Hieroglyphs

You will learn interesting facts about the old egypt font and we will show you how to write with hieroglyphs.

Downloads.
Further material for this article.

Hieroglyphs

Hieroglyphen 4

 

Using hieroglyphs in class, e. g. writing your own name? No problem with the Pelikan font type Egypt!

 

 
Hieroglyphen 3
Hieroglyphen 2
From the age of the kings: A wall relief in the temple of Karnak, Luxor in Egypt.

Research has shown that in the old Egypt, relatively few people were able to read or write. Those who could had been to a large part officials working as writers in administration. However, they also were responsible for e. g. issuing official documents for illiterates. Hieroglyphs are considered the oldest form of human writing. However, even after 3.500 years, they have lost none of their mysterious impact. Despite of the intense imagery of some of the symbols, hieroglyphs do not entirely belong to the field of pictography. The symbols of the old Egyptians fascinate us until today. However, back then, there were a lot more symbols for the people to remember than we have to with our 26 letters of the alphabet. Though no one has ever counted them to the exact number, it seems there are up to 700 hieroglyphs. Their meaning can be looked up in many different books.

 

 

Hieroglyphen 5
Hieroglyphen 6
Hieroglyphs everywhere: The foot of the „Guardians“ in front of the Karnak temple complex, as well as the obelisks are decorated with them.

To use hieroglyphs in class, we offer you the Pelikan hieroglyphic script „Egypt“ as a help, even though there was no such thing as an Egyptian alphabet. With our hieroglyphs, children are able to write their own words or decipher other ones. The hieroglyphs are also well-suitable for writing names. By minding some rules, you might even be able to decipher some old Egyptian inscriptions, as the meaning of our hieroglyphs orientates themselves on the general literature. As the Egyptians had no symbol for the letters E Q, V, X and Y, we made some up for them in our Pelikan hieroglyphs! The Pelikan font type Egypt contains the following alphabetic symbols:

n. ex.: non-existent, see text
 

 

Characteristics of Hieroglyphs

Consonants instead of vowels
There are no vowels in hieroglyphs, only consonants. For this reason, it was difficult for Egyptologists to find out how single words were pronounced without the use of vowels, and so they agreed to use certain consonants as vowels. The only exception was the letter “e”. The Egyptians inherently embedded this vowel between the consonants, in order to vocalize spoken words. With exception of the letter “e”, all letters exist in the Pelikan font type “Egypt”. Generally, you should keep in mind that hieroglyphs cannot be translated letter by letter, as there are too many differences between the Egyptian language and ours and there are sounds that do not exist in the German language.

Male and Female Names
Single hieroglyphs have a special meaning, due to the way they are written. For example, the symbol of a man sitting (Font type Egypt: squared brackets) for a male name and the female, sitting hieroglyph (round brackets) points to a female name. The names of kings, for example, are always written in a so-called cartouche.

Classification of the Hieroglyphs
To Egyptians, esthetic was more important than the right order of the symbols. This way, there were different ways for writing the same word, as hieroglyphs were not only turned, but also changed in size. Moreover, words were sometimes written horizontal and sometimes in vertical line. However, hieroglyphs were never read from the bottom up.

Hieroglyphen 7
This is how the name „Charlotte“ is spelled with the Pelikan font type „Egypt“...
Hieroglyphen 4
and this is what the name would look like considering the order of the old Egyptians. (Some letters are written in larger size and others find a new alignment).

Direction of the Hieroglyphs
The direction, in which the hieroglyphs show, is different. The sign for a man and a woman generally show to the beginning of the text. The inscriptions of doors, for example, are always aligned to show to the reader. This way, they do not impolitely turn their back on their guest. You can let our symbols show to the left or right, too, by pushing the shift key when using the Pelikan font type Egypt.

Hieroglyphen 8
The hieroglyph of a woman is a sign for a girl’s name and shows in the direction of the beginning of the word „Charlotte“.

Otherwise, the Pelikan font type Egypt can be used like any other regular scripture, as all hieroglyphs, except the above mentioned exceptions, match the keys of a keyboard.

Tutanchamun: Photo replica

Simple script design: Pelikan font type Egypt.
A more comprehensive design is possible using the Pelikan font type Egypt, however, only when using an additional graphic program.

 

Quellen: Zauzich, K.-T. (2000): Hieroglyphen ohne Geheimnis.