Ancient Hieroglyphics: The Decipherment, Dissemination, and Development Relating to Todays Modern English Language

Ancient Hieroglyphics: The Decipherment, Dissemination, and Development Relating to Todays Modern English Language

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Today’s modern English language did not develop overnight, rather over hundreds and thousands of centuries. The main background that we develop our language from is Greek, however we also have to think about where the Greeks derived their language from. After a very long chain reaction going through multiple cultures, the language that we use to this day arose and can be traced back to its original roots.
The language of the early ancient Egyptians consisted of picture-like drawings that could be found on the walls of caves, pottery, and religious documents. This unique form of writing is known today as “hieroglyphs”, meaning “sacred writings”. Each letter of the Egyptian alphabet had its own symbol, therefore allowing the ancient Egyptians to spell out words using the pictures. Rather than the pictures standing for an individual letter, the pictures symbolized sounds within words. Hieroglyphics were usually written inside of caves, or on wood or a papyrus leaf. There are over 700 pictures representing words, and thousands of pictures representing individual sounds.
There were two other derivatives of the hieroglyphics, hieratic and demotic. The Hieratic script was used until the 26th dynasty, in which by then it was for religious purposes only (Ager, 1998). The Demotic branch of hieroglyphics was mainly used for recording information for documents. Of the two branches, demotic is the most popular, standing below hieroglyphics. Both of these two branches are differentiated forms of hieroglyphs, however they are not as well-known as hieroglyphs.
Hieroglyphs developed from illustrations that would be found on various objects in a society. Although the pictures changed a little, the Egyptians began to use this form of language an...


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...nguage would have been even more of a tedious task than it was. Although there are some major differences, such as the writings with pictures versus the writings with letters, there are also some similarities, such as both hieroglyphics and English language are ways to record documents. Another major difference is that only the priests and people of higher importance were able to learn how to read and write in hieroglyphs whereas in our culture, we begin to learn to read and write in English at a very young age. The English language that we speak today derives from countries mainly located in Europe or the Middle East. Nearly all languages derive, in some sort, from the ancient Egyptians because all languages have a writing system. The ancient Egyptians may have thought they were just recording religious procedures, but they influenced many cultures to this day.



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