Arabic is the official language of Egypt. Egyptian Arabic differs from Classical Arabic through sounds and colloquial expressions, and is widely understood within Arabic-speaking countries. As a guest in a foreign country, it is important to try to understand and adapt to the culture, which includes language. Learning the language makes it easier for you to understand the way Egyptians communicate, as well as their sense of humour and the reason for the countless spelling errors in restaurant menus and signs. Although you don’t need to be fluent in Arabic, it is highly recommended that you learn some “basic” Arabic. This will simplify many daily life situations, such as communicating with the bawaab, ordering delivery and groceries and taking a cab. Mastering some essential phrases and learning basic verbs and vocabulary will also boost your self-confidence when getting around Cairo and Egypt. Learning the numbers and basic words will also give you assertion while bargaining. Speaking Egyptian Arabic in Khan El Khalili will ensure paying a fair price for your purchasing.
Private Tutoring is an option to learn Arabic in Cairo, depending on your level of interest. As a private tutor I offer colloquial spoken Arabic classes, with an interactive student-teacher approach, focused on “practical” and “basicl” Arabic. No matter how proficient you are in Arabic, Egyptians will be impressed upon any attempt to practice your broken Arabic. As soon as you pronounce “asalam alekum”, they will start a fast-paced conversation assuming you understand every single word they say. The few words you’ll be able to pick out of the monologue will allow you to grasp the main subject of the conversation, and provide an answer which will only amaze them. The main point is to overcome the fear of pronouncing these guttural sounds and practice, practice, practice! The results will be rewarding!