East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Happy birthday in ancient Egyptian


The request comes from a fried: her nephew’s birthday is coming, and the kid loves Ancient Egypt (what kid doesn’t). She’d like to write him a Happy Birthday message in hieroglyphs.
Can we help?
Of course we can.

It actually took me two afternoons.

The first part is quite easy.
One gets the Wallis Budge’s An Egyptian Hierogliphic Dictionary and looks up the words…
But I found it quicker to look it up on the Gardiner. I have a personal fondness for Gardiner’s Egyptian Grammar.
At this point, as you have the words Happy, Birth and Day, you’re all set.

My scanner doesn’t work.
I had to photograph the squiggles to send to my friend.
Is there a good font for writing hieroglyph?
A quick survey of the free font sets that Google suggests me is depressing – lots of silly stuff, but a bunch of essential glyphs are missing.
What now?
And, do these fonts work on a Mac?

It was a long search, but in the end we found these fonts, that seem to do the trick. And once again we have to rely on Gardiner.

But what’s better than giving a kid a gentle push towards a fascinating subject such as Egyptology?

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

3 thoughts on “Happy birthday in ancient Egyptian

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