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Sa'idi Arabic

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Title: Sa'idi Arabic  
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Subject: Varieties of Arabic, Sa'idi people, Languages of Egypt, Bedawi Arabic, Arabic languages
Collection: Arabic Languages, Languages of Egypt
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Sa'idi Arabic

Sa'idi Arabic
Native to Egypt
Native speakers
19 million (2006)[1]
Arabic alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aec
Glottolog said1239[2]
Linguasphere 12-AAC-eb[3]

Sa'idi Arabic (Sa'idi Arabic: صعيدى‎, locally: , Egyptian Arabic: ; also known as Saidi Arabic[4] and Upper Egypt Arabic[5]) is the variety of Arabic spoken by Sa'idis south of Cairo, Egypt to the border of Sudan.[6] It shares linguistic features both with Egyptian Arabic, as well as Sudanese Arabic. Dialects include Middle and Upper Egyptian Arabic. Speakers of Egyptian Arabic do not always understand more conservative varieties of Sa'idi Arabic.[7]

Sa'idi Arabic carries little prestige nationally though it continues to be widely spoken, including in the north by rural migrants who have partially adapted to Egyptian Arabic. For example, the Sa'idi genitive exponent is usually replaced with Egyptian bitāʿ, but the realization of /q/ as [ɡ] is retained (normally realized in Egyptian Arabic as [ʔ]). Second and third-generation Sa'idi migrants are monolingual in Egyptian Arabic, but maintain cultural and family ties to the south.


  • Sa'idi consonants 1
  • Notes 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Sa'idi consonants

Sa'idi Arabic has these consonants:[8]
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ χ ħ h
voiced z ʁ ʕ
Affricate voiceless t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Trill r
Approximant w l j
  • ^* /d͡ʒ/ may also be realized as [ʒ] or [d]. For the latter case, it collapses with /d/.


  1. ^ Sa'idi Arabic at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ ISO 639-3 spelling
  5. ^
  6. ^ Versteegh, p. 163
  7. ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  8. ^ Khalafallah 1969


  • Khalafallah, Abdelghany A. 1969. A Descriptive Grammar of Sa'i:di Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. Janua Linguarum, Series Practica 32. The Hague: Mouton.

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