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Speaking the Language

Cairo - Speaking the Language

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Arabic is the official language in Cairo, and is the most common language spoken throughout the city. Although English is widely spoken in the major tourist arias, particularly by taxi drivers and other tourist service personnel, it is far less common in other areas of the city.

Learning to speak Arabic can be a difficult task for expatriates, particularly Westerners, because the alphabet is unique, and because the language incorporates many sounds that are not present in English and other Western languages. However, there are many resources available to help you learn enough Arabic to function within the city.

Before you go, you can start with an online course to help you become familiar with the Arabic alphabet, the construction of words, and even the sounds unique to the language. Once such resource is arabic.speak7.com. This site offers print and video tutorials to teach you the sound of Arabic letters, basic vocabulary, and other essentials that will help jumpstart your understanding of the Arabic language.

There are numerous schools in Cairo dedicated to helping students and expatriates learn the Arabic language. If you are new to Cairo, attending one of these schools will greatly help you in your day to day activities as you adjust to life in Cairo, and allow you to more intimately experience the unique culture that the city has to offer.

One of the largest and most extensive schools is the Arabic language Center in Cairo, which offers numerous courses from beginning instruction through advanced courses. You can either opt for individual courses or group instruction. Individual courses allow you to receive intensive instruction in Arabic with focused individual attention, while group courses give you plentiful opportunities to hone your Arabic skills by conversing with fellow students.

The contact information for this school is as follows:

The Arabic Language Center in Cairo
543 The Saudi Egyptian Housing Project
El-Sawah Square
11281 Cairo – Egypt

The Al Diwan Foreign Language Center offers 100 hour intensive programs to help you learn the Arabic language quickly, so you can make the most of your time in Cairo. These programs are offered several times each year.

Here is the contact information for the Al Diwan Foreign Language Center:

Al Diwan Foreign Language Center
12 Naguib Mahfooz Street (off Abbas Al Akaad Street)
Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt

A third option for expatriates in Cairo is the Fajr Center for the Arabic Language, which teaches students classical Arabic. This instruction provides a solid foundation for students, making it easier for them to understand the nuances of Egyptian Arabic.

The contact information for this school is as follows:

Fajr Center for the Arabic Language
Block 42, Part 3 9th District, 8th Zone
Nasr City, Cairo Egypt
(+2)(02) 24700066

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