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What language is spoken in Egypt

What language is spoken in Egypt – What You Need to Know

How often do people ask you what language is spoken in Egypt? This is one of the most common things people want to know when they come to our great country.

In this article, we’ll talk about What language is spoken in Egypt? and give you some words you might need when you go there.

Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of Egypt, and it is used in most written documents, in schools, on TV, in official government speeches, in newspapers, and so on.

Standard Arabic is the only common language spoken in Egypt. It is also understood by all Arab countries (except Mauritania, Chad, and Western Sahara), so it can be helpful to learn a few words if you travel outside of Egypt.

Egypt is one of the places in the world where Arabic is spoken. But Egypt has more than one language; you’ll likely hear many of them as you travel.

What language is spoken in Egypt?

Language and Hieroglyphic Writing

It was the language of ancient Egypt. It is no longer spoken, but its different ways of writing, like pictures and animals, are well known.

As the second official language of Egypt, English is spoken by many people there. And in Egypt, many universities teach languages from other countries, so many people speak Spanish and other languages.

Egyptian Arabic

Arabic is the primary language. Egyptian Arabic is the country’s language, and many people speak it. About 68% of the people in Egypt speak Arabic as their first language.

It’s used extensively in books, plays, novels, movies, ads, and the news. Egyptian Arabic came from the area around the Nile Delta in Egypt. In the seventh century, Arabs who invaded Egypt spread Arabic dialects.

The Coptic, Italian, French, Ottoman, and Turkish cultures also influenced it. Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia speak English. Because of movies and other media, this language is more common in other countries.

What language is spoken in Egypt

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in Egypt

Modern Standard Arabic is being written and updated. MSA is used to write books, magazines, and legal documents in North Africa and the Middle East, and MSA from Egypt is known worldwide.

Saidi Arabic in Egypt

Upper Egypt has the area of Saidi Arabia. This language is spoken by people south of Cairo and on the border with Sudan. This language is a mix of words from Upper and Middle Egyptian Arabic and Arabic from Egypt and Sudan.

It can be challenging for Egyptians to understand Saidi Arabic at times. This country’s language is imperfect, but many people speak it in the north. These people from the countryside know a little bit of Egyptian Arabic.

The Arab Bedouins in Egypt

Bedouin Arabic is another name for the language. It comes from eastern Egypt and is spoken by Bedouins. Arab Bedouins are semi-nomadic and live in the deserts of Syria and Arabia. Bedouins speak Bedouin Arabic in Cairo, Sinai, and east Egypt.

Israelis, Palestinians, Saudis, Jordanians, Syrians, and people from Gaza also speak it. Bedouin Arabia comprises the south of the Levant, the eastern part of Egypt, and the north of the Levant.

The Nubian language in Egypt

The Nubian name for the area in the north is Mahas. Nilo-Saharan dialect People who left the Nile Valley were the first to speak Nubian. Multilingual Nubians Standard Arabic, Sundanese Arabic, and Egyptian Saidia Arabic.

Nubian vowels and consonants are different lengths, and the language has an accent. Latin and Arabic are used to write it. The government kept the Nubian texts.

Egypt’s Siwi language

Siwi is also called Zenati, Siwa, and the Berber Oasis. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people live there, and people live in Siwa and Ghara, two oasis towns in Libya. Egyptian Arabic influences this language, and Siwi is dying out.

French and German in Egypt.

Egyptians who have gone to school and are over 40 speak French. Before English took over as the primary language of education in Egypt, French was used. More young people are learning French because more of them are taking lessons.

A lot is also learning German from people. Egyptian schools teach German, and they use German lesson plans and teach in German. Tourists from Italy, Russia, and Spain speak in Egypt.

People think the Egyptians knew how to read hieroglyphs, which looked like a pharaoh and could only be spoken and understood by Egyptologists and archaeologists.

What language is spoken in Egypt

Egypt’s Italian language

The number of Italians in Egypt went up after the monarchy fell. In 1882, there were 18,665 Italians living in Egypt, and this was the second-largest group of Italians living outside of Italy.

People who speak Italian live in Alexandria and Cairo. They own businesses, make art, and work. So, many Italian words made their way into the Egyptian language.

English in Egypt.

Egypt was run by the British until 1952. So, they teach the people in the area, and people learn English at school. You might not have trouble communicating if you speak English and go to Egypt.

English and French are taught in schools, and students from different backgrounds can talk to each other differently. The main points are clear.

How did Arabic get to Egypt?

Before the Arabs came, people spoke Greek, Demotic, and Coptic, but Greek was the official language.

Then, when Arab Muslims moved to Egypt in the 7th century AD, the Arabs came.

Useful words and phrases in Egyptian Arabic:

This is what is called Modern Standard Arabic. This differs from Egyptian Colloquial Arabic, a form of the standard language used on the street. Still, no one should have trouble understanding you if you speak slowly and clearly.

Converting Arabic script to the Roman alphabet is complicated, and you will often see spellings that don’t match up in Egypt. Here is a simple transcription of how the words sound; the characters in bold show which ones should be emphasized.

In an Emergency

  • Help! → an-najdah!
  • Stop! → qeff!
  • I want to go to a doctor →  oreed al zehab lel tabeeb
  • I want to go to a pharmacist →  oreed al zehab lel saydaliya
  • Where is the nearest telephone?  →  ayn yoogad aqrab telifoon?
  • Where is the hospital? →  ayn toogad al mostashfa?

Communication Essentials

  • Yes/No →  naam/laa
  • Thank you → shokran
  • You’re welcome → tasharafna
  • Please → (asking for min fadlak something)
  • Please → (offering) tafadal
  • Good morning → sabaah al-khayr
  • Good afternoon → as-salaam alaykum
  • Good evening → masa’ al-khayr
  • Goodbye → maa as-salaamah
  • Excuse me, please → min fadlak, law samaht
  • today → al-yawm
  • yesterday → al-ams
  • tomorrow → ghadan
  • this morning → haza as-sabaah
  • this afternoon → al-yawm baad az-zohr
  • this evening → haza al-masa’
  • here → hona
  • there → honaak
  • what? → maza?
  • when? → mata?
  • where? → ayn?

Useful Words and Phrases

  • I don’t understand → la afham
  • Do you speak → hal tatakalam
  • English/French? engleezee/faransee?
  • I don’t know → la aaref
  • Please speak more slowly → men fadlak tahadath bebote’
  • My name is… → esmee…
  • How do you do, kayf haalak,
  • pleased to meet you → tasharafna bemearefatak
  • How are you? → kayf haalak?
  • Sorry! → aasef
  • God (Allah) willing → enshaallah
  • Can you help me, please? min fadlak, momken tosaaednee?
  • Can you tell me…? → men fadlak qol lee?
  • I would like…. → oreed…
  • Is there…here? → yugad…hona?
  • Where can I get…? → ayn ajed…?
  • How much is it? kam thaman haza (m) hazeehee (f)
  • What time is it? → as-saah kam
  • I must go now → labod an azhab al-a’n
  • Do you take credit cards? hal taqbal Visa
  • Where is the toilet? → ayn ajed al-hamam?
  • Go away! (for children only) emshee!
  • Excellent! → momtaaz!
  • left → yasaar
  • right → yameen
  • up fawq
  • down → asfal


  • driver’s licence → rokhsat qiyaadah
  • I’ve lost my way → ana dalayt at-tareeq
  • I want to go to… → oreed al zehab le…
  • garage (for repairs) → garaaj meekaaneekee
  • petrol/gas → banzeen
  • petrol/gas station → mahattat banzeen
  • A ticket to…please law samaht,tazkarat zehaab le…
  • airport → mataar
  • ticket → tazkarah
  • passport → jawaaz safar
  • visa → veeza
  • airport shuttle → baas al-mataar
  • When do we arrive in…?→ mata nasel ela…?
  • What station is this? → hazehe ay mahattah?
  • train → qetaar
  • sleeping car → arabat nawm
  • bus → otobees
  • bus station → mahatet el-otobees
  • boat → markeb
  • cruise → jawlah bahareeyah
  • ferry → abaarah
  • taxi → taaksee

Staying in a Hotel

  • Have you got any vacancies? → hal yoogad ghoraf khaaleeyah?
  • I have a reservation → andee hajz
  • I’d like a room with → oreed ghorfah bea
  • bathroom → hammam
  • hotel → fondoq
  • air-conditioning → takyeef
  • double room → ghorfa mozdawajah
  • single room → ghorfa be-sareer waahed
  • shower → dosh
  • toilet towaaleet
  • toilet paper → waraq towaleet
  • key → meftaah
  • lift/elevator → mesad
  • breakfast → fooor
  • restaurant → matam
  • Bill faatoorah


  • I’d like… → oreed…
  • Do you have…? → hal andak…?
  • How much is this? → be-kam haza?
  • I’ll give you… → ha aateek…
  • Where do I pay? → ayn adfaa?
  • to buy → yashtaree
  • to go shopping → yatasawwaq


  • mosque → jaamea
  • street, road → shaarea
  • house → bayt
  • square → midan
  • beach → shaatee’
  • museum → mathaf
  • church → kaneesah
  • castle palace → qasr
About the author

Egypt Planners Team is a highly experienced travel agency specializing in memorable trips to Egypt. The team comprises expert travel planners and tour guides with a deep knowledge of Egypt's history, culture, and top tourist destinations.