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.
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
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
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.
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.
Logographs are used to represent whole words
The Bird. (Logograph).
Determinatives string a concept together. They bring a new meaning of a word and appear after the Phonograms. For example:
The Destruction of Ancient Egypt was established in 30 BC by the Roman Empire who introduced Latin.
Egyptian 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
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’.
Every Friday BBC’s newsbeat post the news in emojis for its audience to decipher what the story is. Are we training our children to think in cartoons rather than in writing?
The New York subway system are now using emojis to inform passengers the status of subway lines.
Whilst in London
p.s. look what happens when you type in ‘smiling face’ into the Google search bar.