Siwi (also known as Siwan or Siwa Berber; native name: Jlan n isiwan) is the easternmost Berber language, spoken in the western Egyptian desert by an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people in the oases of Siwa and Gara, near the Libyan border.
Siwi is the normal language of daily communication among the Egyptian Berbers of Siwa and Gara, but because it is not taught at local schools, used in the media nor recognised by the Egyptian government, its long-term survival may be threatened by contacts with outsiders and by the use of Egyptian Arabic in mixed marriages; nearly all Siwis today learn to speak Egyptian Arabic as a second language from an early age.
Siwi has been heavily influenced by Arabic, notably Egyptian and Bedouin, but also earlier stages of Arabic.
Siwi is the only Berber language indigenous to Egypt and is natively spoken further east than any other Berber variety of North Africa. Within Berber, it stands out for a number of unusual linguistic features, i