Best Dictionary for Spoken Egyptian Arabic?

Browse through our English/Arabic dictionary and learn some useful words and phrases.
Need a translation? Ask here.

Moderators: DJKeefy, 4u Network

User avatar
Kt
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:17 pm

Best Dictionary for Spoken Egyptian Arabic?

Post by Kt » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:25 pm

Hello peoples!

I’ve been searching for some time now for a good dictionary which will swell my vocab for speaking Egyptian Arabic (and will lay that monster they call grammar!)

What I need is a dictionary with English – Spoken Egyptian Arabic, with transliteration. I really really need the phonetic transliteration beside the Arabic script, and none of these books seem to have it.

I need the dictionary to be for spoken Egyptian dialect. Not written Arabic or classical which appears a very different language.

So I really need your help please, as I’m hoping one of you lovely people will know which book/s are really good for finding the words missing in my vocab when I need them.

EDIT: By the way I love and am grateful for the dictionary in this forum. It's been amazingly helpful! But I'm a greedy girl, wa ana mihtaaga aktar aktar aktar kilmaat!

Thank you!

Peace, Kt xxx



User avatar
DJKeefy
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 10783
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: UK
Has thanked: 819 times
Been thanked: 1816 times
Gender:
Egypt

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:57 pm

I would forget a dictionary, ive seen many books and tried some myself, and though most words in the dictionary are ok, lots seem wrong. also talk in Luxor is slightly or completely different to the talk in Cairo, I think a teacher here or just listen to your Egyptian friends and learn from them when your in Luxor, that's how i have learned over the years.
Image

User avatar
Kevininabydos
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 431
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:13 pm
Location: Kernow near England.
Has thanked: 42 times
Been thanked: 126 times
Gender:
Palestine

Post by Kevininabydos » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:44 pm

If you feel the need for a dictionary and I find them great to reference, then try to find one by Elias A. Elias & Edward Elias. They are published by

Elias Modern Publishing,
1 Keniset el Rum el Kathulik Street,
Zaher.
Cairo.

They do a range of English/Arabic dictionaries from the small Manual for self study to the large Oxford/Collins style dictionaries. I can honestly say they are excellent. [I have the manual for self study and want to get the big puppy next time I go to Cairo!] They should be available on line from some where like Amazon or some other on line service.

As Keefy points out dictionaries tend to be Cairo Arabic but it is not difficult to understand the Luxorian dialect after a day or two so don't let that put you off a dictionary.

Good luck with your studies.
“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

Marcus Aurelius

User avatar
DJKeefy
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 10783
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: UK
Has thanked: 819 times
Been thanked: 1816 times
Gender:
Egypt

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:00 pm

Good reply from Kevininabydos - Thank you
Image

TonyC
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:13 pm
Location: Luxor
Been thanked: 4 times

Post by TonyC » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:01 pm

Thanks for the pointers to the dictionaries. I've tended to rely on my well-thumbed Lonely Planet Egyptian Arabic phrasebook – it does have grammar advice but of necessity a limited dictionary section. The transliterations work well, though.

Is this a dialect thing in Luxor: I listen for the glottal stops I practise at home but I never hear them. I do get an "ng" or hard "g" sound, though. I've got to persuade friends to speak more slowly for longer!

User avatar
Kevininabydos
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 431
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:13 pm
Location: Kernow near England.
Has thanked: 42 times
Been thanked: 126 times
Gender:
Palestine

Post by Kevininabydos » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:40 pm

Although they would never admit it, most Luxorians speak Sayeedee/Felaheen ("common" Arabic, a bit like Cockney or Liverpudlian!) but will switch to a higher form of Arabic with nonfamily. All of it is a form of Cairo Arabic, though Sayeedee/Felaheen has a touch of the Bedouin and Sudanese, to name just two influences. Every Governorate of Egypt has a different dialect, so to learn Egyptian Arabic would take years of study. The glutoral stop is skimmed over in Sayeedee which is why you do not notice it, and many words are abbreviated beyond recognition. Luxor has a diverse population with people from all over Egypt working there so I would not worry too much about dialect, the Cairo Arabic is understood everywhere and local "pronunciations" are easy to pick up as you go. As you begin to converse the locals will happily correct your mistakes and will take great delight that you are even making the effort to learn and will take time to teach you more.
“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

Marcus Aurelius

User avatar
LivinginLuxor
Top Member
Top Member
Posts: 991
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:50 am
Location: Luxor, Egypt
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 546 times
Gender:
Egypt

Post by LivinginLuxor » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:16 pm

I'm a great fan of the Rough Guide to Egyptian Arabic
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
Stan

User avatar
Kevininabydos
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 431
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:13 pm
Location: Kernow near England.
Has thanked: 42 times
Been thanked: 126 times
Gender:
Palestine

Post by Kevininabydos » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:30 pm

I don't know why, a lot of it is wrong and it is aimed at tourists; so it is not very useful if you live here!
“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

Marcus Aurelius

User avatar
DJKeefy
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 10783
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: UK
Has thanked: 819 times
Been thanked: 1816 times
Gender:
Egypt

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:23 pm

That's what I was trying to say in my first post to Kt about some of them kind of books like the Rough Guide to Egyptian Arabic.
Image

User avatar
jewel
Egyptian God
Egyptian God
Posts: 8473
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:09 pm
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 167 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Post by jewel » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:31 pm

Having spent a lot of time in both occupied east Jerusalem and Egypt I noticed a huge difference in spoken arabic between the two countries - for instance the G in egyptian arabic becomes a softer J in palestinian arabic eg"Gameela" (beautiful) in Egypt is "Jameela" in palestinian arabic and so on........there are many differences like this even down to the words for say bread "khobbz" in palestine and "Aish" in Egypt, so that a person from one place may not understand you, very interesting how a language can change so much from one place to another....mind I never can fathom southern accents here in the UK :roll:

The one dictionary I had was by Hans wehr - I still have my copy and it is very useful, dont know if it still available, it wasnt cheap but very well used! :)
I don't have a plan......so nothing can go wrong!

Image

User avatar
Glyphdoctor
Egyptian God
Egyptian God
Posts: 7525
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:48 pm
Has thanked: 919 times
Been thanked: 2820 times
Gender:
Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:37 am

The dictionary by Hinds and Badawi is the best for Cairene Arabic, although as others have said the dialect used in Luxor is somewhat different but with time it's not hard to master too. There are no dictionaries of Upper Egyptian Arabic. However, Hinds and Badawi is Arabic-English, not the other way around. There really are no good modern English-Egyptian Arabic dictionaries.

User avatar
Winged Isis
Egyptian Pharaoh
Egyptian Pharaoh
Posts: 3866
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 1568 times
Been thanked: 1025 times
Gender:
Australia

Post by Winged Isis » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:25 am

jewel wrote:Having spent a lot of time in both occupied east Jerusalem and Egypt I noticed a huge difference in spoken arabic between the two countries - for instance the G in egyptian arabic becomes a softer J in palestinian arabic eg"Gameela" (beautiful) in Egypt is "Jameela" in palestinian arabic and so on........there are many differences like this even down to the words for say bread "khobbz" in palestine and "Aish" in Egypt, so that a person from one place may not understand you, very interesting how a language can change so much from one place to another....mind I never can fathom southern accents here in the UK :roll:

The one dictionary I had was by Hans wehr - I still have my copy and it is very useful, dont know if it still available, it wasnt cheap but very well used! :)
I have found the g/j sound can be different in different parts of Egypt too eg. Luxor and Cairo. No-one in Jordan understood much of my Egyptian-learnt Arabic, despite having heard and read many times any Arabic speaker will understand you anywhere! Others far more fluent than I had some problems, too. :lol:
Carpe diem! :le:

  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post