By HENRY AKUBUIRO
Beyond its rich history, exotic pyramids, intriguing hieroglyphics and magnificent artifacts, ancient Egypt has another unique legacy bequeathed to the world that isn’t widely known.
A new revelation emerged recently when a Nigerian researcher, Tolu Oladimeji, the author of the unpublished manuscript, “English: The Language of the gods”, intimated the press on the Egyptian connection with English language, which is fast becoming global lingua franca.
The Art graduate from the Obafemi University, Ile-Ife, following years of in-depth research, has revealed that the names of the Egyptian Pharaohs and their gods “are in English or, at worse, broken English.” Besides, his research also shows that all common ancient Egyptian words, phrases and concepts, when translated or re-pronounced, have matching English equivalents.
It is another dimension to the Egyptian corpus, a byproduct of a remarkable civilisation stemming from a period in history when most parts of the world were just tepid in institutional developments.
Citing Ahmose-Nefertari (1570-1505 BC), an Egyptian queen, whom he translated as I-Must-Never-Tarry, the researcher justified the English translation by describing her as a high achiever and somebody given to wasting little time when dealing with the affairs of state..
The name of Akhetaten, an Egyptian king who lived between 1352-1335BC, was translated to I-Can’t-Attain, a man who strove to attain spiritual reformation but failed. His alias, Ikhaton (I-Can’t-Attone), said Oladimeji, was befitting for a man whose main preoccupation was spiritual reform and the worship of his God.
Another example cited was Queen Ankhesenamun (I-Can-See-a-Man-of-Depth), alias Ankhesenpaaaten (I-Can-See-Aten). Also cited is Queen Hatshepsut (Heart-She-Shoot). Justifying the English translation of the latter, the researcher said, as the name suggests, she zeroed in on the weak spots of men, played and cashed in on her feminity in a male dominated environment and when she felt she had them where she wanted them.
While Simontu, a 12th century male dynasty official, is translated to She-Want-To, another Egyptian queen, Smenkhkare, alias Nefertiti (Never-Ever), who lived in the thirteenth century, is translated by the Nigerian to Its-Men-Career.
In arriving at his translations, the researcher considered re-pronouncing the names in English, contextualisation for confirmation, association for interactive confirmation, cross-referencing persons/people with their history/achievements for confirmation, correlation of names aliases, grammatical transformation, etcetera.
Ever heard of Thoth? Here, the ancient Egyptian god is translated to Thought. Hykos, a term used to categorise a period when Palestine occupied ancient Egypt, is translated to High Cost (a great loss arising from the occupation). Also interesting is the translation of Osiris, an Egyptian god, to O’Series (many people). Likewise, another Egyptian god, Seth, is translated to Seethe (anger).
In his analysis, the researcher observed that ancient Egypt “appeared to have apotheosised, personified, anthromorphasised, deified and glorified everything that made sense around them: Pharoahs/Queens, Gods/Goddess and words/concepts.
For the London based researcher, understanding the ancient’s way of thinking is crucial in deciphering the cryptic messages of the papyrus texts, which explained why it took him over a decade to come out with this research.
Yoruba queen in ancient Egypt
The researcher also drew attention to a Yoruba queen Tiye (Taiye) who reigned in ancient Egypt. A picture shows her wearing a unique dress with its symbolic twin Uraei. “Before now, we [Nigerians] weren’t relevant in [ancient] history. But, I tell you that there was a Yoruba queen who was in Egypt,” he said.
His paper is a way of opening up discussion on what transpired during the ancient times. Oladimeji remarked: “This research is a game changer of our education. I don’t want to take it from a religious point of view. I don’t want to take it from a religious point of view.”
Olamide is certain, going by the outcome of his research, the oracles in Egypt used English as a means to communicate, though it was coded. He averred: “The oracles in Egypt used English as a means of communication, but it was coded.”
Though there is a core spiritual element to this issue, the researcher isn’t willing to share it for now. The product of his research isn’t in book form yet, but it is available online at www.toluoladimeji.com.
“My main aim is to make it available to everybody, especially those who can’t easily afford a book,” he said.