today I wanted to talk a bit about Ancient Egyptian. During the first week and a half of february I went to Egypt for the first time in my life and it was an awesome experience. Ever since I’ve been little I was in love with this country and finally I could see it in real life. Later on, I will make some sort of report of my travels there, but my parents and I took over 3000 pictures, so it’s a lot to go through.
In the meantime I’ve been studying some hieroglyphs and decided to make Anki decks for the syllabary hieroglyphs, since I couldn’t find a lot online. I will link them at the end of the page, so you can download them for yourself.
The decks I’ve made, consist of the uniliteral, biliteral and triliteral signs, or easier said the hieroglyphs that consist of 1, 2 or 3 sounds. To study these, you do need to know some basics about ‘pronunciation’ (which is mostly guessing, since nobody really knows how Middle Egyptian actually sounded like) and about transliteration. Over here you can find the wiki on egyptian hieroglyphs, if you want some more information.
In the decks you will often see some weird symbols in the transliteration. Below I will give you a basic comprehensive table on these symbols.
|ꜣ||a||called alef or hamza,
a glottal stop
|ꜥ (ʾ)||long a (aa in the decks)||called ayin|
|w||w or u||called waw|
|ḥ||h||an emphatic h,
a voiceless pharyngeal fricative
|ḫ||kh||a voiceless velar fricative|
|ẖ||kh||a softer sound,
a voiceless palatal fricative
|ḳ or q||k||an emphatic k,
a voiceless uvular plosive
|ṯ or tj||ch||as in church|
|ḏ or dj||j||as in judge|
Don’t be too shaken up about these notes and these pronunciations, these are merely suggestions on how to pronounce a dead language that nobody speaks anymore. Being able to read and understand it, is much more fun than pronouncing or writing it.
Also, since there are barely any real vowels in Egyptian Hieroglyphs, researchers came to an agreement to put an e sound between every consonant when pronouncing Egyptian. Keep this in mind!
In the future I will also make decks on the determinatives and the pharaoh’s cartouches, but this might still take a while.
If you want to study some more hieroglyphs and the grammar behind it, there are a lot of books out there to use.
Personally, I use How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs by Collier and Manley, which I think is a great book, but since I’m not an Egyptologist or linguist, I don’t know if there are other or better works.
Happy studying and
(this apparently means something like ‘good luck’, according to Wikipedia :p)
My name in Hieroglyphs, in the way I prefer it to be written