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November 2, 2013

modern life lowryPicadilly Circus one of the works of the English artist, Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976), on the modern life of London.

Can Coptic describe this busy scene?

Modernisation and revival of the Coptic language are two different but related processes. While modernisation (or planning) focuses on standardisation of the language, introducing new words and expansion of vocabulary, punctuation, revision of script, etc.; revival looks into ways in which the language can be resuscitated from a moribund condition and made spoken again in the daily lives of the people.

The Coptic language requires both processes: modernisation and revival – and without one the other will most probably be destined to fail.

But I will not talk about them. I will leave that to my friends, many of them Coptist and linguist, who are more knowledgeable on the matter than me. Therefore, I am hoping that those interested in the subject would write guest articles which I shall collect all under the heading “Modernisation & Revival of the Coptic Language”. The article doesn’t need to be long. I am interested in ideas most. Hopefully, the project will bring up new interesting ideas and engender some intriguing discussion. If you are interested, please contact me at:

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2013 8:57 am

    In the free world, I know from chatting, with real human beings,are living breathing Coptic persons,in the USA &/or Canada’s NorthAmerican Coptic organs,! So now we must have a Coptic Elieezr Ben Yehuda,to do the Modernization & revival like Hebrew,in Coptic Nation, of the free world,or not? I am nothing more than an interested monolingual typical USA fellow! But I would think, with all the Egyptology everywhere,& I mean real true blue legit science, like my own experience with biblical archaeology programs & linguistics programs in Milwaukee,WI, USA,, there must be linguists able to do what JudaeanHebrews did!I would think, the basics already exist, to build on, by developing on the roots & grammar of ancient Egyptics & the greater AfroAsiatic HamitoSemtic roots & language works, to help fill in the gaps, as needed!

  2. November 7, 2013 9:28 am

    You need to articulate more outside your EgyptiCoptic Christian religious image! You are an ethnic nation! You not only some weird, obscure, probably racist, Christian, anti Muslims,anti Islamic, offshoots of Christian missionaries from the west! You are not just some kind of anti Mid east,anti Arab,pro western Christian, white supremacist, colonial outposts’ great grand children! You are the ,to borrow Canada’s term for native pre Columbian ethnic nations, “the first nations”of Egypt! You are Egypt’s first nation, the EgyptiCoptic ethnics or ethnic nation or EgyptiCoptic ethnic nation! Religion is cool, for religious people, but for French inspired revolutionaries & their general western progressive liberal kin, religion is less of an ear or an eye catcher, than ethnic first nation, or natives ethnic culture, colonized buy racism or Arab empire idealistic, Islamic missionaries, gone wild! Or Muslim idealists ArabEmpires, betrayed their Kalifates’ successors! The ArabEmpire locals were racists, who do not even respect their own, let alone the ArabEmpire’s conquered, inferior natives, aboriginals or indigenous nations! I am just sayin,you would get a whole new ear,You are fighting ArabEmpire invader, racism, that violates the Koran’s claims that only defense, is real fighting for Allah’s way! You are not at war against religion, but racist violators of your native rights as the cultural heirs & conservators of EgyptiCoptic links to classical Egyptic language,culture & heritage!

  3. November 7, 2013 10:03 am

    You can even help fill in some of the western guilt tripping, self hate, holes in our heads! I can not recite the exact source, but it was concerning the first waves of the Arab Empire’s invasions out side Arabia ,proper! It was that Christians, not subordinating to Greco-Roman church authority, were pretty much in a similar boat as JudaeanHebrews after Constantine’s sudden conversion! Of course, Rome(Byzantium), gave the native first Christian Syriac, & Coptic, plenty of opportunities to submit to Roman supremacy(from Rome’s viewpoint)! By the new Islamic era,there had been about three hundred years of oppression,against the EgyptiCoptic & SyriacAramaic Christians, as well as JudaeanHebrews under Rome &/or Byzantium! The only Christians free of this were the Maronites, hold up in the Lebanese mountains ,able to actually turn the tables on the RomanByzantine authorities! To this day Maronites,have been especially resistant to any out side forced assimilating empire, from Byzantium to Arabia,except linguistically! Though Maronites did loosely join Rome,later! The point is ArabEmpire invaders capitalized on Christian Roman imperialist ruling conquerors’ racism, colonialism, in today’s misplaced terms! More for their times Roman/Byzantines did neglect, torment, harass, overtax, & oppress &/or alienate by Rome’s monopolistic religious tyranny! Is this the story? Or is their one more accurate?

  4. November 7, 2013 10:28 am

    I love this site ! It does more than any else, that I have seen, to help the cause of ethnic nation revival, & rebirth of EgyptiCoptic National identity! You also have a strange thing that may not be cool to you, but is cool to millions of young & old alike! Regardless of Rastafarian or rasta racism,or Marxist mixed up hippie communistic foolishness, their image touches on Coptic culture, in the west! So the west is vaguely familiar with the term, Coptic! The main problem is, that people do not know Coptic means Egyptic ethnic nation, roots, culture and social heritage! EgyptiCoptic is EgyptiCoptic language & lineage! The west does not get it, YET! But you folks help more than any else I have seen!

  5. February 15, 2014 5:28 pm

    I approve this revival. Coptic derives from Ancient Egyptian so it should be the real language of Egypt. Arabic will keep existing (Arabs invaded Egypt so I guess there are people of Arabic descendant, and they will speak Arabic in its Egyptian form), but Coptic will come back and Egyptians will be bilingual (there are various advantages on being bilingual). Sorry for my English.

  6. November 10, 2014 3:56 am


    I came across your article which is almost 1 year+ old. I thought you might be interested to know that one way to help revive the Coptic language is to increase its presence in the digital world. This is why I developed “Coptic Notes” a powerful iOS mobile app for the iPhone and iPad to help communicate with Coptic online, Its not perfect yet but close.

    At the moment supporting iOS7 only.

    Please kindly share it with your Coptic community.


  7. Fira permalink
    March 15, 2017 5:39 am

    Hi. I have learnt the pronounciation of Coptic Greek alphabet but the problem is that since Coptic alphabet is modified Greek alphabet, there are very few fonts that support it. Might I suggest romanisation ie writing the Coptic alphabet in latin letters. It will lose it’s own unique alphabet but it’ll reach out to more people. Most importantly, the language will gain new speakers and not go extinct.

    • Dioscorus Boles permalink*
      June 23, 2017 6:37 pm

      Thank you, Fira. Many Coptic letters can easily be romanised but there are some letters that can’t and some carry sounds that don’t exist in Latin.Coptic is easy to learn but yet not that easy. In this it is like any other language. As we start learning a new language, we wish it is this way or that way to make it easier for us to learn, but this is not the right way to deal with the matter in my view.

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