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Practice Workbook For

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN

Kim Hegerberg All Rights Reserved

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Overview


Ancient Egyptian is broken down into 5 types of writing systems: Monoliteral Hieroglyphs: 1 symbol per letter Biliteral Hieroglyphs: 1 symbol standing for 2 letters Triliteral Hieroglyphs: 1 symbol standing for 3 letters Determinatives and Ideograms: 1 symbol standing for an entire concept (i.e. Gods, animals, people). It classifies a group of Hieroglyphs to help you determine what the word is. Lets look at the word for boat:

If you didnt have the picture of the boat at the end (marked in red) you could have confused the word for another similarly spelled word. A determinative can be used by itself or at the end of a series of Hieroglyphs consisting of any combination of Monoliteral, Bilteral or Trileral symbols. An ideogram is always by itself and is a picture that represents an entire word or concept. How to tell the difference? Ideograms are always one picture accompanied by a stroke. See this example where I marked the stroke in red (a stroke may also be to the right or left of a word depending on what direction you are reading in):

E
For this series we are just concentrating on the simplest part of Hieroglyphsthe Monoliteral or Alphabet symbols. Hieratic and Demotic: The common everyday written language of Ancient Egypt. Think of it as Hieroglyph shorthand. In the very last years of Ancient Egypt Hieratic was used less and less as an even simpler form of Hieroglyphs came into being called Demotic.

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Overview


Reading Another key feature of Ancient Egyptian is how it is read. The key is always read towards the faces. Here is what I mean: Read left to right: Read right to left: However when reading Hieratic it is ALWAYS written and read right to left. Pronunciation There were no written vowels in Ancient Egyptian. Modern day scholars simply put an e between consonants 90% of the time to help with pronunciation except in cases where you have an a sound such as the vulture or a u sound when you have a Quail Chick. As a rule think e and youll be pretty safe. How The Course Is Organized Just to give you a taste of the language I am going to introduce you to the Monoliteral signs and their Hieratic and Demotic written forms. In the lessons that follow, the Hieroglyph is presented along with its transliterated letter. If it is not a letter we have in English then I put a pronunciation clue just after it in brackets. Ill also tell you what the Hieroglyph is a picture of. The second image I will show you will be the Hieratic form of the same letter. The third is the Demotic. Then you have room to practice the Hieratic and Demotic forms for the remainder of the page. So how did Egyptians write the name of their language?

F
Pronounced Shan medu neter it means Writing of the Words of God

Egyptian Monoliteral Hieroglyphs


Hieroglyph Transliterated Hieratic Demotic Hieroglyph Transliterated Hieratic Demotic

H x X z s S k q g t
T

i y a w p b f m n r h

Guide To Help You Learn The Letters Birds Parts Of The Body Nature Household Items The Kitchen Animals

Became more of a t sound in Demotic. Another new letter added in Demotic was an L When there is more than one Demotic symbol it means either one stands for that particular letter.

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
OR
2 3

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
3 2 1

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
OR
1 2

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

1 3

Demotic
1 2

The Hieroglyph
3

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
3

OR
2

4 3 1

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
1

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic
1

Demotic
OR

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
OR

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
OR
1 2

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
OR
2

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
2

OR

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic
2 1

Demotic
2 1

OR

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
1 2 2 1

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic
1

Demotic

The Hieroglyph
3

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
3 2

The Hieroglyph

Hieratic

Demotic
3

OR
2

This brings us to the end of our Egyptian Hieroglyphic lessons. If youd like to learn more about Ancient Egyptian here are what I consider to be the best three resources: I want to know the basics: Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Practical Guide - A Step-byStep Approach to Learning Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs by Janice Kamrin. Available at www.amazon.com for approx. $23(US). Grammar doesnt scare meI want a really academic in depth look: Its pretty difficult to get through but youll definitely be an expert if you do. Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs by James P. Allen. Available at www.amazon.com for approx. $34(US). Is there an online course? Yes, there are several that are REALLY expensive. But I have a great alternative for you. Go to www.yahoo.com and click Groups on the left side menu. Type in GlyphStudy. This group is a forum in which everyone works through the James P. Allen book mentioned above. Experts in the group give you answers and feedback on the exercises.