Τὶ οὐ μανθάνω τὴν τῆς Αἰγύπτου τῆς γλῶτταν;

Why am I not studying Ancient Egyptian?

Ancient Egyptian, the language and the culture wherefrom it developed, has always been of great interest to me; it should, thus, come as no surprise that I was — and still am — quite fascinated with this peculiar language. It might therefore be somewhat strange to find out that I have stopped my study of the language, about which I have even written a book; and so, to inform those that may be wondering why I did so, I shall herein attempt to briefly explain the reasons I had for abandoning my study of the language.

Firstly, learning the vocabulary for this language had always been a nuisance for me, as I was unable to actually enter any of the words into a regular flash card program — such as Anki — without first using JSesh to create an image of the hieroglyphs which I would then have to import into the program. Additionally, I have always been rather awful at drawing, and so actually writing the hieroglyphs by hand was rather impossible — I did attempt to do so on a number of occasions, but to no avail. This, obviously, made studying new words a nigh unattainable task and I had to simply give up after a while.

Secondly, finding adequate resources, too, was not as easy as I had at first thought; indeed, there do exist a number of rather decent resources for this language, but a lot of them were rather difficult to obtain — as a majority of them was written some hundred years ago — and difficult to use. The resources that were easily available and somewhat approachable were, unfortunately, only rather shallow when it comes to grammar and vocabulary. In addition, they mostly taught you how to read inscriptions of various kinds — which is an understandable approach, as the majority of the remaining texts written in Ancient Egyptian are such inscriptions — which, unfortunately, were somewhat boring to me. It was certainly interesting, no doubt, but I was more interested in reading actual texts, such as the Book of the Dead or The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor; and this brings me to my final point, namely the available literature.

Now, this is not to say that the literature of Ancient Egypt was boring or bad, but it was simply not what I had hoped and, in addition to that, it was scarce. This is in stark contrast to the literature of Ancient Egypt of which there is a lot and most of it is rather interesting to read. In addition, this literature was a influenced what we now refer to was Western Culture quite significantly and thus, reading texts people had written about these concepts we now hold when they were first developed and that, too, in the original language is quite invigorating.