The languages of ancient Egypt it is owned by Egyptian tongues but goes back to the depths of history, the roots of the people who first used it in the third century BC, two centuries before the first dynasty began.
Old Egyptian, Middle Egyptian, Late Egyptian, Demotic, and Coptic are the five stages of the ancient Egyptian language that have been identified. At least four writing systems were used to write these: hieroglyphs, hieratic, demotic, and Coptic.
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History languages of ancient Egypt:
The ancient Egyptians referred to their language as “the mouth of Egypt,” “the tongue of Egypt,” and “the words of Egypt.” They endowed it with a hallowed air when they named it “the words of God” and “the sacred speech,” according to the book “The Ancient Egyptian Language.”
The term “hieroglyphic” refers to the name of the earliest script in which this language was written; it means “holy writing” in Greek since priests used it to etch on the walls of temples, even though the Egyptians did not call their language by that name.
Another line appeared in the hieroglyphic language of ancient Egypt, called “Hieratic,” and is a simplified version of the hieroglyphic line. Priests were writing it on papyrus paper.
The “Demotic line,” which is derived from “Demoticos,” a Greek word that means “my people,” was necessary, but in the ninth century BC, it was also the line used for routine transactions and activities.
The Coptic language, which carries seven signs drawn from the Demotic script and was written entirely in Greek letters, finally emerged from the ancient Egyptian language’s womb about when the Greek occupation of Egypt began.
Because the Coptic language was preserved by the Egyptian churches and used as an official language, it had the magical effect of aiding Egyptologists, led by Champollion, in deciphering the ancient Egyptian language, which was a blend of Greek and ancient Egyptian, both in phonetic signs and writing signs.
What does the word “hieroglyphs” mean?
Images were utilized as writing symbols in hieroglyphs. These pictures are renderings, tool components, or sketches of living things.
And the word “hieroglyphic” comes from the Greek word for “sacred carving.” In this manuscript, the main sounds were written with symbols.
The words “hieroglyph” are derived from the Greek words “hieros” and “glophos,” which mean “holy writing” and “engraved writing,” respectively.
This refers to the fact that it was written on the walls of immovable monuments or other sacred spaces like temples and tombs.
(structures) and portable artifacts (statues and paintings). added to the languages of ancient Egypt.
How are hieroglyphs written?
Except for instances where it is necessary to change the direction of writing to match the order of a specific scene or text on an architectural element of a unique nature,
the ancient Egyptian language was written in its hieroglyphic script horizontally and vertically from right to left. However, the coordination and aesthetic form occasionally
required some texts to be written from left to right.
Uses of hieroglyphs:
Ancient Egypt used hieroglyphs as its way of writing. The first official document with hieroglyphic writing was made between Gami (3300 BC and 3200 BC). The name of it was a hieroglyph.
The pictures in hieroglyphics were based on things that were common in Egypt. And it has things like numbers, names, and goods.
During the time of the pharaohs, religious texts were written or decorated with hieroglyphs on the walls of palaces, temples, tombs, statues,
Engraved stone panels, and colored wooden panels. And until the fourth century AD, it was used to write hieroglyphics.
How are hieroglyphs written?
In its hieroglyphic script, the ancient Egyptian language was written horizontally and vertically from right to left unless
it was necessary to change the direction of writing to match the order of a scene or text on a unique architectural element or
if the coordination and aesthetic form of some readers required that they be registered from left to right.
How many letters are in hieroglyphic?
The hieroglyphic writing consists of about 500 known signs.
How was the hieroglyphic language discovered?
A soldier called Pierre Francois Bouchard found it there in 1799 during Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt. Due to its ability to decipher this old language that had not yet been translated,
it was the first bilingual ancient Egyptian writing to be discovered in the contemporary era. It was written on it in 196 BC.
The scientist Champollion presented his findings on interpreting the hieroglyphic language in 1822, following the discovery of the Rosetta Stone
during the French expedition in Egypt. Champollion is credited with being the first to recognize the phonetic nature of the hieroglyphic characters and decipher them.
Beyond the hieratic language:
Hieratic, also called “priestly writing,” was a way of writing in Pharaonic Egypt. It came about around the same time as hieroglyphics, with which it has a lot in common.
It is registered with ink and is a piece of written language. The word “hieratic” comes from the Greek phrase “grammata hieratika,” which means “the writing of priests.”
Clement of Alexandria was the first person to use the word “scripture” to describe this writing system in the second century AD. At the time, he used it to describe religious
texts, as people had done for the previous thousand years. The Hieratic was used a lot in manuscripts and paintings. It was a short, connected way of writing in hieroglyphics (originally singular).
Demotic is a fast, cursive writing style used for everyday tasks, and it was meant to replace the more formal hieratic writing, one of the languages of ancient Egypt
Origin and progression:
The demand for a better substance than stone developed when writing on it, conserving it, and transmitting it became increasingly widespread among the ancient Egyptians.
The Egyptians created papyrus, a product manufactured from the papyrus plant that resembles paper, for this use. Scribes used pens made of pointed reeds to write on papyrus.
Metal-tipped cells were available, and the ink was made of soot and water. The Egyptians also created phonograms, which are phonetic hieroglyphs.
Similar to how the letters of the contemporary alphabet represent the sounds of the language, this particular sort of hieroglyphic writing has representations of those sounds.
However, these phonetic symbols only represented the consonants because the Egyptians could not write the vowels. Some hieroglyphic symbols indicated a single sound,
while others were similar to a set of two or more sounds that formed syllables. Because of this, the pronunciation of the ancient Egyptian language is still unknown to experts.
Then the Egyptians created priestly writing, a more straightforward cursive style that was quick to write on papyrus. In the same manner that regular modern paper resembles print,
the priestly report was comparable to hieroglyphic writing. Scribes employed the priestly essay for both religious and secular purposes.
The Egyptians later invented the Demotic script, which is easier and quicker to write than priestly writing, sometime around 700 BC. The Demotic script was employed by most Egyptians,
as well as scribes, for writing letters and keeping records.
Why and how to use:
Use the two writing systems side by side. Hieratic writing was a form of cursive writing that reportedly emerged in the same period as hieroglyphic writing.
The word “hieratic,” which means priest in Greek, was solely employed in the composition of religious works.
On papyrus, leather, wooden boards, ostraca (pottery shards or shards), as well as on linen: letters to the dead from the Old Kingdom, and identifying badges for mummies, such as those on the sarcophagus of Ramses II, were all written in hieratic, which was always written from right to left.
Additionally, business correspondence, accounts, and paperwork were all written in hieratic script. After 1800 BC, they were typically written in rows but occasionally in columns. The hieratic texts varied depending on the type of text and the author’s writing abilities.
The extant hieratic texts, especially those used for official records and administrative papers, often demonstrate significant attention to the aesthetics of biblical and religious literature.
On the other hand, private letters display various handwriting styles. Linking, typically utilized to create condensed pairs or groups of signs in cursive writing of texts, is the primary distinction
between hieroglyphic writing and hieratic writing.
What exactly is the Coptic language?
The Egyptian language, which was used by the ancient Egyptians to speak and write more than 5,000 years ago, has now evolved into the Coptic language.
The consensus among academics is that it is directly descended from the late Egyptian tongue, as it was spoken during the dawn of the modern state in the sixteenth century BC.
How many letters are there in Coptic?
The letters of the alphabet that are derived from Greek letters are known as the Coptic alphabet.
The 32 letters make up the Coptic alphabet, most of which may be traced back to the Greek alphabet and seven letters with Demotic roots.
According to the Coptic alphabet, the sixth letter is employed as the number 6 and is not generally used to create words.
Stages of the Coptic language:
The Coptic language represents the tenacity of Egyptian identity because it not only endured attempts to change and eradicate it for more than a thousand years while serving as the primary language of the Egyptian people.
The Ptolemies, who ruled Egypt from 323 BC to 30 BC, forced Greek as the nation’s official language and attempted to popularise it by making it the language of translations,
particularly the Septuagint, the Septuagint being the translation of the Torah. This caused much suffering for the people of Egypt. The Romans took over that curriculum,
but Coptic remained the people’s language. Coptic then went through a period of strength, or rather, the period of its peak and power at the end of the Byzantine era and the beginning of the Arab
era, when Christianity was introduced to Egypt by “Marmark the Messenger,” and as a result, Greek was restricted to Greece and its students.
It is only used in a few administrative and historical matters and in a few books of the time. And when Christianity gained popularity among the populace, Greek culture deteriorated and shifted its
cultural focus on Christian monasteries.
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