- Nineteenth-Century Cairo Arabic as Described by Qadrī and Nahla
- The 11th Conference of AIDA, Bucharest 2015
- Book/source title
- Arabic Varieties: Far and Wide: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of AIDA, Bucharest, 2015
- Pages (from-to)
- București: Editura Universității din București
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This paper compares two 19th century works, Muhammad Qadrī’s Nouveau guide de conversation française et arabe (1868) and Ya‘qūb Nahla’s New Manual of English and Arabic Conversation (1874). These works have some common aspects: both were written by prominent Egyptians, had the dual purpose of teaching Arabic to foreigners and teaching the foreign language to Egyptians, and tried to achieve these aims by presenting word lists and dialogues. The dialogues are especially interesting, as they contain valuable information about Egyptian Arabic as it was spoken in the 19th century. The
paper examines how the two works present both the foreign and the Arabic language, and how they deal with the use of Egyptian Arabic versus classical Arabic. It also describes similarities and differences in the colloquial Arabic as presented by these works, focusing on some phonological, morphological, and syntactic features, and concludes with a sample of words that have become obsolete in Cairo Arabic.
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