Daily Archives: Thursday, 5 February, 2009

A Voice in Praise of Egyptian Dialect

Commenter Majnnunciatore wrote this reply to my last post:

I’ve got to give my kudos to Egyptians, and I spell my “kudos” with a kaff, never a qaf. I applaud them for being individuals. Just because a letter is there, why pronounce it? Why climb a mountain? “Because it’s there.” C’mon, walk like an Egyptian, be an individual. In addition, our Masri pals are doing a service for the Kaff. Ever look through an Arabic dictionary and find yourself shaking your head in dismay at how woefully underrepresented kaffs are? I’m sure you’re not alone. There are those who criticize the Arab world for its lack of free speech. To them, I say, look at what the Egyptians are doing. It takes true bravery to drop an easily pronounced and distinguishable letter out of the equation, allowing that non-sound to be confused with a hamza, or rendering thousands of other words that start with a qaf unclear, thus giving more nuance to the spoken word. I admire the Egyptians for their boldness. Mabruk! The only thing that would impress me more is if the folks in Qatar would cease using qafs. That would be a gutsy move.

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Filed under arabic, language