Cypriot Arabic is a variety of Mesopotamian Arabic spoken in the Maronite community in Cyprus. Speakers used to live in Kormakitis (Κορμακίτης / Kurmajit / Kormacit) in northern Cyprus, but after Turkish invasion in 1974 most of them moved to southern Cyprus. There are 3,656 speakers, according to the 2011 census. All are over 30, and none speak Cypriot Arabic as their first language. The language is also known as Cypriot Maronite Arabic.
The Maronites first arrived in Cyprus during the 9th and 10th centuries after fleeing Syrisa and Lebanon. Their language was designated severely endangered by UNESCO in 2002. It was recognised as a minority language in Cyprus in 2008.
Cypriot Arabic has much in common with Mesopotamian Arabic, especially the northern variety, and also has similarities to Levantine Arabic.
Cypriot Arabic is usually written with the Greek alphabet, but the Latin alphabet is also used by linguists.
Details of the Cypriot Arabic alphabets and pronunciation supplied by Wolfram Siegel
Πιτι τε ιδλεμ, σ̲α πιγαπ̲π̲εσ̲,
αιν μα ιντ, αττιρζ̲αγα πιτφαττεσ̲
γιντακ, λ-εχλακ ου λ-ουλατακ
φι λι-σχουνε τε λι-μπρατακ.
Ε ζ̲αβα ου πιττισταντρακ
γιαουν τβαχχαρ καν λιχα χαρκακ,
σ̲α πιτoγoττ σ̲-σ̲ιμπς ου μα παντ σ-σαλα
λα τταβεν να χαρις, πριν σ̲ι βεσ̲εχ τε ζ̲ι φι παλα.
Piti te iδlem, şa picabbeş,
ayn ma int, attirjaca pitfatteş
cintak, l-exlak u l-ulatak
fi li-sxune te li-mpratak.
E java u pittistantrak
yyawn tvaxxar kan lixa xarkak,
şa pitocott ş-şimps u ma pant s-sala
la ttaven na xaris, prin şi veşex te ji fi pala.
It started getting dark, equal and night falls
wherever you are, to come back looking for
your home, your parents, your children,
the warmth of your wife.
They are home and wait,
all day was your concern,
sunset and did not perform in the evening
do not delay rejoice before something bad to come into consideration.
Sample text provided by Michael Peter Füstumum
Information about the Cypriot Arabic language
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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