Visual Babel (Re-acquiring Scripts)

(Strong language alert for this video: mosey on down to under the vid if’n you’d rather keep the F-bombs at bay.)

I have two re-acquisition projects going right now. One of getting back my Egyptian: I had two excellent years of instruction while in school, eventually reading handily through Shipwrecked Sailor and Sinuhe and such. Since I didn’t use it during the dissertation years, and since teaching keeps me some busy, it’s not exactly ready-to-hand anymore. So, I have been making fresh flash cards and zipping through Gardiner again. I mean to have worked through the grammar and be into readings by spring’s end.

My other project is my OB and standard Akkadian cuneiform signs. My Akkadian grammar has stayed pretty good, because I have used it off and on, but mostly with texts already transliterated (and often already normalized). So, out have come the cuneiform flash cards, with a goal of getting back up to a literacy of 200 or more signs, knowing their usual OB and SA forms.

My routine has been to hump through Egyptian for several days until glassy-eyed, then turn to wherever I last left off with the cuneiform. Lather, rinse, repeat. In between, I “rest” for a day or two on rapid Hebrew or Koine or on snippets of Attic.

This is all to say, the inside of my head is a bowl of warmed-ever mnemonic soup: an exhilarating but faintly nauseating visual babel where ÉRIN is bumping heads with ṯ3ty, and and SIPAD has ḥnḳt sticking out of its pockets.

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2 Responses

  1. Are you translating license plates yet?

  2. YES to Patti Smith!

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