Understanding The Difference Between Writing Scripts And Language

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“The hieroglyphic writing originated in Egypt around 3,100 BC, at the birth of the First Dynasty, during the reigns of Narmer, Ka, Den, and possibly, Senedj. The hieroglyphic script was not borrowed from Mesopotamia. It was a domestic invention initiated and developed by the ancient Egyptians in their own homeland, on the banks of the Nile. From its origins, the writing system was equipped with a complete array of intellectual and technical resources: ideograms, phonograms, a writing medium, and scribal instruments.”-The’ophile Obenga African Philosophy The Pharaonic Period: 2780-330 BC.

The significance of this writing system developed in Ancient Kmt has sparked a series of debates among linguists. We have had some who refute it as the earliest writing system, others who refuse to allow Africans to be its owners stating it’s a copy of Mesopotamia, and the select few who says it’s been incorrectly deciphered many of them has never studied the writing system. 

The Hieroglyphs contains 5 different writing systems that existed from the old kingdom during three intermediate periods, late period, and a Ptolemaic era. Those writing systems are Hieroglyphic, Cursive Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic. During the Old and Middle Egyptian eras a total of 700 hieroglyphs existed, but after the Ptolemaic period at least 7000 different hieroglyphs now exist. “The ancestral Remetch referred to the hieroglyphic writing system as Ss mdw-nTr Sesh Medew Netcher- Inscriptions of Divine Words. It consists of pictures of the natural flora, fauna, and man made objects indigenous of the Nile Valley Corridor”- Wudjau Men-Ib Iry-Maat A Beginner’s Introduction To Medew Netcher.

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There are four ways we can read the Hieroglyphs and they are: horizontal left to right or vertical left to right. The Hieroglyphs contain 24 monoliterals  25 if you count the double reed leaf as a monoliteral. Monoliterals are one letter words that also help make up what we call the Egyptian alphabet, and along with Bi-literals (2) letter and Tri-literals (3) letter consonants help make up the entire system. “Each sign used to write a given word generally serves one of the following functions: 1) Ideogram, 2) Phonogram 3) Determnatives. The signs that can perform each of the three roles, in different words of course, are relatively few.” Wudjau Men-Ib Iry-Maat A Beginner’s Introduction To Medew Netcher. Also the signs can function as Pictograms, Ideograms, Phonograms which deals with either a idea, sign, symbol or sound.

Hieratic writings are usually cursive and are always written from right to left. Demotic is a complicated script it derives from Hieratic and was used for religious text as well it can be written and read from right to left. Coptic has a Greek perspective using most of their alphabet and a few of the Egyptian alphabet as a blend to make up it’s writing system. Coptic came from the Egyptians who had recently adopted the belief system of the early AD period.

People who do not study the language or the writing system will continue to make the biggest mistake you possible can make by confusing one with the other. They are not the same and must not be treated as such. It is very important that we understand the language and the many different writing scripts which are involved with a particular time period. Language is supported by a writing script because it represents the voice and sounds expressed through communication by the way of thoughts and feelings.

“The language of ancient Egypt, in both its pharanoic and Coptic variants, is not an Indo-European language such as Hittite or Greek. Nor is it a Semetic language such as Akkaddian, Hebrew, or Arabic. Neither is it a Berber language such as Siwa Berber or Rif Berber.”- The’ophile Obenga African Philosophy The Pharaonic Period: 2780-330 BC.

In 1974 two of our best African minds entered a conference centered around the history of Africa and it’s owner of languages, history and much more. It was then the name Negro(black) Egyptian was introduced and proven to be the mother of all languages that come from under its umbrella. Two of the most organized Africans stole the show at the Unesco conference going against european minds who refuted the history of Black Africa. Comparative Linguistic studies by Dr. Diop, Dr. Obenga, Dr. Mboli, and a few other American African centered linguist have carried one another’s work an additional step throughout the years. They have all provided evidence that illustrate its historical breakthrough in parenting other African languages and it’s history. Ranykemet or Egyptian Spoken Language is not a dead language persay, Coptic is still being spoken til this day, and unlike the Hebrew language which once was a dead language the process of fully restoring it will take several years to complete. 

diopobenga                        blog

“When speaking of language in general, both the spoken and written forms are usually being referred, however, there are times when one or the other becomes the focus.” -Wudjau Men-Ib Iry-Maat A Beginner’s Introduction To Medew Netcher. As new languages are created different writing scripts will emerge that will support them. Since colonialism has soaked itself in grounds of the motherland a lot of what was has been lost. The root of culture is well within the confines of the language. In understanding the customs and practices of the ancestors we must first get rid of the influence of the colonizer, and restore the true meaning of a language that has been lost.

We as a people are so far removed from our native tongue and common practices we tend to not appreciate the beauty of our own language and writing script. To make false claims about translating the hieroglyphs only to turn around and tells story about the same hieroglyphs you’re saying can’t be translated is very hypocritical. With rigorous studies and applied understanding of methodology one can soon learn how to decipher the hieroglyphs with help.

References: Obenga, Théophile. African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period 2780-330 BC. Popenguine: Per Ankh, 2004. Print.
Iry-Maat, Wudjau Men-Ib. “A Beginner’s Introduction To Medew Netcher – The Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic System Paperback – March 24, 2015.” A Beginner’s Introduction To Medew Netcher. Heka Multimedia, Mar. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. 

By:Ini-Herit Khalfani

November 7, 2016

Nashville, TN

<https://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Introduction-Medew-Netcher-Hieroglyphic/dp/0692411402&gt;.

Multimedia, By Heka. “Welcome to Mdw-nTr Community.” Mdw-nTr. Wudjau Men-Ib Iry-Maat, Jan. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <http://www.mdw-ntr.com/membership/community&gt;.

Photos by: Wukitsch, Tom. “Unit 3: Egyptian Writing — Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, Coptic.” Unit 3: Egyptian Writing — Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, Coptic. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <http://www.mmdtkw.org/EGtkw0300-Unit3EgyptianWriting.html&gt;.

“ANKH: Egyptologie Et Civilisations Africaines.” ANKH: Egyptologie Et Civilisations Africaines. Ankhonl, 2006. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <http://www.ankhonline.com/obenga_th_bibli.htm&gt;.

Deciphermentsisu Follow. “Class 05 Champollion.” Class 05 Champollion. N.p., 27 Jan. 2011. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <http://www.slideshare.net/deciphermentsisu/class-05-champollion&gt;.

Obenga, The’ophile. “EgyptSearch Forums: FYI.” EgyptSearch Forums: FYI. Asar Imhotep, 4 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016. <http://www.egyptsearch.com/forums/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic%3Bf&gt;.

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