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Emoji to Include Ancient Languages

Soon You'll Be Able to Text in Ancient Languages, Using Emoji!


Emoji are great for expressing our feelings. Who doesn't love the "talk to the hand" hand gesture? Or the laughing/crying face for when you're really LOLing. There are so many we use regularly. And soon, we might be able to use them to talk in an ancient language. 

More than 2,000 characters of Egyptian hieroglyphics could become features on our mobile phones, computers and other devices, thanks to the Unicode Consortium – a non-profit Silicon Valley-based group made up of computer and software corporations and independent volunteers that have backgrounds in the fields of technology, encoding and linguistics. They are the ones who approve 50-100 emoji every year.

The Consortium recently released a proposal that would see Egyptian hieroglyphics available on our devices. Working together with Egyptologists, ancient and digital linguists, font designers, and the US federal government, the aim behind this is to preserve by digitally representing all ancient and endangered languages, which they will do through computer code, said Hyperallergic.

Sounds very technical, and tedious. But for end users, it's pretty cool. In Egypt as a student, we learnt the alphabet in hieroglyphics. We even learned to make a few words. It was part of our Egyptian Civilization subject and it was as cool as it sounds. But now, kids all over the world can learn this ancient language (and others, by the looks of it).

I can just see it: my future older kid texting me to ask if she can stay at her friend's house for longer - in hieroglyphics, so that she butters me up a little. The answer would probably still be no, but I would be pretty chuffed at my future Egyptologist.

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