Few people can identify the language spoken in Egypt now if asked. The majority of the dialects spoken there are vernacular. The most widely spoken languages are those of the Arabian groups of people. Nonetheless, because this country is populated by numerous ethnicities, especially immigrants from Europe, there are a variety of other spoken languages.

The Egyptian language also serves as a live reminder that spoken languages can differ significantly from their written standard counterparts, with spoken languages better representing regional variations and the written standard functioning as a type of unifying lingua franca.

The history

Ancient Egypt has a lengthy and illustrious history that dates back to around 3400 BC. This is one of the world’s earliest spoken languages. The ancient Egyptians were known for their hieroglyphs, which were basic drawings that depicted life events. They even recorded history, produced literature, and wrote medical manuals. Pharaohs spoke it, and old Egyptian sacred texts were written in it.

Egyptian today

Modern Standard Arabic is Egypt’s official language, also known as MSA for short, and it is used in most written documents and schools. Modern Standard Arabic, on the other hand, primarily refers to the literary form of Arabic, which is essentially a macrolanguage made up of many vernacular dialects. It is therefore important to note that Modern Standard Arabic is the language of literature, the media, education, and even official settings, but it is not the language of ordinary conversation.

It is derived from Classical (medieval) Arabic, and its grammar and spelling have largely remained unchanged since the 7th century. However, due to English and French influence, several aspects of its style and wording have changed through time.

Other dialects

Each nation has its own “Arabic dialect” or “Amiya” for everyday speaking. The distinctions are based on sound rather than vocabulary or grammar.

Egyptian Arabic (a spoken variation of the macrolanguage) is Egypt’s most widely spoken language and is regarded as the country’s de facto national language. It combines Arabic, Coptic, Turkish, Ottoman, French, and Italian elements in its modern form.

Other widely spoken Arabic dialects include Sa’idi Arabic (spoken mostly by rural communities near the Sudanese border), Sudanese Arabic (spoken primarily by Sudanese immigrants), North Levantine, Ta’izzi-Adeni, Algerian, Gulf, and Moroccan, among others.

Furthermore, educated Egyptians are more likely to speak English or French as a second language. Egypt has a population of about 3 million French speakers. Adyghe, Amharic, Greek, Armenian, and Italian are among the immigrant languages spoken in Egypt.


So, if you are in the middle of planning a trip to Egypt, or are interested in the language and culture, or are studying their history, you could use reliable language translation services. We are here to help!