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Uma the linguist

I may have failed in my effort to raise my daughters to be multilingual from toddlerhood, but six-year-old Uma is showing the makings of a language nerd anyway.

For Christmas she asked for a Spanish-English picture dictionary and on a recent trip to the UT library she said she wanted books on hieroglyphics. I found some from the youth section, including the fascinating How Djadja-Em-Ankh Saved the Day: A Tale from Ancient Egypt, printed on pages connected end-to-end like papyrus. But her favorites were the grown-up books, preferably the ones with as little English as possible. Then on the way out of the library she spotted a Japanese political science text (I think) without so much as a title page in English.

hieroglyphics excerpt Japanese excerpt

Back at home she set to work copying out hieroglyphics in pencil.

hieroglyphics excerpt

I need to get that girl a language tutor. Anybody know any Ancient Egyption speakers in Austin?

kids 2005.01.27 link


You should hook her up as a hieroglyphic pen pal with Jo Spanglemonkey's older daughter!

Or we should all send her hieroglyphic post cards! muahahaha. I have your address.

badgerbag [lizzard cxe bookmaniac punkto net] • 2005.01.27
p.s. i have that same book, I think, the wallis budge dover edition.

badgerbag [lizzard cxe bookmaniac punkto net] • 2005.01.27
Okay, Badger, you won, you're the biggest language geek in the house -- to not only recognize but to own the particular hieroglyphics book in question! Egad.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.28
How absolutely great! Wonder if my own kid will ever do anything like this.

Beth [beth cxe bethyoung punkto org] • 2005.02.03
amr from egypt my neck name elvis for civilization egyption services

amr mohamed [amr_alfis83 cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2005.02.07
Hey, have you read Helen Dewitt's "The Last Samurai"? Wonderful book. Has nothing to do with that Tom Cruise movie, and features a four year-old who starts learning Japanese and something like fifteen other languages. A lot of fun.

Mark Barr [mark punkto barr cxe gmail punkto com] • 2005.02.17
You might check out She may enjoy the magazine!

FFF • 2006.05.25
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