Are Emojis the new Hieroglyphs?

We think more often in signs and symbols rather than in text but why is it that the emoji is the fastest growing language in the UK when we can express so much more with words?

Beautiful, handcrafted Egyptian Hieroglyphs from the Greek word “sacred carving” were influenced by the Sumerian script (8000 BC). They represent trade goods and livestock on clay tablets.

Ancient administrative tablet with cylinder seal impression of a male figure hunting dogs and boars, Jamdat Nasr, Uruk, III style: 3100–2900 bc. www.metmuseum.org

Ancient administrative tablet with cylinder seal impression of a male figure hunting dogs and boars, Jamdat Nasr, Uruk, III style: 3100–2900 bc. www.metmuseum.org

Whereas ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs are traced back to 3300 BC and communicate more complex concepts in science, astronomy and medicine. They were used only on monumental inscriptions and religious texts. Everyday documents like accounts, letters, and literary texts were written using pen and hieratic on papyrus.

Hieroglyphs on a temple wall, Karnak, Egypt

Hieroglyphs on a temple wall, Karnak, Egypt

Decoding Hieroglyphs

Jean-François Champollion deciphered hieroglyphs in 1822 when he published a breakthrough document with the decipherment of the Rosetta stone, 196 B.C.,which was found in 1799 by French soldiers.

Jean-François Champollion’s translations

Jean-François Champollion’s translations

It can now be found in Room 4 of the British Museum, or you can play with a 3d scan here. Anyway, it’s a stone written in Egyptian and Greek. Three scripts were used at the time it was written in Egypt–hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek. It written by Egyptian priests and it lists the things that the Pharaoh did to benefit Egyptian society. 

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Hieroglyphics can be divided into three categories: phonetic glyphs, logographs, and determinatives

Phonetic glyphs are used to represent specific speech sounds. They work much like modern alphabets.

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Hieroglyphs Vs Emojis.

“Emoji is the fastest growing form of language ever based on its incredible adoption rate and speed of evolution. As a visual language emoji has already far eclipsed hieroglyphics, its ancient Egyptian precursor, which took centuries to develop….” 

–Professor Vyv Evans, Professor of Linguistics at Bangor University

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Image credit: Emma Brown. Please go to https://www.emojimore.com/ for more or contact@emojimore.com about this theme.

According to a survey by TalkTalk, 72% of 18-25 year olds prefer to express their feelings through emojis rather than words.

Designer Joe Hale, has translated the stories of Alice in Wonderland, Pleasureland and Neverland into 2500+ character emoji lattice posters. He describes his work as ‘a venture in experimental writing’.

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According to a survey by TalkTalk, 72% of 18-25 year olds prefer to express their feelings through emojis rather than words.

Designer Joe Hale, has translated the stories of Alice in Wonderland, Pleasureland and Neverland into 2500+ character emoji lattice posters. He describes his work as ‘a venture in experimental writing’.

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Whilst in London

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More references on decoding hieroglyphics can be found herehereherehere and here

p.s. look what happens when you type in ‘smiling face’ into the Google search bar.

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Finally, here’s how a contemporary Egyptian Designer Ghada Wali created a font based on Hieroglyphics. More of her beautiful work can be found here.