Coptic language

Coptic language

Table of contents

  1. History of the Coptic language
  2.  Coptic letters
  3. The role of the church in using the Coptic language
  4. Words taken by the Egyptians from the Coptic language 

The Coptic language is the ancient Egyptian language with the Greek alphabet, seven letters of the Demotic language are added to it, to represent the Coptic sound that does not exist in Greek. It was named the Coptic language after changing the name of Egypt into Greek, many people think that the Coptic language is a language for Christians only, as they believe that Copt means Christian, but Coptic means Egyptian, taken from the ancient Egyptian word “Hatka-Ptah,” meaning the temple of the god Ptah, Egypt was also called “Egyptus” and the Arabs deleted letters from it to facilitate its pronunciation until it became “Jopt”, then the Arabs converted it to Copt, which means the people of Egypt.

History of the Coptic language

The history of the Coptic language witnessed many developments, as Hieroglyphs was the official language in the era of the ancient Egyptians, then came the hieratic language, which was called the language of the priests because the priests were more than fluent in it, therefore it was called the priestly language, then came the demotic language, which is an abbreviated language for ease of writing used by the Copts. After the Greeks entered Egypt at the hands of Alexander the Great, the Greek language was the official language in the country, and many Greek terms were added to the ancient Egyptian language. The Coptic language began to appear with Pharaonic pronunciation and a Greek alphabet, and in the fourth century AD, the Coptic language began to dominate the language after translating the New Testament into the Coptic language, the most famous priests began writing their sermons and sayings in the Coptic language, including Anthony the Great, Pachomius the Great, and Shenoute, then it was used in prayers to this day.

 Coptic letters

Until now, there are villages in Egypt that speak the Coptic language fluently, including AZ Zeineyah Bahri, Luxor, the letters of the Coptic language are not difficult, they consist of 32 letters (Alpha, Veeta, Ghamma, Delta, Ei, Soo, Zeeta, Eeta, Theeta, Iota, Kappa, Lamda, Mei, Nei, Eksee, O, Pee, Ro, Seema, Tav, Epsilon, Fei, Kai, Epsee, O, Shai, Fai, Khai, Horee, Cheema, Tee, Janja).

The role of the church in using the Coptic language

The Church had a major role in preserving the Coptic language, the credit for its continued existence until now goes to Pantaenus, the head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, as he translated the Holy Book in the Coptic language, which became a reason for preserving the Coptic language and Christians used it in their prayers until now, and encouraged many Christian and Muslim scholars to study and teach the Coptic language to preserve their heritage.

Words taken by the Egyptians from the Coptic language 

The Coptic language is still used today among the public, as the Egyptians took many terms and words from it and turned them into words that they use in their daily lives, such as the word (Outa), which means tomato, (Hunthor) meaning horse, the Egyptians call it stagecoach, which is the cart drawn by the horse, (Waha) means an oasis or resort, (Fouta) which is taken from the verb Foudy, meaning wipe, (Adini) means give me, (Sak) which is a verb to close in the Coptic language, (Basa) means a cat, the governorate of (Faiyum) means the sea, and (Nubia) which means the land of gold, taken from the word (Nub), which means gold in the Coptic language.

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