Dear All
  I know this lady personally, Dr. Mona Zaki is a Dr. in the AUC (American 
Unversity in Cairo), she is the grandchild of Ekladios Bek Labib who made the 
Coptic/Arabic dictionary. As she told me recently, she raised in a 
Coptic-speaking family

            here is the link to the story.It is shameful that a lot of foreign 
people believed that the Egyptian language must still be alive while the copts 
do no think except in a very negative way.
          language’s last survivors

By Joseph Mayton
First Published: December 10, 2005                           Coptic is a 
combination of the ancient Egyptian languages Demotic, Hieroglyphic and 
  CAIRO: Considered an extinct language, the Coptic language is believed to 
exist only in the liturgical language of the Coptic Church in Egypt. The 
ancient language that lost in prominence thanks largely to the Arab incursion 
into Egypt over 1300 years ago remains the spoken language of the church and 
only two families in Egypt.
  Coptic is a combination of the ancient Egyptian languages Demotic, 
Hieroglyphic and Hieratic, and was the language used by the Ptolemaic rulers of 
Egypt following the spread of Greek culture throughout much of the Near East. 
In essence, it is the language of the ancient Egyptians themselves.
  Mona Zaki is one of only a handful of people that continue to use the 
language in everyday conversation. She speaks a colloquial form of Coptic with 
her parents and a few relatives that dates back 2,000 years.
  “In many ways it helps strengthen my faith,” Zaki said. “It has really 
helped when I go to church because they still use a form of Coptic for many 
services.” Her dialect, however, differs slightly from the standard Coptic 
that is used for study and church services.
  She does not speak Coptic with her children.
  “I felt that Coptic was a worthless language to have my children speak, 
therefore I did not do so when they were young,” said Zaki.
  Coptic is the language of the first Christian church in history, and when the 
members of the two families that speak the colloquial form of Coptic die, it 
will be the first language of the early Christian churches to become extinct.
  Among those early languages, Aramaic was thought to be extinct until recent 
history proved otherwise. The language is still spoken in parts of southern 
Turkey and northwest Syria. Zaki feels it would be a great loss to Coptic 
Christianity and the world if the Coptic language is totally lost.
  “I hope that the world will come to realize the importance of Coptic in 
Christian doctrine,” Zaki said. “Egypt is the first home for a Christian 
church and that makes Coptic truly the first language of Christianity in a 
  “It is sad to think that the language will truly be dead in the next 100 
years. They are already classifying Coptic as a dead language in most 
encyclopedias,” Zaki said. Neither parents used Coptic with their children.
  This is similar to the historical decline of the Coptic language. With the 
Arab conquest, Arabic began to be the language spoken in everyday life. After a 
period of religious turmoil in Egypt, Coptic leaders decided to use Arabic as 
their main means of conversation in order to show the Arab rulers that they 
were not conspirators of the European Crusaders.
  It is a sad fact that the language will soon go the way of Latin.
  Copt itself means Egypt. The word Egypt comes from the Greek aiguptios and 
the Arabic qupt – both of those words were derived from the Coptic language 
that was spoken when each community ascended upon Egypt. 
  Coptic is the closest descendant to the spoken language of the ancient 
Egyptians. Combining the Greek alphabet with Demotic, Coptic is a unique 
conglomeration of languages. Despite this fact, Coptic has no official status 
in Egypt. The form spoken in church services differs from Zaki’s. Coptic is a 
combination of the ancient Egyptian languages Demotic, Hieratic and 
Hieroglyphic. It was the latest evolution of the Egyptian language.
  “My parents passed the language down to me like their parents did before 
  Unfortunately for Copts throughout Egypt, this process was broken over the 
years,” she said. “I guess I have continued the destruction of the language 
in many ways by me not passing it along to my children 
  “My parents felt it was an important part of our heritage and spoke to me 
in Coptic since I can remember,” 
  Zaki revealed. “Why I didn’t pass on the language to my children, I 
don’t know.” Zaki says that she often receives strange looks when she is 
overheard speaking Coptic on her mobile phone. “People look at me as if I am 
an alien and I don’t belong. I guess that is what my ancestors had to deal 
with,although violently in some instances,” she said,which is the main reason 
that Zaki chose not to speak Coptic with her children.
  “I didn’t want my kids to have to experience the exclusion that Coptic 
had with me when I was younger,” she revealed. “I can remember my friends 
making fun of me when I talked to my parents 
  But it is vital to her cultural understanding of being a Copt in a country 
dominated by Islam. “It gives me the strength to practice my faith despite 
all the hardship that being Christian in an Islamic country has,” Zaki said.
  Some scholars have theorized that some remote villagers in the Delta region 
of Egypt or in the south of the country may still speak forms of the Coptic 
language. Because many Egyptians live in small villages away from government 
control and active study by anthropologists, it is theorized that Coptic will 
persist despite official numbers.
  “It would be nice to have more people speaking Coptic,” Zaki admitted. 
“It would mean that our culture and way of life will continue in the years to 
  That is unlikely considering the evidence. As it is already considered a dead 
language akin to Latin, it seems implausible that undiscovered speakers of 
Coptic will be discovered.
  Hundreds of languages are lost each year as the remaining speakers pass away.

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