Called Umm Ad-Duniyya or “Mother of the World,” Egypt has been at the heart of civilization, for thousands of years. The land of the Nile nurtured Ancient Egyptian dynasties, Islamic Fatimid caliphates, Turkish Mameluke dynasties, and the Pan-Arab Renaissance. As a result, the Egyptian (masri) Arabic dialect has played a significant role in shaping the culture and politics of the Arab World. Because Egypt was one of the first Arab countries to utilize new radio and TV broadcasting technology, Egyptian Arabic remains one of the most widely understood Arabic dialects. If you are looking to expand your organization’s reach into the land of the Nile, Egyptian Arabic translation efforts should be a cornerstone of your strategy.
Given recent events in the wake of the Arab Spring, Egypt still holds an important position on the world stage. Egypt also continues to export a vast array of pop culture media, such as songs, movies, and TV series enjoyed by the rest of the Arabic speaking world. As such, knowing and understanding Egyptian Arabic is as crucial as ever for any person living, working, or studying in the MENA region. At Industry Arabic, we’ve crafted a translation system for quickly and accurately handling any Egyptian Arabic project.
Egyptian Arabic’s Linguistic Heritage
Egyptian Arabic has some distinct features distinguishing it from all other Arabic dialects. The most apparent difference in Egyptian Arabic is its unique pronunciation of basic Arabic letters, especially the letter jiim (ج), which is pronounced like a “g” instead of a “j”. The next most notable difference is the letter qaaf (ق), which Egyptians pronounce like the letter hamza (ء), i.e. a glottal stop. For students of classical Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), these could be a challenge to listen for in the spoken vernacular. In addition, some other letters with different pronunciations include thaa (ث), which sounds like a “t” or “s” depending on the word, and dhaal (ذ), Daad (ض) and Dhzaa (ظ) all of which sound like a “z”.
Grammatically speaking, unlike most dialects, Egyptian Arabic tends to put the demonstrative participles (da [دا] and di [دي] for masculine and feminine nouns, respectively) after the noun it describes. So, instead of saying hadha l-bayt (this house) as one would in MSA, Egyptians would say el-beit da. Like many other Arab nations, Egypt’s dialect was influenced by the languages of the various nations that had colonized it. As such, many modern Egyptian words find their roots in foreign languages, such as Turkish, French, and English. One common grammatical construction imported from Turkish is the suffix “-gi” (جي). This suffix comes at the end of nouns to give a description of a person’s profession or character trait (i.e. a waiter is a sofragi).
Our Egyptian Arabic Translation Philosophy
Being one of the more popular Arabic dialects does not make Egyptian Arabic any easier to understand for foreigners. At Industry Arabic, we developed a translation method suitable for grasping the subtleties of this colorful dialect. Our translation philosophy considers all of the linguistic and cultural aspects of Egyptian Arabic, ensuring that you will receive a high-quality and accurate product. Below is a brief summary of what you can expect from an Industry Arabic translation:
- Expert Human Translators: Automated translation programs have a hard time deciphering the intricacies of formal Arabic, let alone any particular dialect. Fortunately, Industry Arabic’s team of vetted Egyptian translators can navigate the intricacies of your project, with careful attention to the document’s relevant terminology and style. Many of them specialize in a specific area, such as technical, legal, and medical translation. We also work with people we trust in many different time zones. So, you can rest assured that your time-sensitive project is ongoing, even while you sleep!
- Double Check: Every translation goes through a two-stage review process to verify accuracy and readability. After finishing the translation, the translator edits and revises their work against the source text. Then, they submit the document to our project managers, who proofread it and ensure that it is ready for delivery. In this way, we can guarantee that multiple translators have reviewed your project and crafted it to suit your stylistic needs.
- Multi-Format Translations: We deal with a variety of source documents on a daily basis, be it Word docs, Powerpoints, Adobe PDFs, or entire websites. As such, we are experts in handling all of your project’s formatting issues, such as image/graphic localization and switching text directionality (to match Arabic’s right-to-left orientation). We can also translate and subtitle any Egyptian news clip or the latest Ramadan soap operas. In the end, no matter the format, we will make any project look presentable to the target audience.
Previous Egyptian Arabic Translation Projects
Here are a few examples of completed Egyptian Arabic projects we have done in the past:
- Book on Egyptian Legal System. We completed a full Arabic translation of The Struggle for Constitutional Power, a scholarly study by Tamir Moustafa on the evolving role of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court.
- Egyptian Supreme Court Ruling: On a next-day basis, we translated a landmark Egyptian Supreme Court ruling into English for an influential Near East Studies website. The decision cleared the way for former NDP member Ahmed Shafik to compete in the 2012 presidential elections. The website cited our translation to interpret that current event for an English-speaking audience.
- Documentary Interviews: We transcribed, translated, and subtitled a series of interviews given in Egyptian Arabic for a documentary series on the Arab Spring.
Ready to Get Started?
We’re standing by to help you tackle any project you may have. For all of your Egyptian Arabic translation needs, just click the”Free Quote” link at the top-right of your screen. From there, you can submit your project for a free and accurate quote and begin the translation process. Your next successful translation is only a click away!
Image courtesy of Flickr user Shadi Samawi under a Creative Commons license.