CAIRO: Learning Arabic is not the easiest task, and although it will allow you to be able to read newspapers and novels, you will probably need to learn spoken Egyptian or Ammeya to be able to speak to people on a daily basis.
In a lecture held at the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, under the title of The main differences between the Egyptian language and the Arabic language, Bayumi Qandil, a linguistic specialist and a translator, expressed his argument that spoken Egyptian, which the Egyptian people use in their everyday lives, is independent from the Arabic language.
Qandiel was a teacher, then joined a project with the Ministry of Culture that involved translating books. He has also written two books, one about translation, called Translation is art. The other book is called Culture in the present time in Egypt.
His book Culture in the present time in Egypt deals specifically with these issues. He wrote part of his book in Arabic language and another section in the Egyptian, which he calls Logha Masreya Haditha, or LMH (Modern Egyptian Language).
Qandil blames what he calls the bogus education, which is attempting to convince Egyptians that they re first language is Arabic. If you have to learn it, then it s a foreign language, says Qandi.
Through the course of his studying the Coptic language, he says he found out that today s spoken Egyptian has roots in Coptic language; for example, putting the question word at the end of the question, while in Arabic the question word is placed in the beginning of the sentence. And despite the government education he says, Egyptians still pluralize masculine and feminine words in the same way, not using the feminine form in pluralizing.
In his book, Qandil says that although spoken Egyptian consists of Arabic words, the language is not just words. It is also the structure of those words in the sentences.
The Coptic language in my opinion is the third stage in the Egyptian language, and we re now witnessing the fourth stage of the evolution of the language.
Coptic, Qandil explains, has nothing to do with being a Christian. The word Coptic in Egypt is used to describe Christians. While, he says, Coptic means Egyptian, regardless of one s religion.
The Coptic language, he says, is derived from the Demotican language which is derived from the Hieroglyphic language. We re all Copts. Copt is the name which the Egyptians chose for themselves, when Egypt was the superpower. But when Egypt s status deteriorated, it accepted the name which the Asians chose for it, Misr.
Qandil says that Egypt is still targeted by some who are trying to enforce the Arabic language on Egyptians. Those who want to impose Arabic language on Egyptians are trying really hard, but they re just unable to, says Qamdil.
Some of the attendees were delighted by the lecture and were attempting to find ways to revive the Egyptian language by saying “Hello in Egyptian for the time being.
Others disagree with the speaker, saying that the Coptic language was influenced by the Greek language, and therefore was not purely Egyptian. Qandil answers by saying that there are no pure languages anywhere, that each language influenced and was influenced by other neighboring languages.
Some of the attendees linked the Arabic language to Islam, and the language of the Quran.
Qandil says that saying that Iranians are Muslims, but they are still holding on to their Iranian language and identity.