Rules of Writing Foreign Names in Coptic
Dear people, I think it is important to unify the writing of foreign names in Coptic. Though there is - so far - not that much mess here, I fear it will be. Because there are many different approaches. Many questions:
- How should we write names which have an equivalent in Coptic? For instance, should we write an Arab 'Ibrahim' like Coptic ⲁⲃⲣⲁⲁⲙ or an English 'George' like an Coptic ⲅⲉⲱⲣⲅⲓⲟⲥ? I personally don't think so. ⲓⲡⲣⲁϩⲓⲙ and ϫⲟⲣϫ / ϫⲱⲣϫ are far more appropriate hear.
- Which letters should we use in which way? Letters like ⲇ ⲅ ⲍ were very seldomly used in Coptic words, as they represented sounds which were foreign. They were only used in Greek words. (Except for ⲁⲛⲍⲏⲃ, but it's also very often written as ⲁⲛⲥⲏⲃ in Bohairic, and ⲍ is never used in this word in all other dialects). Hence, I think we should simply forget these letters. Also, I don't like the Greek way of writing 'ng' as ⲅⲅ like in Greek words: The German name 'Angela' should therefore be written as ⲁⲛⲕⲉⲗⲁ, not as ⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲁ. A British 'Angela' is written ⲉⲛϫⲉⲗⲁ. 'Arnold' and 'Donald' become ⲁⲣⲛⲟⲗⲧ and ⲧⲟⲛⲁⲗⲧ. In late Coptic ⲃ was pronounced like a German w, not like a English w (= ⲟⲩ). A German 'Wilhelm' is therefore ⲃⲓⲗϩⲉⲗⲙ, but an English 'William' is ⲟⲩⲓⲗⲓⲁⲙ.
But how to write real hard 'p' and 't'? In Coptic words, ⲑ was pronounced as hard t - unlike ⲧ, which rather was d. Should we therefore write an Arabic name 'Tantawi' as ⲑⲁⲛⲑⲁⲟⲩⲓ, even though the stupid modern false pronunciation would yield to 'Thanthawi' (with English 'th' sound) ?
-- Greetings, Aptelouahet, 26/01/2016
- You're absolutely right. We have to talk about that.
Concerning your first point: We should write names as they are pronounced in the original language. That means, we have to look how the name is exactly pronounced in this respective language. Not every person knows how to pronounce Chinese, German or French names...
Coptic alphabet and its pronunciation
This is the pre-19th century pronunciation: So, it's the real and authentic Coptic.
- ⲁ ⲁⲗⲫⲁ alfa a
- ⲃ ⲃⲏⲧⲁ wīda w [as in German Wilhelm, not like English w!], b [at the end of a word]
- ⲅ ⲅⲁⲙⲙⲁ gam(m)a g
- ⲇ ⲇⲉⲗⲧⲁ, ⲇⲁⲗⲇⲁ [vulg] dalda d
- ⲉ ⲉⲓ ai (bright) a [as in English many]
- ⲋ ⲥⲟⲩ su [only numeral 6]
- ⲍ ⲍⲏⲧⲁ zīda s
- ⲏ ϩⲏⲧⲁ hīda when stressed: partly (bright) ā [like English man, partly ī; a [when unstressed]
- ⲑ ⲑⲏⲧⲁ tīda t
- ⲓ ⲓⲱⲧⲁ yōda ī [when stressed]; (short) i [unstressed]; y [as a consonant]
- ⲕ ⲕⲁⲡⲡⲁ kapa ⲕⲁⲡⲁ kaba [vulg] k
- ⲗ ⲗⲁⲩⲗⲁ laula l
- ⲙ ⲙⲓ mī m
- ⲛ ⲛⲓ nī n
- ⲝ ⲝⲓ ksī ks
- ⲟ ⲟ o o
- ⲡ ⲡⲓ bī b
- ⲣ ⲣⲟ ro r
- ⲥ ⲥⲓⲙⲁ sīma s
- ⲧ ⲧⲁⲩ dau d
- ⲩ ϩⲩ he i [normally]; u [in combination with vowels: ⲁⲩ = au]
- ⲫ ⲫⲓ fī b [in Coptic words]; f [in Greek words]
- ⲭ ⲭⲓ kī k [in Coptic words]; š [in Greek words as German ich before e, i]; ḫ [in Greek words a German Buch before a, o, ou]; k [in Greek words; mostly between vowels ]
- ⲯ ⲯⲓ psī ps
- ⲱ ⲁⲩ au ō
- ϣ ϣⲉⲓ šai š
- ϥ ϥⲉⲓ fai f
- ϧ ϧⲉⲓ ḫai ḫ (Spanish hijo, Arabic tarikh, German Buch)
- ϩ ϩⲟⲣⲓ hori h, ḥ (Horus)
- ϫ ϫⲁⲛϫⲁ ğanğa ğ (jungle)
- ϭ ϭⲓⲙⲁ tšīma tš (church)
- ϯ ϯ di di
So, words like ⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ (today falsely pronounced profitis), is really rather profidas. ⲭⲏⲙⲓ (falsely ḫimi/(k)himi) is rather kaami (with a like in English man). ⲫⲓⲱⲧ is not fyot, but byod.
Unfortunately, the pronunciation of ⲏ is not predictable (except you know Hieroglyphic Egyptian!): If ⲏ comes from Old/Middle/Late Egyptian *u*, it yields aa in Coptic, like in *kumat > kaami : ⲭⲏⲙⲓ 'Egypt' or *sutaḫ > saat : ⲥⲏⲧ 'Seth'. But in *mi > mii : ⲁⲙⲏ 'come! [to a female]', it is ii.
I hope I could help you with this! --ⲁϩⲙⲉⲧ, 26/01/2016
i agree with you. and THANK YOU WERE MUCH for the coptic alphabet table :-) --User:Aptelouahet, 31/01/2016
Where download egyptian (coptic) script?
- To write Coptic, you could use Lexilogos: http://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/coptic.htm
Have you tried a different browser. It works with a different browser sometimes. User:ⲕⲁⲣⲩⲛⲏ 1.8.2017
- in tor and in yandex browser only squares, what is your browser? mozilla firefox? -- CYl7EPTEMA777 (talk) 12:40, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
- Since I got a new laptop, it works now with all browsers. I can't remember with which one it worked. I actually think google chrome was the one it worked with, and it didn't work with microsoft. Also, it still doesn*t work with my phone - new phones may have the Coptic fonts. I can't explain it well though, because I don't know much about computers. User:ⲕⲁⲣⲩⲛⲏ 1.8.2017
Foreign Names in Coptic (Again)
I'll write it here, because it was already spoken about here. Im just coming from the article Wp/cop/ⲁⲙⲣⲓⲕⲁ. It reminds me of the various spellings for Europe. If we wanna take the Arabic form for America, I think ⲁⲙⲣⲓⲭⲁ [amrika] would be better instead of [amriga].
As far as the country and continent names are concerned, do you think it is better to write ⲟⲩⲥⲑⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ instead of ⲁⲩⲥⲧⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ? Honestly, I myself as a (Coptic) Arabic speaker who is trying to speak Coptic with friends and family, I am not quite happy with just taking the Arabic words because it makes Coptic look like it must heavily rely on Arabic and cant exist without it - even more so when we are talking about words which are not Arabic itself, but just Latin/Greek names pronounced by Arabic speakers, i.e. Australia -> ust(u)raliya. I'd also say ⲁⲗⲭⲁⲗⲓϥⲁ for caliph, because it's just universally an Arabic institution. But is that also necessary for Europe, where ⲉⲩⲣⲱⲡⲏ stands against ⲟⲩⲣⲟⲩⲫⲁ or ⲟⲩⲣⲟⲩⲡⲁ - another problem with taking it from Arabic, there would be variants so often.. Furthermore, and I think that is just the best argument against too much Arabic, Coptic traditionally draws on Greek, not Arabic. Coptic is part of the Christian-Western culture, where special words are built rather on a Latin-Greek basis.
Please, can we have a discussion here! Greetings, 12/Aug/2017 User:بطرس مرقس
- OK, I see. I know it's a problem. For putting foreign names (of people, for instance) into Coptic letters, see the above alphabet - it takes the original pronunciation seriously. I hope it's helpful.
I don't have a strong opinion about either ⲁⲙⲉⲣⲓⲕⲏ or ⲁⲙⲣⲓⲭⲁ (the ⲕ should really be moved to ⲭ, however). What I prefer, speaking now about the continents (not about all countries, those are too much with too much exceptions), is that we have a SINGLE system. Either Arabic, or Greek. I don't care too much, I just want to have consistency. It doesn't look professional if the Coptic wikipedia uses too much different forms. Lets discuss it here before we start new articles with the questionable forms. (If we don't agree on certain forms, than let's use all of them, but I hope this is not too often the case).
That Coptic is part of a Christian-Western culture, I see a bit different as an Egyptian Muslim, but I admit that Greek had a big influence on Coptic. Sometimes, the Arabic forms seem to be more natural because most today's Coptic speakers just use Arabic words if the don't know the specific words. However, I know they do it just because it's convenient, and actually never in written form (when they are more careful and often take (Ancient) Greek words). Also, the (Latin-)Greek words would prevent us from having several orthographies, as England would just be ⲁⲅⲅⲗⲓⲁ, whereas the Arabic form could be ⲉⲛⲕⲉⲗⲑⲉⲣⲁ and ⲓⲛⲕⲓⲗⲑⲓⲣⲁ, ⲉⲛⲕⲉⲗⲑⲣⲁ, ⲉⲛⲕⲉⲗⲧⲉⲣⲁ, depending on the Coptic dialect and whether we take it from Standard Arabic or Egyptian Arabic. A problem could be Austrialia as you mentioned above: Is the Arabic word in Coptic ⲟⲩⲥⲧⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ, ⲟⲩⲥⲧⲟⲩⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ, ⲟⲩⲥⲑⲟⲩⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ, ⲟⲩⲥⲑⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ or even ⲟⲩⲥⲑ(ⲟⲩ)ⲣⲏⲗⲓⲁ, because of the e-sounding long Arabic a? ⲁⲩⲥⲧⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ is far easier here. Btw, if we take Arabic, I think ⲟⲩⲥⲑⲣⲁⲗⲓⲁ would be the best - at least for Bohairic Coptic. But here again, we should discuss if we transcribe st and sht as ⲥⲧ ϣⲧ or ⲥⲑ ϣⲑ. PLEASE LETS TALK ABOUT THIS TOO!!
So, if we decide to take the Arabic forms, please let's talk about the form of them in Coptic beforehand. --ⲁϩⲙⲉⲧ, 12.08.2017
I think forms like ⲟⲩⲣⲟⲩⲡⲁ simply don't fit into Coptic. Even nowaday Arabic cities (who were Graeco-Roman in the past) have, if they don't have an inherited name from Demotic or Hieroglyphic Egyptian, the Ancient Greek name in Coptic, like ⲥⲩⲣⲧⲓⲥ (Sirte) and not ⲥⲉⲣⲑ ⲥⲉⲣⲧ ⲥⲓⲣⲑ. 12/Aug/2017 User:بطرس مرقس
With all due respect, the church has its reasons to use Greek and Latin load words. However, I am writing here from a linguistic only point-of-view. I am more with drawing from Arabic. Beside the already mentioned reasons, my main one is that Arabic is linguistically a closer cousin to Coptic. Both are Afro-asiatic languages while Greek is not (an Indo-european one). So far, there is only one case of a language that was revived after being dead for so many years, which is the Hebrew language (which is better known as modern Hebrew). The revival process relied on drawing the word roots from the nearest living relatives (i.e., Arabic and Syriac), then apply a Hebrew consonant shift (e.g., b->v), and use the typical Hebrew template system. In summary, what I meant is that drawing from Arabic is more natural than from Greek and other Indo-european languages. Hence, my vote goes to Arabic names. Another suggestion is to make it case-by-case. Lastly, for people names, I really do not mind having different synonyms at all. All such issues are due to the absence of an official organization entity for the Coptic language. --ⲡⲓⲙⲟⲩⲓ (talk) 20:59, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that Coptic and Arabic are close enough to take Arabic as a source of words. The Semitic and Egyptian subfamilies split around 5000 BC, that means they're are less close related to each other than, let's say, Cornish and Bengali. And nobody would use an Indo-Aryan language to reconstruct Cornish vocabulary or grammar. So even when we say that Cornish has close relatives (unlike Coptic), and therefore doesn't need to draw on distant relatives, I think there are other reasons for the use of Arabic. That special reason seems a bit far-fetched. Arabic and Hebrew are far closer related to each other, the relationship can be seen in words also by people who are not linguists. And when it comes to Hebrew, and take a look at proper nouns, you'll see that some of those (like the names for the continents) are just taken from Yiddish or German.
But, as I said before, I'm fine with both Greek and Arabic. Let's just not start a quarrel about it. And if we feel to talk about it, let's discuss everything before we get angry. --ⲁϩⲙⲉⲧ, 13.08.2017