A key to the translation exercises in Sir Alan Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar.

The aim is to help those who study Middle Egyptian on their own, outside recognized places of learning. We should, however, like to make it quite clear that

1. this is not an "authorized version" of these exercises which would have been approved by Sir Alan himself; such a thing does not exist;

2. no two Egyptologists would agree on the correctness of these translations; if there is a difference of opinion, your teacher (if you are lucky to have one) is likely to be right;

3. we cannot enter into a discussion of these translations - life is just too short for it, but we shall be interested in your comments;

4. please consult the list of the Griffith Institute publications if you wish to order your copies of Egyptian Grammar or Concise Dictionary.

Exercise I.

(b) and (c)

Exercise II.


1. The sun shines on the horizon.

2. When a man speaks, a woman is silent.

3. The scribe travels downstream in a boat to this city.

4. This scribe listens to Ptah.

5. The sun is in the sky together with the moon.

6. The scribe does not know another plan.

7. When this boat goes down to the lake, the city is in joy.

8. This poor man hears the name.

9. Another man is in this house.


Exercise III.


1. You say your name to this scribe.

2. When a man sees his daughter in his house, he is in joy.

3. The sun god crosses the sky in his bark.

4. The father sends his son to the city so that he may tell the plan to the scribe.

5. Then you will hear this secret.

6. The vizier rejoices when he sees her face.

7. Ptah speaks with his own mouth.

8. You are my maidservant.

9. The manservant is sent to the city concerning this work.


Exercise IV.


1. A son is good if he listens to his father when he is a child, and places this advice in his heart and remembers it every day; look, one says about him that he is free from every evil.

2. The sun appears on the horizon and it shines in the sky. Happy are all hearts when they see it.

3. How evil is a river empty of water!

4. Say it to the sovereign, and he in turn will say it to his manservant.

5. How great is your house! It is rich in every beautiful thing.

6. He does not know this excellent plan.

7. They send the boat to the city so that he may ferry you across in it.


Exercise V.


1. Now I gave bread to the hungry, beer to the thirsty and clothes to the naked.

2. My lord sent me to Egypt and I brought him every good thing from there.

3. The king is in his house like Ra in heaven.

4. Then you will make us ferry you over to the Residence.

5. I am your sister, you are my brother.

6. This woman found him on the road, and gave him bread and beer.

7. The priest told us his wish.

8. The slave brought the donkey and placed himself upon its back.

9. They made the maidservant go down to the river.


Exercise VI.


1. He begged water for himself and they gave him milk.

2. All foreign lands are under his feet.

3. He is given a hand on the western ways.

4. His donkeys filled their mouths with corn.

5. You are my children.

6. Then my local god shall make my feet walk.

7. All people are in joy when they see this great pyramid.

8. The vizier made her say all that was in her heart.

9. His eastern boundary is at the river, his western at this city.

10. Eternity is as a day in his sight.


Exercise VII.


1. Then you shall put my name in the mouth of your servants, and my memory with your children's children.

2. I poured water for my father and mother in their city of eternity.

3. O you gods who are in the underworld, I am true of voice and free from wrongdoing.

4. Your praises are in the palace.

5. Ra made Egypt victorious over all lands.

6. This king's son went out of the door of his house.

7. Behold, we are your mother's maidservants.

8. He made me vizier in his southern city.


Exercise VIII.


1. I did not have dealings with someone evil in character.

2. His servants filled the granary with plenty of corn, without end.

3. The majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Sehetepibre appointed me chief of my city.

4. As long as heaven exists so shall my monument exist on earth.

5. Such a thing was never done by the Kings of Lower Egypt since the time of the god.

6. I will not be careless concerning any plan of my lord.

7. He made me go out to Kush every year; there was no fault found with me there.

8. This priest brought the scribe as someone of excellent qualities; there was not his equal in this whole land.

9. They gave her a little bread and beer.


To be continued.

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