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Learning Egyptian Arabic

The native language of Egypt is Arabic, but of course of a different flavor. Having been said that the Arabic language is the sixth most followed language in the world, Egyptian Arabic is followed by some 50 million people all around the world, but most of them are natives of Egypt itself.

One need not speak fluent Egyptian Arabic in order to tour Egypt. However some words and phrases can help in your way. Egyptians are courteous to people who make an effort to speak their language and surely be very amicable to such visitors.

Arabic language was firstly used by nomads and tribes of the Northern and Central Arabian Peninsula. It was in the seventh and eighth century during Muslims conquests in the Middle Eastern countries when Arabic spread into regions where it is spoken currently.

Egyptian Arabic is a subclass of Eastern Arabic dialect, which is also largely followed in the North African regions like in Sudan and Middle Eastern countries like Iraq and Syria. Other than Egyptian Arabic, Eastern Arabic consists of Levantine Arabic, spoken in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Palestine.

Americans and Europeans will find it difficult to understand the language as it is completely different from the English anguage pattern. Arabic has 28 consonants and 3 vowels. In Egyptian Arabic you can create three letter words just using consonant to convey your message. These consonants are known as roots. Patterns of vowels are then added to or in between the roots following basic protocols to generate various nominal and verbal stems. Egyptian Arabic tends to use consonants very less but they use vowels in a very complicated pattern of syllable structure.

This is why some of the words and sounds are very typical and non natives have a hard time pronouncing them the way they should. Arabic sentences are written from right to left and the normal sentence has a structure that starts with a verb followed by the subject and concluded by the object. Irregular verbs are seldom used in the present tense in Egyptian Arabic, or any dialect of Arabic for that matter. For example ‘is’ and ‘are’ are not used in sentences having present tense. ‘History repeating itself’ will mean ‘History is repeating itself’. Verbs have two branches, perfect and imperfect. Person, number, mood, and aspect are usually notated by suffixes or prefixes.

 

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