The Coptic alphabet is variant of the Greek alphabet containing a number of extra letters for sounds not found in Greek. The extra letters come from the Demotic form of the Egyptian script. The Coptic alphabet came into being during the 3rd century BC after the Greek conquest of Egypt and the subsequent spread of Christianity.
The name 'Coptic' derives from the Greek word for Egyptian: Aigyptioi which became Qibt in Arabic and then was Latinised to become Copt
Coptic, a member of the Egyptian branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family and a descendant of the Ancient Egyptian language. Coptic was an official language in Egypt until around the 13th Century AD, when it was replaced by Arabic. Nowadays Coptic Christians all speak Arabic as their every day language, but use Coptic in their religious ceremonies.
Hear the Coptic letters pronounced
ⲥⲟⲩⲙⲟⲥⲉ ⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲩϣⲏϣ ⲉ ⲛⲉⲩⲉⲣⲏⲩ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲇⲓⲕⲁⲓⲟⲥⲩⲛⲏ. ⲟⲩⲛ ϭⲟⲙ ⲙⲙⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ϣϣⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩⲣ-ⲙⲛⲧⲙⲁⲓⲥⲟⲛ.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Translated by the Magistri Coptic Tutor
Information about Coptic
The Coptic Studies Corner
Masters Degree in Coptic Studies at Macquarie University
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