A question about language

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
When I finally am able to get baptised and begin reguarly attending church, will I have to learn Arabic/Coptic to understand the hymns/prayers/sermons etc? Thanks for the answer.


  • hello WMA

    im in sydney australia and here in pretty muuch every church there is a mass in arabic and also one entirely in english. there are of course some coptic hymns but they are usually translated into english so if you do decide to learn a little coptic you will know what it means but you will definetly not need arabic!

    PS: there is a book called "so you want to learn coptic?" its a great book which has simple excercises and will teach you some coptic

    best of luck

  • Dear WMA,

    As Kristina stated, you will find that the Church performs many Liturgies in English. However there are certain popular hymns that are often said, and hence known in both Coptic and Arabic (and they're not too long either). Many of those who know such hymns probably don't even know how to read Coptic or Arabic, either because (a) they have naturally memorised them through hearing, or (b) because some Liturgical books often provide a transliteration of the Coptic or arabic.

    My suggestion is that you approach your priest about this issue; he should be able to locate someone who can personally assisst you with learning hymns at your pace if you so wish. Ofcourse, we at tasbeha.org are always here to help you upon request.

    If you want to learn Coptic, you will find that it is not too difficult, and there are many self-learn type books and programs out there if you wish. It would be very handy however, especially if you plan to be ordained in one of the orders of the Church (e.g. epsaltos, subdeacon, deacon).
  • To learn Coptic, visit this link:


    It contains three very easy Lessons. I learned it in less than a day.

    Please forgive me and pray for me,

  • WMA I don't really understand Arabic and I surely don't understand Coptic so I would just read whatever it is in the liturgy (but to tell you the truth I am a bad ro-model I am just saying what to do but I don't do it but I am learning... I hope) ;D, and if you are asked to say something in coptic or arabic ask the person what you have to say or ask him if you can say it in english.
  • Hi WMA, i also come from Sydney.

    To put it simply, you don't need to memorise or learn the entire language of Coptic or Arabic. Arabic is used by those who come from Egypt because like English, its easier for them to understand. Coptic is used because its apart of our tradition and we try to uphold it so we do not forget our language. For this reason we also have english masses to help those who cannot understand arabic. I know of a few people in my church who are not coptic in origin yet are able to understand the mass because of the english used.
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