Egyptian Arabic and writing

Kim--6

Hello! I have been working on this program becuase I am studying Egyptian literature and want to understand the language. Is this program teaching standard Arabic or Egyptian Arabic? What does it mean that there is no written form of Egyptian Arabic: Can you explain? Thank you in advance! Kim

Amira-Zaki

Hi Kim, This course teaches the Egyptian dialect so it is a bit hard to find standard spelling since it is quite colloquial - I believe that's what meant by "no written form". Did you see this somewhere on our website? Of course, you do use the normal Arabic letters to spell words but sometimes the words are specific to Egypt, like "izzayyik" (how are you) or "kuwayyis" (well/fine) so you often can't find these in a standard Arabic dictionary. I hope that answers your questions, please let me know if it isn't clear!

Kim--6

Thank you, Amira, I am happy to hear that what I am learning is Egyptian Arabic. It is very interesting to learn that you will use the same letters even though the sounds are quite different. I suppose that is the same with any dialect. As a teacher of elementary linguistics, it is also very interesting to me to see that the transliterations change frequently. For example, on the site that brought me to you, the phrase hello was transliterated as Ahlan wa Sahlam, yet Rocket always presents it as shalan. Does it matter which is said? Best, Kim

Amira-Zaki

Hi Kim, Do you mean "sahlan"? We use "ahlan wa sahlan" throughout the course but perhaps there was a typo on the website you visited..? Was it a Rocket Languages site?

Kim--6

Yes, I did mean sahlan. There are times, however, when it is presented on the site as sahlam. (I am using the Rocket Languages website exclusively.) In fact, I see a number of differences in the transliterative spelling of words throughout the site. I guess they are typos. For a beginner, it is confusing, though, because some small differences in spelling indicate tense, speaker, gender, etc.

Amira-Zaki

Hi Kim, Sorry for the late reply - if you do find anything you believe is a mistake, please don't hesitate to email us so we can make corrections. Much appreciated! I hope your Arabic study is going well :)

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