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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not brilliant, 1 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Hieroglyphic Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Literature of the Middle Kingdom (Hardcover)
There is no "best" book on learning Egyptian hieroglyphs, not in English anyway. The excellent work by Collier and Manley How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A step-by-step guide to teach yourself doesn't go far enough and the seminal work by JP Allen Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs goes too far (do you really need to know what an enclitic particle is?). All the others occupy a space on the spectrum between these two. This book tends towards the JP Allen end. Lots of grammatical terms, some unnecessarily confusing, some debatable (adjectives don't modify nouns, they describe them).
It's an OK book without standing out much. The lack of answers to the exercises at the end of each chapter belies the claim that it is suitable for self-study. I don't know why authors do this. Hoch and Gardiner committed the same sin of omission.
Whether you get on with this book or not, and whichever book you try instead, there is no substitute for building up a vocabulary. This is, after all, how we learn our native language.
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