When it comes to learning Egyptian Arabic, the alphabet is written in adjab. So, it can be more difficult for English speakers to learn than languages that use the Latin alphabet. Thankfully, the pronunciation is easy to break down into English. To start your journey, look at how common Egyptian Arabic words and phrases translate into English, like “yes” and “thank you.” Then, learn where you can find an Egyptian Arabic translator.
Translating Egyptian Arabic words into English is no small feat. Since it’s always best to start small and work your way up, review a few common Egyptian Arabic phrases and their English translations here.
- Aywa - Yes
- La’a - No
- Shukran - Thank you
- Ana esifa - I’m sorry
- Ana mabtkalmsh araby - I don’t speak Arabic
- Ana msh fahem - I don’t understand
- Etkalem bebote’, nm fadlak - Please, speak slowly
- Ya’eni eh - What does it mean?
- Momken tsa’edny - Can you help me?
- Ezayak? - How are you?
- Marhaba - Welcome
- Ahlan - Hi
- Sabah el kher - Good morning
- A’amel eh - How are you doing?
- Yomak sa’aed - Have a nice day
- Masa’a el kher - Good evening
- Salam - Goodbye
- Rafad - Fire
- Mayyah - Water
- Reeh - Wind
- Sakan - House
- Nafar - Person
- ‘Utta - Cat
- BitaeA-i - Mine
- Faar - Mouse
- Kumbyootar - Computer
As you read through these Egyptian words in English, as with all other translations, remember that Arabic languages are not represented by the same letters as in English.
The words above are written how they would sound phonetically, but they will normally be written in abjad. Additionally, a phrase might be different depending on if you are speaking to a male, a female or a group of people.
In addition to learning a few simple phrases, you may look into online translators that can help you expand your Egyptian Arabic comprehension.
- My Languages includes phrases and vocabulary. It also shows you an Arabic alphabet conversion.
- Lisaan Masry is an online Egyptian Arabic translator that can translate individual words and phrases.
Using these tools can help you with basic Egyptian Arabic translation, getting you started with slowly learning the language. For more of a total immersion experience, you can try online or campus-based Arabic courses that connect you with Egyptian Arabic speakers.
The earliest records of the Egyptian language are dated to around 3400 B.C. Until approximately the 7th century A.D., the Egyptians referred to their language as the Coptic form. That began to die out with the Muslim conquest of Egypt. Egyptian Arabic, which is the modern language of Egypt, took over. Even so, you’ll still find some Coptic speakers living today.
The official language of Egypt is Standard Arabic; however, Egyptian Arabic (also known as the Masri dialect or Colloquial Egyptian) is spoken by 68% of the population.
In total, there are about 16 languages in the country. This includes several Arabic dialects, like Sa’idi, Sudanese and Bedawi. You’ll also encounter languages like Domari, Nobiin and Bedawi. Immigrants might also know French, English, Italian and Armenian, to name a few more.
Unlike English, which uses the Latin or Roman alphabet, Egyptian Arabic uses the 28-letter abjad. This means that translations are based on pronunciation when going from one language to another. Egyptian Arabic is also one dialect of several that are spoken in Egypt. Now that you know how to translate Egyptian Arabic, how about you give Irish or Scottish Gaelic a try?