. . . . .A
. . . . .These
are the signs that make the sound of one letter. These
glyphs are used to translate into our modern
. . . . . signs
the sound of two letters.
. . . . . signs
the sound of three letters.
. . . . . These
that help to define a word.
Gardiner's Sign List
. .Sir Alan
Gardiner, arranged the signs into a number of sections
in order to aid categorisation. His sign list is fairly complete, and accepted
by most Egyptologists.
Gardiner's Sign List on Wikipedia,
AEL (Ancient Egyptian
. . . . . This
is a very nice site that focusses on learning the
language (Middle Egyptian) through the use of real
. . . . . From
of Mark Millmore's Ancient Egypt. This is a great
tool! (You will need Netscape 4 or IE4 to see this
Grammar Translate English Into Egyptian
Hieroglyphics in real-time, learn the history and get
flashcards. Another great tool.
Reading These are the
books that I have in my library.
. . . . HIEROGLYPHS are pictures that were used to write the
ancient Egyptian language. In the beginning hieroglyphic
signs were used to keep records of the king's
possessions. Scribes could easily make these records by
drawing a picture of a cow or a boat followed by a
number. But as the language became more complex more
pictures were needed. Eventually the language consisted
of more then 750 individual signs.
. . . . AS in other languages, words in Egyptian were
made up of sounds, partly of consonants and partly of
vowels. But, the writing of hieroglyphs constantly
ignored and omitted vowels. Thus the two signs which represent "mt", could be
read as met, mat, amta, emt or any other combinations of
vowels and "mt". Since the ancient language has never
been heard, we are not sure how this word would be
pronounced. In order to avoid this, we need a method of
writing and pronouncing these glyphs consistently . The
course usually adopted is to use the English vowel "e"
and in a some cases "a" between the two glyphs. So we
can pronounce as "met".
. . . . THE pronunciation of a word is the crucial
element in using hieroglyphics, how a word sounds is
more important then how it is spelled. For instance, the
word that is spelled "cat" is actually pronounced "kat".
The name that is spelled "Cleopatra" is pronounced
"Kliopadra". So, these word would be written in
hieroglyphs the way they sound. Because the words
"where" and "wear" sound alike they could be written
using the same hieroglyphic signs. The same could be
said of the words "there" and "their".
. . . . HIEROGLYPHS are more then just a way of writing, they are
also pictures, and as such they are meant to be
estheticly pleasing. The picture signs can be written
from right to left; from left to right; or vertically,
reading downwards. To determine which way to read a line
of hieroglyphs, look for pictures of men or animals. See
which way the pictures are facing, the text is read
towards the faces. If they are facing to the left, the
inscription is read from the left to the right. If they
are facing right, the inscription is read from right to
. . . . THERE are three forms of writing that were used to
write the ancient Egyptian language.
. . . . From the greek meaning "sacred writing." this
is the picture language that was used most often to
decorate temples and monuments. It could be written with
pen and ink on papyrus, painted or carved into stone. It
was carefully drawn, to make the signs as accurate as
. . . . This was the cursive form of writing, as
script is to printed letters. It was much quicker to
write since the picture quality of the language was
reduced to a pattern of lines and squiggles.
. . . . This was a shorthand version of the Hieratic
script which was used during the Late Period. Demotic
means "the people's writing." It got this name because
many people could read it.
. . . . A very important language that was used during
the Ptolemaic Period was called Coptic. This language was written using Greek
letters, but it followed the basic structure of the
Egyptian language. This has proved to be an invaluable
tool for Egyptologists, enabling them to understand how
a sentence was formed in the ancient Egyptian language.
This was also the key to deciphering the Rosetta stone.