Egyptian hieroglyphs were a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that contained a combination of logographic and alphabetic elements. Egyptians used cursive Egyptian Hieroglyphs for religious literature on papyrus and wood. Less formal variations of the script, called hieratic and demotic, are technically not Egyptian Hieroglyphs. See more information on Ancient Egyptian Language History1,
Ancient Egyptian Language History2


The most widely spoken language in Egypt is Egyptian Arabic (Mari), part of the Arabic languages of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Descended from the spoken Arabic brought to Egypt during the AD seventh-century Muslim conquest.

Its development was influenced mainly by the indigenous Coptic-Egyptian language of pre-Islamic Egypt and later by other languages such as Turkish. It is the national language of Egypt, spoken by more than 76 million people. It is also one of the most widely spoken and studied varieties of Arabic.

Coptic, a direct descendant of the ancient Egyptian language that was once written in Egyptian hieroglyphics, hieratic, and demotic scripts, is used by the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Coptic alphabet is a modified form of the Greek alphabet, with some letters deriving from demotic.

The official language of Egypt is Standard Arabic and is used in most written media. English and French are also widely spoken and used in business circles.