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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. Human rights
11. History
12. Cities and Towns
13. Meaning of the name

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Languages
Open map of EgyptFlag of EgyptEgypt /

Figures in 1000.
Semitic 82,200 99.0%
82,200 99.0%
Egyptian (Cairo)
54,500 66.0%
26,200 32.0%
Levantine Bedouin
1,100 1.3%
Western Bedouin
400 0.5%
Nilo-Saharan 440 0.5%
440 0.5%
290 0.4%
150 0.2%
Indo-Aryan 290 0.4%
250 0.4%
Afro-Asiatic 130 0.2%
106 0.1%
24 <0.1%
20 <0.1%
Indo-European 85 0.1%
45 0.1%
40 <0.1%

In the highly populated parts of Egypt, Arabic is completely dominant. There are exceptions, mainly in the deep south and southeast, where languages more common to Sudan are spoken.
English is a major foreign language of Egypt, important in both higher education and international business.

There are at least 4 dialects of Arabic that can be considered native to Egypt. The largest dialect is that which is simply known as Egyptian. It is often referred to as the Cairo dialect, this being the best known variant across the Arab world, thanks to the many films and TV-series that use it.
Saidi Arabic begins south of Cairo, and continues almost all the way down the Nile to Sudan. In the south, language variations opens up, which Nubian and Sudanese Arabic.
The two types of Bedouin Arabic relate to either the Sinai, where Levantine Bedouin is spoken, and the Western Desert where Western Bedouin dominates.

Most Nubians in the south have now been Arabized in language and culture, and consider themselves mainly as Arabs, even if they racially are not. A large minority of them still, however, speak the Nubian language, either Nobiin or Kenuzi-Dongola.
Nubian is manily spoken in segregated communities in Aswan and around Kom Ombo.

Domari in Egypt is spoken by a minority of the Doms. This is in contrast to other MENA countries, where Doms largely preserve their language. In this, it may be an indication of better assimilation compared to the neighbouring countries.
Domari remains a living language in the Dakhalia Governorate in the Nile Delta, and in Luxor.

East of the Nile, and along the Red Sea coast, the Beja people uphold their language which also is called Beja. There is also a Beja speaking community in the Kharga oasis, to the west of the Nile, people relocated with the rising waters of the Aswan High Dam. The Beja regions continues well into Sudan, where it is a major language.

The Berbers living in the west (Siwa oasis, the oases west of the Nile and along the coast west of Alexandria), primarily speak Arabic, but Berber language is still strong in Siwa.

Other languages
Greek remains a living language in Alexandria and Cairo, among Egyptians with Greek origin. Armenians have immigrated to Egypt from the Ottoman Empire following largely the Armenian Genocide and form a strong community in Cairo.

By Tore Kjeilen