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Egyptian hieroglyphics sources

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emk
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United States
Joined 3929 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 2 of 4
18 February 2013 at 3:42pm | IP Logged 
mitsos wrote:
I find Egyptian hieroglyphics very interesting.Does anyone know any good sources with simple explanations to learn them?


Ancient Egyptian is an Afro-Asiatic language, distantly related to Arabic and Hebrew. Like Arabic and Hebrew, it's mostly written with consonants, and the vowels are left up to the reader (or in the case of Egyptian, ignored by modern readers).

For French speakers, Assimil's L'Égyptien hiéroglyphique is a great beginner course. It should be available with an English base within the next year or two. For English speakers, How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Edition is pretty popular, though it focuses more on funeral inscriptions and less on the actual language. If you're more interested in linguistics, I recommend Loprieno's Ancient Egyptian: A linguistic introduction, which is both comprehensive and excellent.

For something fun, check out the "hieroglyph edition" of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. You can also hear some spoken Egyptian in the movies Stargate and The Mummy.

Finally, check out my Dropbox folder, which contains Anki 2 decks for the basic signs and for the first few lessons of the French-based Assimil course. There's also a PDF with all the common phonetic signs.
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morinkhuur
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Germany
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Speaks: German*, Latin, English
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Maghribi)

 
 Message 3 of 4
22 February 2013 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
Do learners of Ancient Egyptian generally use the reconstructed pronunciation? Do the courses teach it? Or do
they maybe work with an approximation?

When I see Ancient Egyptian transcribed, it always looks somewhat like this:

smt.w pr.3.st qkl.w srt

which seems pretty hard to pronounce. (yes, I know about the problem with the vowels etc...)

I once read an interesting explanation of the reconstructed pronunciation which said that AE (being a cousin to
Arabic and Hebrew) actually sounded quite guttural, but I suppose learners wouldn't put in the effort to learn
such a difficult sound system for a dead language? Or do they actually do that? Is there maybe an accepted
"school pronunciation" as there is for Latin and Ancient Greek?
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
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United States
Joined 3929 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 4 of 4
22 February 2013 at 2:28am | IP Logged 
morinkhuur wrote:
Do learners of Ancient Egyptian generally use the reconstructed pronunciation? Do the courses teach it? Or do they maybe work with an approximation?


Since I've never taken a university course in Egyptian, this is all hearsay. But as far as I know, few people bother to pronounce the guttural consonants. (Most people just substitute the closest consonant in their L1.) And nobody except a tiny handful of specialists cares about the vowels.

If you're interested in the reconstructed vowels, check out the Loprieno book I mentioned above, which has an entire chapter on the subject. If you just want to hear the guttural consonants, pick up the Assimil CDs. These use a full set of consonants and dummy vowels. In fact, I found the Assimil recordings surprisingly useful, because they helped me link up the hieroglyphs with actual sounds, which made it vastly easier to remember all those vocabulary words without vowels.


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