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Hieroglyphic alphabet

This table shows the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet, complete with a description of each sign and the name commonly given to the British and European transliteration characters by Egyptologists, listed in the order in which Egyptian dictionaries are arranged. These hieroglyphs are among the most common in use and form the basis of the written Egyptian language; most words are written with at least one of these letters, some exclusively so.

Sign Transliteration Trans. Name Sign Description
British European MDC
G1 A Aleph Vulture
M17 ı͗ j i Yod (or I, or J) Reed leaf
M17A / Z4 y y y Y Double reed leaf / Dual strokes
D36 a Ayin Arm
G43 / Z7 w w w W Quail chick / Coil of rope
D58 b b b B Foot
Q3 p p p P Reed mat or stool
I9 f f f F Horned viper
G17 / J15 m m m M Owl / Unknown object
N35 / S3 n n n N Water / Red crown
D21 r r r R Mouth
O4 h h h H Enclosure
V28 H Dotted H Rope
J1 x Third H Unknown object
F32 X Fourth H Belly and udder
O34 s z z S (or Z) Door bolt
S29 s s s Second S (or S) Bolt of cloth
N37 / N37A / N38 / N39 š š S Shin Pool
N29 q q Dotted K (or Q) Hill
V31 / V31A k k k K Basket
W12 / V33 g g g G Jar stand / Bag
X1 t t t T Loaf of bread
V13 T Second T Hobble
D46 d d d D Hand
I10 D Second D Cobra

Order the alphabet game!

If you want to use an Egyptian dictionary it helps to know the order in which words are listed ;-) Here is a little game you can use to practise until you've got the order memorised. Just drag the letters around until they are in dictionary order and click "Check Order" to see whether you were right! You can keep checking the order as you go to see how close you are. Good luck!

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