- Hardcover: 646 pages
- Publisher: Griffith Institute; 3Rev Ed edition (31 Dec. 1957)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0900416351
- ISBN-13: 978-0900416354
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 3.8 x 28.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 470,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Egyptian Grammar, being an Introduction to the Study of Hieroglyphs: Third Edition, Revised (Griffith Institute Publications) Hardcover – 31 Dec 1957
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Although the first edition of the study appeared over seventy years ago, Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar remains the most comprehensive presentation of Middle Egyptian available, and is still an essential reference tool for all advanced work in the language. The latest, third, edition, appeared in 1957 and is now in its tenth reprinting. After each new element of grammar the learner is given a set of exercises, and the book also contains useful resources such as a list of hieroglyphic signs and information about the development of the language
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The vocabulary lists at the beginning of each exercise, as well as the extensive list of hieroglyphs with all the meanings and groupings that are possibly during Middle Egyptian times are extremely useful, and the lessons are well set out and easy to understand. The reading exercises, where Gardiner lists the hieroglyphs on one side and the transcriptions on the other, are useful for anybody trying to perfect their pronunciation of the Ancient language, and there is also a helpful translation situated underneath. It is not something I would recommend to people trying to learn Middle Egyptian without somebody already well versed in it to help them, as there are parts of the book that are not completely up to date and without the right help it can become quite confusing. Also, some of the practise questions that Gardiner sets are easy enough, especially if you read the book, but some can become confusing if you do not have extensive knowledge of the Ancient Egyptian world or do not have somebody who already knows Middle Egyptian to help you.
A downside to Gardiner is that it does not help entirely when translating and transcribing actual Egyptian texts, carved into stone, or a photocopy of one from a different book, as Gardiner's hieroglyphs are neatly set out and printed, but the same cannot be said for the original things. However, diligence and hard work can lead to success even when using Gardiner's Grammar alone.
My lecturer recommended using Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian (Egyptology: Griffith Institute) alongside Gardiner's Grammar, because this dictionary lists some hieroglyph groupings that Gardiner does not.
He also recommended looking at Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture for a guide to where certain hieroglyphs are used in Ancient Egyptian art, to put some of them into context.
All in all it is a brilliant grammar guide for the Middle Egyptian language, although pretty hefty and heavy to carry around, so make sure if you want to impress your friends you memorise the vocab lists and maybe even the sign lists at the back of the book, so you can translate without having to lug it around.
The book is laid out in modular style with exersizes to consolidate your understanding of the texts. All of the exersizes use real expressions from tombs and stellae and reflect everyday life in Middle Egypt.
I have given this work 5 stars based on the previous edition and have also studied other, more modern, linguistic translations and believe Prof Gardiner`s translations to be more syntactically accurate. He offers both translation and translitteration which allows a feel for the spoken language as well as the purely written and I find being able to vocalise the sounds aids my translations of other inscriptions not covered in the book.
This is a great way to learn the language and can be read along with the author`s other works, eg. The Egyptians, which flesh out his teachings.
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