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I'd like to learn Ancient Egyptian!
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Segereh
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
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Location: Bruges

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2004 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hint, hint, hint!

Check the "Phrasebook" at 'Art and Literature'. I've noticed not many visitors have passed there, but it can help...
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Dampwater
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Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 64
Location: Houston, TX. lived in Cairo, Egypt

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coptic isnt extinct buddy, i used to know this dude, from Egypt, he was Christian and he learned Coptic at church, its still spoken at church, and the church hymns are in Copitc.
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isisinacrisis
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true. Apparently it's the only surviving true Egyptian language derived from ancient Egyptian, but it isn't used for everyday speech-just for church. I also know an Egyptian guy who's a coptic christian, and he works at an Egyptian souvenir stall in trafalgar square selling papyrus and stuff...
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Psusennes
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Joined: 12 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be scared by these people isisinacrisis. Egyptian is not difficult if you concentrate and try really hard to absorb the information. I've been studying it for less than a year and I have already been mistaken for a serious scholar by the local Egypt society. You just have to concentrate really hard and work at it. It is hard- but fun and intensely rewarding. Smile

This website is very informative. You do need to buy a book if you want to learn the language properly though- the websites can be a bit misleading.

Good Luck
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isisinacrisis
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scared? i didn't say anything about being scared??? *is puzzled*
I just got the impression that Egyptian is really complicated and that you need loads of time to learn it (and i have very little time these days) and you need to be a proper egyptologist.
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anneke
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it takes quite a bit of time (like any new language), but you definitely don't need to be an egyptologist. Very Happy
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kmt_sesh
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

murphyz wrote:
Hieroglyphic Signs themselves are a script and not truely a language and are used to represent ideas and stories. Although it is possible to take their phonetic translation and string them together, this would not be an ideal way to structure a sentence, especially if you want to make the story as realistic as possible. It may be a case that doing this would confuse those who can't understand it, and annoy those who can if it is incorrect.


The ancient Egyptian written language is most definitely a fully developed written language. It is syllabic and phonetic, but it is not picture writing, as I'm sure most of you know. That's what held scholars back so long in trying to understand hieroglyphs. It's usually not important what a certain glyph depicts (yes, I know sometimes it is); what is most important is the sound a certain glyph represents.

That being said, it was not an everyday written language. It was formal and religious. Hieratic developed at about the same pace as hieroglyphs and was the everyday written language of accounting, commerce, recording, and such. In a land where maybe 5% of the population was literate, knowledge was indeed power. To be able to read and write was a true status symbol and a quick way out of a life of labor.

The easiest and most basic example is to the think in English of the insect "bee" and a "leaf" from a tree. I'll bet many of you have seen this little trick before. Now, forget what these words mean to us--just observe the sounds they make. Put them together and you get a new word: bee + leaf = "belief." In simplest form that's how ancient Egyptian worked.

Ancient Egyptian has its own syntax and grammar, and I would not recommend trying to learn it from web sites. If you're serious about it, you truly need to study and practice it. Anneke mentioned Collier's book. This is one of my very favorites and taught me a great deal. There are good and bad books out there, but in my opinion Collier's is one of the best.
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