About the Nubian Language

The Nubian Language, , About the Nubian language, Books about the Nubian Language, Proverbs & Wisdom, Lessons, Seminars about the Nubian Language, Old Nubian

Discover the amazing Nubian Language, one of the oldest languages in the World

Like the other forms of Nubian art, the Nubian language has its roots in the ancient population of the Nile River Valley spanning from Aswan in today's Egypt to Omdurman in Sudan. Besides being one of the - or the - oldest permanently spoken and structured languages in the World, the Nubian language is a form of art, due to its melodious intonation that easily translates into poesy and songs. With its first written traces in the temple of Abu Simbel built in the 12th century B.C., the Old Nubian language alternated between periods in which it was written - as in hieroglyphic and later ancient Meroitinc inscriptions in today's Northern Sudan, as well as inscriptions and scrolls in Old Nubian since about 600 AD - and periods in which the language was passed on orally. Recently, efforts from Nubian scholars brought the language back to a structured form written in the Nubian alphabet, derived from Greek and Coptic letters with some letters adapted to the specific sounds in Nubian. Extensive efforts are done to revive Nobiin (also called Fadiji), Kenzi (Matokki) and Andaandi or Andandi (or Dongloawi), all rooted in Old Nubian, by teaching the language to the young generation and Nubians whose parents were displaced from their villages of origin due to the construction of consecutive dams and the formation of Lake Nasser, that drowned a large portion of Nubian lands.

A short history of the Nubian Language

According to stone tools evidence found by archaeologists, the Nile Valley between the 1st and the 6th cataracts (between today's town of Aswan in Southern Egypt and Omdurman in Sudan, north of the capital Khartoum) was inhabited since at least half a million years, probably since much longer - up to 2 million years ago. As the region was very fertile during this whole period, and quite protected and isolated through the cataracts in the Nile and surrounding mountain chains, it served as an ideal cradle for the development of civilization, and thus the Nubian language in its millennia-long evolution is one of the oldest - if not THE oldest - permanently spoken languages in the World. Furthermore, the self-reliant, sociable and traditionalist nature of the Nubian population lets imagine that the roots of the Nubian language were developed since prehistoric times, although due to the absence of writing it can't be proven by scientists. The Nubian language, a direct descendent from Proto-Nubian, which is considered by Afro-Asiatic linguists to be the root language, and related to Omotic, is part of the Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan language group, and linguists date it back to at least the 9th to 6th millennium B.C. Some scientists even believe Old Nubian was the first structured language in the World. While the word "Adam" in most languages stand for a name, in Nubian "adam" means "man" or "human being". And the name "Eva" is presumed to have been derived from "ouwo", which means "two" in Nubian. The very limited influence of languages that passed the region due to conquests, administrative shifts as well as commercial and religious influences also reinforces the assumption that the Nubians preserved and protected their language since very ancient times. While Old Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions in Nubia predate the Meroitic writing, starting in the 8th century B.C., during the Kushite Meroitic Kingdom, many inscriptions in Meroitic - first written in hieroglyphics, later in Egyptian demotic script and finally in its own alphabet of 24 letters derived from Demotic appeared. The Meroitic texts refer mainly to funerary, administrative and royal writings; however, up to this day the Meroitic writing hasn't been fully deciphered, therefore we have only a basic knowledge of this language. Due to the close ties with Egypt, the Meroitic ruling elite was writing in Meroitic and Egyptian, while commonly speaking Nubian. While some scholars assume that Meroitic was the precursor of Old Nubian, others - like F.L. Griffiths - think that Meroitic was related to Nubian, and possibly both variations of the language may have been spoken simultaneously, Meroitic being the language of the elite and administration while Nubian was the commonly spoken language.

There is evidence that In Southern Nubia, around the 1st cataract, people were speaking a language different from Old Egyptian. Translators were present with the Egyptian rulers to connect with the local populations; also, some place names and surnames are Nubian, and inscriptions in the northern and southern sides of the door frame of the famous temple of Abu Simbel, built by Pharaoh Ramses II in 1244 B.C., refer to the North and the South in Nubian.

Archaeologists have found many inscriptions in Old Nubian from the Christian period since around AD 600, including a Bible - which was translated from Greek into Nubian - and many scrolls from Qasr Ibrim. After the Arabic conquest, the introduction of Islam and the fall of the Nubian kingdoms in the 13th and 14th century AD, writing of the Nubian language disappeared. However, oral transfer of the language - and the relatively isolated location - helped preserve the Nubian language which continued to be spoken and taught throughout Nubia. However, the greatest challenge to the preservation of the language came after the repeated displacement of the Nubian population in Southern Egypt, due to the construction of successive dams and the submersion of large parts of Nubian lands under Lake Nasser (Lake Nubia). While some of the Nubians whose villages were flooded were relocated in a remote Arabic-speaking region east of Kom Ombo, many went to the cities in Egypt or traveled abroad in the search for work and for a living. In these environments, into which the Nubians had to struggle to adapt, the language faded very fast and many young Nubians today don't speak their language of origin.

Thanks to huge efforts by Nubian scholars to revive the Nubian language and to teach it to the new generations, and the eagerness of researchers of Nubian heritage to present Nubian art and traditions to a larger public, Nubian experiences a resurge in interest and will hopefully be saved from oblivion. We encourage all Nubians and friends of Nubian Art to promote the conservation of this wonderful melodious language.



Introduction into the Nubian Language

Learn the Basics of the Nobiin Nubian Language...

Learn the alphabet and the essentials of the Nobiin Nubian Language the easy way

قاموس نوبيينا - تطبيق جديد رائع للهواتف المحمولة أنشأه الدكتور حسن نور وفريقه المخلص من موقع نوبيان دوري كولود - متوفر على Google Play مع جزيل الشكر على مجهودهم الكبير في تعزيز وترجمة اللغة النوبية مع أطيب التمنيات لهم بالتقدير والنجاح

Nobiina Nubian Dictionary - A wonderful new app for mobile phones created by Dr. Hassan Nour and his devoted team of the Nobiin Dore Kolod website - available on Google Play

With many thanks for their huge effort in promoting and translating the Nubian language and best wishes for appreciation and success

ND101 (1 of 5) تعليم اللغة النوبية : نطق الحروف

ND101 (1 of 5) Nubian Language Teaching - Letters and their Pronunciation

ND102 (2 of 5) تعليم اللغة النوبية - نطق الكلمات

ND102 (2 of 5) Nubian Language Teaching - Words and their Pronunciation

ND103 (3 of 5) تعليم اللغة النوبية - الضمائر

ND103 (3 of 5) Teaching Nubian Language - Pronouns

ND104 (4 of 5) تعليم اللغة النوبية - أسماء الإشارة

ND104 (4 of 5) Nubian Language Teaching - Signal Names

ND105 (5 of 5) تعليم اللغة النوبية - أدوات الإستفهام

ND105 (5 of 5) Teaching the Nubian Language - Interrogative Tools

ND106 تعليم اللغة النوبية - حكم وأمثال نوبية

ND106 Teaching Nubian Language - Nubian Proverbs

عن أقدم اللغات الشفاهية حتى اليوم: "اللغة النوبية​ "

The oldest laguage transmitted orally, and in periods by writing, to this day, the Nubian language

شفاف | "نوبي" تطبيق جديد لتعليم اللغة النوبية

"NUBI" .. a fun application to learn the Nubian language

يوم جديد -نوبي.. تطبيق إلكتروني لحفظ اللغة النوبية

TV program "Youm Gedid" - "NUBI" .. an electronic application to learn and save the Nubian language

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وتحية خاصة من الثناء والتقدير لرواد اللغة النوبية الحديثة العظماء، الذين كرسوا حياتهم للبحث عن اللغة النوبيين وتوثيقها وشرحها ومهدوا الطريق لمختلف الكتب والدروس والتطبيقات عبر الإنترنت التي تسهل تعلم النوبين.

A special tribute of praise and appreciation goes to the great pioneers of the modern Nubian language, who dedicated their lives to research, document and explain the Nobiin language and paved the way for the various books, online lessons and applications which facilitate learning Nobiin.

استمتع بالاستماع إلى الأغاني أو القصائد النوبية المكتوبة بشق الأنفس مع الأغاني النوبية - وأحيانا الترجمات مع المساعدة الشاعر النوبي احمد عيسى - للدكتور حسن نور حسن نور.

Enjoy listening to Nubian songs or poems painstakingly written with Nubian Lyrics - and sometimes translations with the help of the Nubian poet Ahmed Eissa - By Dr. Hassan Nour Hassan Nour

Information and links about the Nubian language

في مناسبة الاحتفال باليوم العالمي للغة الام محاضرة بعنوان لغة نوبين -- تاريخ من الصمود من اجل البقاء تقديم - نوبن تود خليل جمعية اللغة النوبية

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Mother Language Day, a lecture entitled Nubian Language -- A History of Resilience for Survival Presented by - Nubian Todd Khalil Nubian Language Association

Nubia is Civilization and History - Video about the Nubian language (in Arabic) from the Center for Nubian Studies and Documentation Cairo

فيديو عن اللغة النوبية من المركز الدراسات النوبية و التوثيق - النوبة حضارة وتاريخ

Information and archive about the Nubian language - Bell, Herman & Kirsty Rowan. Nubian languages: an archive of language and cultural material from Nubia. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/2196/00-0000-0000-000E-D159-F. Accessed on [insert date here]. Register to get access to the files.

معلومات وأرشيف عن اللغة النوبية - بيل وهيرمان وكيرستي روان. اللغات النوبية: أرشيف للغة والمواد الثقافية من النوبة. أرشيف اللغات المهددة بالانقراض. المقبض: http://hdl.handle.net/2196/00-0000-0000- 000E-D159-F . تم الوصول إليه في [أدخل التاريخ هنا]. سجل للوصول إلى الملفات.

Join the online Glosbe dictionary project featuring thousands of languages. You can enrich the Nubian dictionaries - Nobiin, Kenzi and Dongola-Kenuzi (Andandi) with your own translations of words, expressions, sound, image and example sentences to build a truly universal dictionary of Nubian languages. Here is the English-Nobiin (Fadidji) and Arabic-Nobiin (Fadidji) dictionary.

انضم إلى مشروع قاموس Glosbe على الإنترنت الذي يضم آلاف اللغات. يمكنك إثراء القواميس النوبية - Nobiin و Kenzi و Dongola-Kenuzi (Andandi) بترجماتك الخاصة للكلمات والتعبيرات والصوت والصورة والجمل النموذجية لبناء قاموس عالمي حقيقي للغات النوبية. إليك الإنجليزية-النوبيين (Fadidji) و العربية-النوبيين (فاديجي) قاموس .

Join the online Glosbe dictionary project featuring thousands of languages. You can enrich the Nubian dictionaries - Nobiin, Kenzi and Dongola-Kenuzi (Andandi) with your own translations of words, expressions, sound, image and example sentences to build a truly universal dictionary of Nubian languages. Here is the English-Kenzi and Arabic-Kenzi dictionary.

انضم إلى مشروع قاموس Glosbe على الإنترنت الذي يضم آلاف اللغات. يمكنك إثراء القواميس النوبية - Nobiin و Kenzi و Dongola-Kenuzi (Andandi) بترجماتك الخاصة للكلمات والتعبيرات والصوت والصورة والجمل النموذجية لبناء قاموس عالمي حقيقي للغات النوبية. إليك الإنجليزية-كنزي و قاموس كنزي عربي .

Join the online Glosbe dictionary project featuring thousands of languages. You can enrich the Nubian dictionaries - Nobiin, Kenzi and Dongola-Kenuzi (Andandi) with your own translations of words, expressions, sound, image and example sentences to build a truly universal dictionary of Nubian languages. Here is the English-Andaandi (Kenuzi-Dongola) and Arabic-Andaandi (Kenuzi-Dongola) dictionary.

انضم إلى مشروع قاموانضم إلى مشروع قاموس Glosbe على الإنترنت الذي يضم آلاف اللغات. يمكنك إثراء القواميس النوبية - Nobiin و Kenzi و Dongola-Kenuzi (Andandi) بترجماتك الخاصة للكلمات والتعبيرات والصوت والصورة والجمل النموذجية لبناء قاموس عالمي حقيقي للغات النوبية. إليك الإنجليزية - Andaandi (Kenuzi-Dongola) و عربي-أنداندي (كينوزي-دنقلا) قاموس.

Nubian Language Society

Nubian Language Society Website (Nobiin, Kenzi-Andandi, Birgid)

Nubian Forum for Language & Heritage

Nubian Forum for Language & Heritage - Facebook page

Nubian Language site on Instagram

Instagram site about the Nubian Kenzi language with words, sentences and songs with lyrics in Nubian and translations

International efforts for the preservation of the Nubian Language

حول عمل اليونسكو لتنشيط وتعزيز لغات السكان الأصليين في إطار السنة الدولية للغات الشعوب الأصلية

ٍ Evaluation of UNESCO’s action to revitalize and promote indigenous languages: within the framework of the International Year of Indigenous Languages

التوقيع على العريضة من النوبيين وأصدقائهم إلى اليونسكو على المستوى الدولي يوم اللغة الأم لإنقاذ اللغة النوبية من التعريب والتطهير الثقافي

ٍ Sign the petition from the Nubians and their friends to UNESCO on the International Mother Language Day to save Nubian Language from Arabization and cultural cleansing