Question: Please help with this name: Faith? What do you do about long A and TH? Is the A omitted? Would it be correct to omit short vowels in syllables? Would the name Cameron become KMRN? Hope you don't mind helping? Thanks in advance!

Marie: Vowels in hieroglyphic transliterations are a problem. Because the ancient Egyptians never wrote vowels until they had to write foreign names like Cleopatra, we do not know exactly the sounds they would have used. Unless we speak Greek, we do not really know how the vowels in Cleopatra are pronounced. Is it Cleopatra or Cleopartra? The same problem arises with the letter blends such as TH in English. more…

Question: Can you please assist with the translation of the following phrase into Hieroglyphs and Hermetic Egyptian scripts? "god is love" I look forward to your reply and thank you for your co-operation.

Answer: Sorry, I do not know the Hermetic script (but I do know the Hieroglyphs). The flag alone is an abbreviated form of the word for "god". You could add the determinative for "god" which is a seated man with a beard, although it is not necessary. The flag alone for "god" is carved on tomb walls everywhere. more…

Question: How would I translate the phrases...'dude' and 'sweet' in heiroglyphics

Answer: You will find a glyph called a scented pod and another called the scented rhyzome. A rhyzome is a root, similar to a tuber, which is filled with the food the new plant will need. Both these glyphs mean "sweet". However, if you are using the word "sweet" to mean good, that would be nefer (the heart and windpipe) with the complementary consonants of "f" and "r". more…

Question: What's the Egyptian Hieroglyph for 'night' and 'day'?

Answer: The determinative for sun is also an ideogram for the sun, day and the Sun God Re. However if you put the stroke under it that signals that it means what is pictured, so the sun glyph with the stroke either alongside or underneath would mean sun or day. The sky or heaven glyph lightning would mean night.

Question: At my last visit to Egypt I made some (in my eyes) strange photographs. They are attached.

  • At Kom Ombo. showing a pair of ears at a scenery. Since I have not seen anything before I am very curious about the all that's to it.
  • At Abydos at the Osirion. Flowers. What's your opinion about that.
  • At Karnak. A pair of double ankh symbols.

What about that? Please help me with my questions.

Copyright 2003. Used with permission of Wim Leeuwis

Answer: Firstly, congratulations on the clarity of your photograph of the inscription at Kom Ombo. Although I have been to Kom Ombo twice, I have not seen this. I am sorry I missed photographing it as it would be a good photo for Archaeological Diggings, the magazine I write for.

A quick (and not intensive) look shows In the top register - the winged solar disk - which is a representation of Horus which put everything and everyone beneath it under the protection of Horus, the god of war (among other things). more…

Question: My son has asked me to help him find out why animals drawn on the walls of tombs were drawn with their tongues sticking out. Do you know the answer to this question? We appreciate your help.

Answer: Animals were drawn on walls of tombs in the belief that they would come to life my magic in the next world and supply the deceased with the riches and comforts of life that he enjoyed when he was alive. To the Egyptians death simply transformed them into another level of existence where, depending who they were in life, would continue to be supplied with the food, drinks, cattle, workers, etc which they had in their former existence. more…

Question: I was wondering if you could help me translate something into English. This is apparently a country or a place or a town? Your help is much appreciated.

Answer: This is not a country or a town. The determinative for a country or town is a circle with a cross which looks like two streets intersecting. These hieroglyphs do not have this determinative. I am wondering if the hieroglyphs have been copied incorrectly. The second and third "r" (mouth) and the "n" (a water ripple) have been printed in a way that I have not seen before. more…

Question: I have a hieroglyph on a Zippo that I have as yet been unable to identify. It looks like the eye of Horace, but reversed. The top is the eye of Ra, the curling leg on the left, the straight leg on the right. I would very much like to know what deity it is.

Answer: I found the Zippo pages on the net and enquired about your lighter to the Customer Relations Department. They told me that they couldn't be specific because of the large number of theme lighters produced, but they did make a lighter called "Eye of Ra" in their "Treasures of the Tomb" series. This was a design presented to them for use and they don't know what the historical meaning might be. Perhaps if you write to Zippo Customer Service and send a photograph of the lighter, they might be able to tell you when it was made etc, although they don't know what the hieroglyph is.

Question: I am writing from Queensland Australia. My name is Bow (as in the bow you tie with a ribbon) and yes, I am female. It would mean a great deal to me personally if I was able to find someone who could tell me how to write my name or what it looks like in hieroglyphics (that is such a big word to spell).

Answer: Your name in hieroglyphs depends on the meaning of your name. Were you called Bow because that sound in French (beau) means beautiful? Or do you simply want me to substitute the hieroglyphs for the sound "b" and "o" because the "w" is not sounded. I could also spell out in full the English letters contained in your name B O W in hieroglyphs. If you choose the hieroglyph for beautiful, you will have the same hieroglyph with begins the name Nefertiti - which means "the beautiful one has arrived." Nefertiti was Akhenaton's wife and queen and is even recognised today as one of the most beautiful women ever. If you want the bow you tie with ribbon, then there is a sign which represents the bow of the sash (belt of her gown) of Isis.

Question: Could you please help me with some questions on hieroglyphics. I am working on the history fair and would like an experts help and knowlage. My first question is : How did hieroglyphics help the world in communication? It was the first type of communication right! My second question is: When did hieroglyphics become a dead laugage and communication and how?

Answer: You are right when you say that Egyptian hieroglyphs might very well have been the first form of writing. Here is part of a BBC news article:
The earliest writing ever seen may have been discovered in southern Egypt. The hieroglyphics record linen and oil deliveries made over 5,000 years ago. The find challenges the widely-held belief that the first people to write were the Sumerians of Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) sometime before 3000 BC. The exact date of Sumerian writing remains in doubt but the new Egyptian discoveries have been confidently dated to between 3300 BC and 3200 BC using carbon isotopes. more…

Question: I am in the 8th grade currently doing a History Day Report. I am doing my report on Ancient Egyptians and how they used Hieroglyphics for communication purposes. In doing this report I must have three interviews either over the phone or e-mail. I recently visited your site which gave me a lot of great information. So if you could possibly answer a few questions I have that would be great.
Overall, what main impact have Hieroglyphs had on history? Out of the three scripts that the Egyptians used (Hieroglyphs, Demotic, and Hieratic) which one was the most popular as far as use? What was the main reason for the Egyptians to come up with their own language?

Answer: Welcome to the fascinating world of ancient Egypt. The more you learn, the, more you will want to know. Here are your questions more…

Question: i have a question i hope you could help me with. I am trying to learn some basic hieroglyphics, but am stuck with some transliteration. I don't seem to understand parentheses used in transliteration at the end of some words, for instance: hb nb(t) Why is a t in parentheses? is it because they left out the little bread loaf in the picture? and nfr is written nfr(t) in transliteration, but there never was a t (or loaf), even in the hieroglyphic script.
im3h(y) why the parentheses? If there are more than one ways to spell this epithet, why not just use the one that appears in the glyphics? Is it so one is not confused, and think it is something else? and w'b, the little foot with a jug of spilling water on top is spelled w'b(t), but again, there is no loaf denoting a t sound. this is so confusing.

Answer: After a bit of ferriting around, I found this explanation. Try this explanation from a highly experienced translator I know:
Often in transliteration the full word is written out, even though the scribe has written a shortened version. The missing letter is in parentheses. more…



Because of time constraints, Marie can no longer respond to questions. This page remains only as a resource for the answers she has already provided.

Marie Carter is an Egyptophile living in Australia. She is the Assistant Editor of the Australian magazine Archaeological Diggings and has traveled to Egypt many times.


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