Lessons on Hieroglyphs

Translating English sentences into Egyptian

This is a difficult task, but if your kids are really keen and reasonably able or old enough they may be able to do it. You can print the sentences and do it in class, or get them to do it on the computer.

1. Copy and paste these sentences to make a worksheet. Include the sections below with hieroglyphs and rules for constructing sentences.

1. I like magic 6. You make a gold cat in Egypt.
2. Osiris loves Isis 7. You speak to your dog.
3. My heart is happy 8. Thoth writes the words of Amun.
4. I hate beer.  9. I go to school to learn to write.
5. I like to eat bread. 10. The strong crocodile ate my sister (or brother if you prefer!)

How Egyptian sentences are put together

A lot of the words are back to front in Egyptian sentences. Look at these rules:


A sentence in English The word order in Egyptian

1. In a sentence, the verb comes first

I run run I
  I love you love I you
2. Adjectives come after the word they describe The beautiful girl girl beautiful
3. Words like my and your come after the word they describe My mother mother my
  Your dog dog your

4. Usually you don't need to say am, are, or is

John is cool John cool
  I am great I great
5. There is no the or a The dog chased the cat chased dog cat

2. Give them the worksheet with the sentences, the hieroglyphs, and the rules. Go over the rules for constructing sentences. The children will probably have forgotten them. They are explained in more detail here. Try in advance working out some of your own sentences, like the ones in the table above. If you've done it yourself it will be easier to teach the children how to do it.

3. Alternatively let the children do it on the computer. The translation task is linked from the hieroglyphs page. You will still need to go through the grammar rules with them though. Once they have finished they will need a password from you to see the answers. The password is: ramses.


The answers are:

* you can use the feminine you if you want

** or brother! Just take out the to make brother instead of sister