I would like to welcome you to Wiktionary.

Obviously, you know your way around wikis. If you need help, feel free to ask here, on my page or in one of the forums (community portal at left).

You might be interested in the Category:Egyptian_language page, which has information and links (including an empty link to the "about" page, which we need).

Can I ask where you learned ancient Egyptian? --BB12 (talk) 01:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Thanks! I think that you're right about the about page. I might play about with creating something provisional on one of my user sub-pages - when I've come up with something, where should I post it to check for consensus?
As for my Egyptian, it is still a work in progress - I've been working through J.P. Allen's Grammar: Middle Egyptian, which is very well laid out, and supplementing that with Hoch's grammar. For definitions of words I've been using Faulkners' dictionary, which the grammars claim to be the standard (It was published well before unicode and is, as a result, entirely handwritten!)

Furius (talk) 13:27, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Consensus is always good, though there are few people working on Egyptian. Would you be willing to create the WT:Babel templates for Egyptian (probably in English if the Egyptian isn't known) to start building a community? If not, I can do that. Either way, if you can add a Babel box to your page, then people working in the same languages can find you :)
Since we don't have Babel templates for Egyptians, to find Egyptian editors, I looked at Category:Egyptian_nouns, randomly clicked sAq and then looked at the history. Through the "user contributions" link, I found that User_talk:CAmbrose is working on Egyptian.
As for the about page, I think you can start it and tell others about it at the WT:Beer Parlour and on their pages. You can find other examples of about pages by searching WT:About XXX.
I always thought the alphabetic "hieroglyphics" were silly, but then again, I don't think I have the bravery to attack the full set. It's awesome that you're doing that. I will at least take a look at Faulkners when I get a chance! --BB12 (talk) 18:53, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
It looks like we need Babel templates for hieroglyphics, too. I don't see them at Category:User_scripts. --BB12 (talk) 19:38, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi! I've also studied Middle Egyptian, but I don't know how to use the Unicode input. Is there a Gardiner's List → Unicode converter? Also, do you an opinion on which transliteration system we use? I've been planning to switch all entries in transliteration to the European system, but I'd like to hear what you think first. Thanks --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:23, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

I've started an about page at Wiktionary:About Egyptian Furius (talk) 02:28, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
By the way, BB12 and I watch your talkpage, so you can always post here and we'll notice it. Thanks! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:30, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Periods of EgyptianEdit

Is there a need to break Egyptian into different periods? Furius, you say you're studying a Middle Egyptian text, and MK, you told me that's what you studied as well. --BB12 (talk) 23:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

No, not really. The changes are mostly grammatical, and as a written language, most non-demotic texts are in Middle Egyptian, which remained the classical form of the language. Moreover, Old Egyptian is more or less a very formal, stilted-sounding Middle Egyptian without a developed literature. By the way, the text we've been using is the same, I think: James Allen's Middle Egyptian. (I also have an introductory grammar from the Ashmolean.) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:51, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Very good. That's information that should probably be listed on the about page, then :) --BB12 (talk) 23:53, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Agreed - the language changes only become truly massive once you get to Coptic - which is generally/always treated as a separate language. Of course we can note if a word/spelling is limited to Old or Late Egyptian on the individual pages. Furius (talk) 23:58, 21 August 2012 (UTC)


We don't use redirects on Wktionary (see Wiktionary:Redirections for some of the reasons why). If a page has the wrong name, then it should be moved, not redirected. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:05, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I think you're misrepresenting the policy - which as I read it is "alternate forms get entries, not redirects." However, the redirects which I produced were dealing with alternative transliteration systems - that is, both the new entry and the old one are different ways of reproducing the exact same Egyptian word in the Roman alphabet - they're not variants in any real sense - and the nature of Egyptian transliterations is that they're highly unlikely to be words in other languages, either.
The alternative to redirects in this instance is to duplicate all the content for each word across a great number of transliteration systems (an unintentional case of it can be seen in the Egyptian word for cat mjw, which now has entries at mı͗w, miw, and mỉw- which is messy as anything.
Furius (talk) 00:57, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
No, I am not misrepresenting policy. Please read past the first section; the policy also covers alternative spellings and forms with/without diacriticals. If you'd care to discuss this in the Beer Parlour, you'd see a strong backing of why main namespace redirects are strongly, strongly discouraged, even in the sort of cases you mention. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:19, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
EncycloPetey, this is one of the cases where pragmatism trumps rules. What Furius is doing is something that we should encourage. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:01, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Only so long as the page redirected can never, ever be an entry in any language or system of communication. If the page title could be a word or entry in another language, then the redirect becomes lost when an entry is created. That's the point of avoiding redirects in the main namespace. Yes, this can mean some form of duplication, but usually in the form of "alternative form" entries. We can't assume that miw won't exist in any other language, and so it can't be a redirect. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:17, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Miw might be worth using {{alternative form of}} for, but if you've ever studied Egyptian you'll know that transliteration looks pretty unlikely, between the special characters and the crazy consonant clusters (Egyptologists usually pronounce them as if they had /e/ or /ə/ between them; they probably had the former). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:22, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm aware of the "crazy" consonant clusters, and Egyptian is not the only langauge to have them. Serbian words often appear to have no vowels as well (e.g. srp). --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:27, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't have much of an opinion, but Berber is well known to have words with consonants as the syllable nucleus (i.e., no vowel). --BB12 (talk) 02:31, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Your point makes sense with regard to miw (It would also be an issue with consonant clusters (e.g. qbb), but the different transliteration systems generally agree there, so that's less of an issue). I don't see it being an issue with cases using yogh (ȝ) for aleph (3), which is otherwise only used for Old English, where vowel-less consonant clusters are not going to occur. Not to put words into your mouth, but I suspect that you'll suggest that those duplicates simply be deleted under the diacritic policy. If so, then ok.
The one instance that remains is the Burman-Grimal system, which is quite popular, and uses a combination of upper and lower case characters to transliterate without diacritics (e.g. XArt for ẖ3rt). In most cases, these upper case/lower case combinations seem extremely unlikely to refer to words in any language - and they're sufficiently different that people might search for them (and putting XArt into the search toolbar is obviously not going to return ẖ3rt). Might redirection be a suitable solution in regard to these? I suppose that I ought to take the issue to the Beer parlour to find out? Furius (talk) 14:09, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
B-G has been traditionally used for computers (and originally typewriters, I think), so it would be logical that somebody might search using it. Again, only Romanized Klingon shares that kind of CamelCase mixing, and Klingon of any kind is not allowed outside of the appendix. We can always take it to the BP, although consensus is often painfully unclear. I personally continue to support maximal redirection.--Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:17, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Whereas policy has been to suppress the creation of redirects. The yogh also appears in Scots, and there are at least a few Bantu languages that have odd capitalizations. My best suggestion is to create the entries at page names which reflect a preferred system of transliteration. Alternative transliteration systems will be used for "soft redirects". This is, they will have an entry, but with no information other than the language name, a statement about "alternative transliteration of X", and possibly identification of which system of transliteration it is. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:05, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
But the yogh is rare in Scots, and Bantu languages can only have w:open syllables, so again coincidence will be rare. Again, policy vs pragmatism. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:09, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I think if you lists the alternative forms as links so they redirect to the main entry (even better, with qualifiers which say what the transliteration system is), that's ok. We've done that before. It tackles some (or all?) of the ambiguity problems listed in WT:REDIR. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:22, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Some thoughtsEdit

First of all, we're starting a new feature to have a foreign word of the day on the main page. I'd like to nominate an interesting term from Egyptian. I was thinking of mdw j3wj (as an idiom, of course: "a son who cares for his father"), although it'll have to be created first. If you have a better idea, I'd love to hear it. Inclusion of the standard Egyptological pronunciation and a quote from running Egyptian text would be great, but are not really necessary.

Also, I realized that you don't seem to be adding inflectional information for Egyptian verbs. Do you think that we should have autocollapsing tables (like the one at amo#Inflection) or maybe just links to pages like Appendix:Egyptian Fourth Weak conjugation (geminated) that have all the forms for a model verb? Thanks --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:09, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

On the first point - that would be an excellent way to get more people looking at the Egyptian pages! mdw j3w/j3wj is suitably poetic to capture people's imagination, too.
On the second point - I think a drop-down table would be good, but they're a bit beyond my wikabilities, so I've been leaving them off and avoiding verbs as much as possible. Furius (talk) 00:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Re 1st point: I would create it, but my Egyptian is sorely lacking, so I'd rather you do it if you don't mind :)
Re 2nd point: Sounds like a good job for me! Unfortunately, Egyptian verbs are painfully complex compared to the rest of Egyptian grammar, and Allen doesn't seem to have a place where he lists all possible forms of a verb, so I'll have to go through piecemeal. If you want it to get done on the sooner side, you can condense the data and I'll wikicode it. You can either do this by listing the forms or by specifying page numbers in Allen and specifying the order and aesthetics you want. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
That's absolutely fine - Today is a page making/editing day! The verbs might take a little bit longer: As you say, Allen doesn't provide a paradigm. In fact, it does not seem that one exists. So I'll want to go through carefully and make sure I don't leave out a perfective relative, or something... Furius (talk) 00:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
The beauty of templates is that one can always add it in and all the pages get updated automatically! Well, I'm ready when you are. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, it seems that no paradigm chart existed hitherto. Amazingly, though, they end up fitting in a chart fairly well. Here's what it looks like for everyone's favourite verb sḏm:
Suffix Forms (1) Participles(10)
Active Passive Active Passive Relative
Perfective(2) sḏm sḏm.tw sḏm sḏmw(11) sḏm
Imperfective(3) sḏm sḏm.tw sḏmj/sḏmy sḏmw(11) sḏmw
Perfect sḏm.n sḏm.n.tw ------ ------ sḏm.n
Prospective sḏm sḏmm sḏm.tj.fj(9) ------ ------
Subjunctive sḏm sḏm.tw Stative
Passive ------ sḏm(w) Singular Plural
"Consequential"(4) sḏm.jn sḏm.jn.tw 1st Person sḏm.kw sḏm.wjn
"Necessity"(5) sḏm.ḫr sḏm.ḫr.tw 2nd person sḏm.tj sḏm.tjwjn
"Future Consequential"(6) sḏm.k3 sḏm.k3.tw 3rd person (masc) sḏm.w sḏm.wj
Old Perfect (7) sḏmt sḏm.tw 3rd person (fem) sḏm.tj
Infinitival forms
Infinitive sḏm Negatival Complement sḏmw Complementary Infinitive(8) sḏmt
1) All of these forms can display their subject using the suffix pronouns (and they frequently do)
2) Otherwise known as the "Indicative"
3) Otherwise known as the "Circumstantial"
4) No formal name - usually referred to as the "sḏm.jn"
5) No formal name - usually referred to as the "sḏm.ḫr"
6) No formal name - usually referred to as the "sḏm.k3"
7) Otherwise known as the "sḏmt"
8) Rare & Archaic
9) Declines using third person suffix pronouns: masc.: .fj, fem: .sj & plural: .sn
10) Decline like adjectives
11) -w only appears in the masculine singular (note that this note will only be required for some verbs)
I wish I knew how to wordwrap wikitables! I've given names to the three nameless forms based on Allen's discussion of them in chapter 22. Furius (talk) 13:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, with this (beautiful) paradigm I can create a sḏm-type (i.e. 3-lit) template, but I'd rather create a more complete template. Actually, there are two options. I can create a master template and and separate subtemplate for each conjugation or you can tell me at length what differences from this paradigm occur in each of the other conjugations, and then I'll create one giant template with just one subtemplate, for the defective and irregular verbs. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:10, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Cool. I can do that. Furius (talk) 04:06, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I'll take that to mean the latter option? If so, I'm ready for it :) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:32, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah! Sorry! This is the peril of responding at work during a teabreak! On greater reflection, I'm not sure which of these is the better option. But either way, I think the easiest way for me to convey the information is to post a table in the above format for each conjugation. That way we run less risk of getting confused that if I write a wall of text and I will be certain to doublecheck everything (The table by its nature really ought to be the clearest way of conveying the conjugation information - Or it's not doing its job!) I've opened up a sub-page at User talk:Furius/Egyptian Conjugations, and at the rate I'm currently proceeding, I would guess that it's going to take about a week to get it done properly (Because I'm slow, but also because I want to make sure that I don't miss anything).
Once I've listed them all, then I'll add notes for each one explaining how they all differ. I think it will end up being a sub-template for each conjugation, because the differences can be fairly wide ranging... But I'm not sure what the wikimagic is capable of exactly...
Three further points: One, I just realised that I've left the imperatives off (They were right at the bottom of my page of notes and got folded over. They're always the dictionary form, except in the biliterals, where they can be prefixed by (j), in the weak forms, where they come without the final literal (i.e. the imperative of jrj is jr), and in the anomalous forms where they are seriously weird (the imperative of rdj is jmj, and that of jj/jw is mj). There are no passive forms. I'm not sure how to cram them into the table - I think my initial intention was to put them in the two null spaces left by the prospective participle?
Secondly, where I've list a form like sḏmm or ḏdd, that means that the final consonant is geminated. You probably figured that, but I thought I'd say it, in case anyone ever comes to read this discussion at a later date, because I'm not sure it is immediately apparent.
It seems that not all forms are attested for most individual verbs (i.e. they're assumed by analogy). Can we include forms which are not actually attested in an individual verb's paradigm? Furius (talk) 14:01, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, there we go. I'll start in with the subtemplates (well, I'll probably make them full-blown templates for the hell of it, but the same idea applies). If you want to make it easier, you can enter the verb in question in the tables as X (or whatever symbol you prefer) and then just write the affix around it (or write (gem) for gemination. I do know enough Egyptian to figure that out). If you could add imperatives to the tables, that would be great. If a certain conjugation is mostly regular but has one or two very irregular forms, please note that and tell me what the regular form is, if one exists. If something is completely irregular or defective, there's a way to deal with it, but it takes way longer for you to input (it's mostly manual). Therefore, explaining all regularities is to your benefit. Generally, we show unattested inflected forms in the table, but we probably wouldn't want to create entries for them. If the lemma form is unattested, though, we still include it as long as inflected forms that clearly point to an indisputable lemma exist. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Right. Just thought I should update you. The tables are all in existance now at User talk:Furius/Egyptian Conjugations. Creating them has been a great learning experience!
I still need to make the intransative ones (identical, but can only be passive in the participles), and transform them from specif examples into ones with generic stems and affices, as you suggested before. I've got a heavy weak and month ahead of me, though, so I don't know when any of that will happen exactly. 14:20, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Forgive me; I have not been as dutiful as you. I was working on your templates, and gave up for a little while. I must confess that although I have created inflection templates for a wide range of languages, from Pipil to Yiddish, I have never seen a conjugational system as complex as this. I will put aside time to finish it soon, but I can't make it both accurate and attractive, so I'm going to have to ask for help with that from other editors, I'm afraid, which will make it take even longer. Thanks as always --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:37, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
If you put the irregular verbs of "to give" and "to come" in a table or list them up I can try to make a table for them, but it'd be good if you can use the hieroglyphs.
Greetings HeliosX (talk) 05:44, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi, HeliosX! Thanks for your response! I've got all the conjugation tables here: User talk:Furius/Egyptian Conjugations. rdj (to give), and jwj/jj (to come/to go) are under Anomalous verbs.
I've prefered not to use the hieroglyphs in conjugation tables, for two reasons. Firstly, because there are so many varients (particularly of the weak consonants which are the major differences between most forms) - rdj (to give), for instance has three major hieroglyphic variations - all of which are pronounced exactly the same. I don't think they would fit in a pleasant template. Secondly, the unicode hieroglyphs show up as boxes for most people, are difficult to see, and don't stack - so they end up not looking much like the real hieroglyphs. Furius (talk) 06:42, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I've made a template for biliteral geminated verbs usage instructions are in the documentation.
Maybe somebody would add the transliteration to it?
Greetings HeliosX (talk) 07:47, 11 October 2012 (UTC)


Can you add {{Babel}} to your user page? I'd appreciate it. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:41, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Ok. Done. Sorry about that. 00:22, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Egyptian transliterationEdit

Hullo, you seem to be the major Egyptologist around so I'm posting this all here.

I've just realised that I've been writing...


...as i instead of the Wiktionary-recommended j. Do you really think we should use j above i? It sort of seems to be an Allen idiosyncrasy. And regardless of the transliteration scheme, shouldn't we mass-reformat everything under Category:Egyptian_language to something more standard, and work from the standard? I'd be happy to help with this, but I do think it should be done soon, as there are more and more duplicates in the category. I'm also starting to add some quotations to egy terms, and I'd really like to have the transliteration set in concrete for this. Maybe we could get HeliosX and any other Egyptian editors you know in on this? Thanks --Hyarmendacil (talk) 08:49, 5 April 2013 (UTC)