Heading to the land of the Pharaohs? Want to know what language is spoken in Egypt? Well, the official Egyptian language is Arabic, or Modern Standard Arabic, to be specific. For everyday use, Arabic is also written in the Arabic alphabet, although, for language learners, some phrase books are written in the Latin alphabet, which is ours!
Most Egyptians now speak a dialect of Arabic and the main one is called Egyptian Arabic, or Masri. While this isn’t officially a language, it’s the most popular way of speaking in Egypt.
Although Arabic and its dialects is by far the most common language, Egypt does have speakers of other languages. For instance, in the Upper Nile Valley there are around 300,000 speakers of Nubian languages. While only a small percentage of the country’s population speak one of these old languages, it’s a fascinating part of Egypt’s complex history.
Bilingual Egypt – Arabic and English
For holidaymakers in Egypt, though, the most common languages you’ll come across are Arabic (and Egyptian Arabic) and English! Most street signs are written in both Arabic and English which makes it a whole lot easier to find your way around.
In popular tourist destinations, English is also widely spoken, especially by Egyptians working in the tourist industry like taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff. English also appears on all Egyptian currency, so it’s really easy to tell which note and coin are which.
You may also come across some French while holidaying in Egypt. French was historically taught and widely used in academia and many Egyptians still learn the language in schools today. While it’s not as popular as English, you might find a few street signs which are written in Arabic and French rather than Arabic and English. So if you want to know which language is spoken in Egypt, the answer is, lots of different ones!