that culture, and was also studied by later Arabicscholars.
Arabic came to
Egyptin the seventh century, and Egyptian Arabichas become the modern spoken language of the Egyptians. Of the many varieties of Arabic, Egyptian Arabic is the most widely understood first dialect in the Middle East-North Africa, probably due to the influence of Egyptian cinema throughout the Arabic-speaking world.
A Bedouin Arab minority speaks a variety of
Bedouin Arabicmostly in the Sinai Peninsula. Sudanese Arabicis also spoken by a number of Sudanese refugees.
Berber languagesare represented by Siwi, spoken by about 5,000 in the Siwa Oasis.
In the Upper Nile Valley, around
Kom Omboand Aswan, there are about 300,000 speakers of Nubian languages, mainly Nobiin, but also Kenuzi-Dongola.
Approximately 77,000 speakers of Beja live in the Eastern Desert and along the coast of the
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=EG "Ethnologue" page on "Languages of Egypt"]
* [http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Egypt PanAfriL10n page on Egypt]
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