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Over a 100 years ago, I think Giza was pronounced Jeezah. For example, in his multi-volume book on the Great Pyramid, Piazzi Smyth, who worked at Giza for years spelled it "Jeezeh":

label from a map: "map of the Pyramids of Jeezah"

The image above is from a handdrawn map of the plateau of Giza by Smyth.

Do the Arabs still pronounce it "jeezah", or has the pronounciation changed to "Giza"?

Note, I am asking how it is pronounced locally, not about "academic" pronounciations by people that do not live in the Al Jizah area. In other words I want to know how normal residents of Al Jizah pronounce the name of their neighborhood.

  • It's pronounced rather like you described it "jeezuh", accent on the first syllable... – Gayot Fow Aug 8 '16 at 5:20
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    I'm not convinced enough to flag/close-vote, but isn't this a language question rather than about travel? – mts Aug 8 '16 at 8:28
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    @mts knowing the local city names sounds like travel related to me.. – Nean Der Thal Aug 8 '16 at 9:06
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Giza is actually pronounced Jeezah (الجيزة) by all Arabs except Egyptians. They pronounce the J letter as G in their dialect, in time the Latin spelling changed accordingly yet it's still spelled Jeezah in Arabic and pronounced correctly by Arabs. Same thing for names as well, for example they pronounce(Jamal) as (Gamal) so they spell it in Latin that way.

Anyway, native southern Egyptians, and native Egyptians in Sinai pronounce it correctly as in classic Arabic and just like the rest of Arabs.

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    There's a lot of bias here, with your judgements over which dialect is "correct" and which is not! – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 8 '16 at 11:56
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    @blackbird: By definition, then, it obviously does exist: in Egyptian Arabic! This makes it perfectly "correct". – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 8 '16 at 13:19
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    @HeidelBerGensis: "Other"/"classic" != "Correct" :) – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 8 '16 at 13:53
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit you need to understand that your culture is different than mine, and your language is different than mine, and in Arabic we consider the classic arabic as CORRECT and the dialects are not correct, we do not write dialects and we write classic... that's us, so next time try to think that there are other cultures and other life style beside yours before trying to force your own opinion or thinking of other cultures or languages as your own. I'd appreciate that a lot. – Nean Der Thal Aug 9 '16 at 1:24
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    @HeidelBerGensis: In other words: "it is in my culture and lifestyle to be belittling and intolerant towards speakers of related languages, so you can't call me out on my intolerance". Lovely. – Henning Makholm Aug 9 '16 at 8:45
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This is the most obvious difference between the Egyptian Arabic dialect and the standard Arabic, the 'Jeem' letter ج . It's 'Geem' In most of Egypt.

But since this is not a question about grammar, and you just ask about how it's pronounced in Egypt, the answer is

Giza is pronounced Giza by 100% of Giza local people. It is not "Jeezah"


And if you are interested in more details,

  • It's Giza in all of Egypt cities including (Giza, Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said,.... ) and except of the cities in number 2

  • It's Jeezah in Upper Egypt, Sharqia, Sinai Peninsula

  • Sharm El-Sheikh Is in Sinai Peninsula, however it's a mixed city full of tourists and people from different Egyptian cities, so I think I can't be definitely sure.
  • All other Arab countries say "Jeezah" .

I don't think you really need to pronounce it as the local Giza citizens do when you are there!. If you looked like a tourist, then any difference will be understood by the people you are interacting with.

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