For many of us, the idea of writing ancient languages such as cuneiform is just too much to handle. Sure, you probably learned about cuneiform in your Ancient History or Classical Literature classes. But, do you really want to live in a world where people speak a different language? It might be easier to find a tutor to help you learn how to write it than to actually try and do it yourself. The good news is that with some patience and determination, you can indeed learn to write this ancient language. Here’s how.
If you’re just starting out, don’t expect to write entire sentences in cuneiform right away. Instead, break down the task into smaller pieces. For example, you can start by simply creating your own hieroglyphics. Maybe you decide that the letter for “hill” is the combination of two serpents facing away from each other. Or, perhaps you choose a lion as your totem animal and your personal glyphs represent strength and courage. Whatever your reasons, when you start off simple, you end up with a bit of a language library under your belt. This is how humans have been recording information since the beginning of time. One example of cuneiform writing is the Enuma Elish, the Epic of Gilgamesh. It’s a 12,000-year-old masterpiece that was discovered in 1851, by a British archaeologist named George Smith. It’s considered the first work of literature ever discovered, and the ability to read it is considered one of the great achievements in the history of linguistics.
Study The Vast Majority
With any new language, there’s a lot to learn. In the case of cuneiform, it can be a little overwhelming just studying the characters themselves. In order to make your life a little easier, take the time to understand how the language works grammatically. For example, take the Babylonian creation epic, Enuma Elish, which means “When the Earth Was New.” Most people know this story due to its inclusion in the Biblical Book of Genesis. However, many ignore how the language of cuneiform works under the surface. In this epic, the god Marduk creates two beings, Tiamat and Apsu. The verb in this sentence is a form of the word “to create” called “nanmu.” When translated, it means “When the Earth Was New.” What’s interesting is that this verb form is actually two different words: nanmu and umma. Umma is the word used when Marduk is speaking with his mouth (the way we speak) while nanmu is used when he is using his hands (the way Apes use tools). This type of thing can be tough to keep track of, but it will all make sense in the end.
One of the first things you’ll need to do in order to write cuneiform is to know how to write your own language. Simply put, this means that you need to have knowledge of how nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech are formed in your language. For many, this can be a bit difficult. English is a very “free-form” language, which means there’s not really any set way of forming sentences. This can leave you open to ambiguity. For example, what’s the gender of the noun I use in this sentence?
In the case of cuneiform, each noun has a specific gender. For example, there’s the masculine form called “nunnuki,” which is used when referring to male animals, people, or objects. Nunnk u is the masculine form of the word for “snake.” So, when you see this word combination, you know that it’s masculine and that the gender is not ambiguous. In the same way, there’s also the feminine form called “nanneki,” which is used for referring to female animals, people, or objects. When you see the combination of this word and a verb, you know that it’s referring to a female and that the gender is not ambiguous.
Know Your Audience
When you write an epic poem or other long piece of literature in a new language, you need to consider the audience. In the case of older works, it’s often difficult to determine exactly who the audience should be. In addition, many of these works were not meant to be understood by the general public. Instead, they served a specific purpose in religion or culture. In order to make your job as a writer easier, you can find similar works to compare it to. In the case of Enuma Elish or the Epic of Gilgamesh, for example, the goal is not only to convey meaning in the story, but to also educate the reader with every line. So, you should take the time to learn as much as you can about the culture that you’re writing for. This will make it easier to connect with your audience and to impress them with your unique language and culture. In the same way, you can find blogs and other online communities for writers. It’s a great place to get feedback on your work and to find inspiration for your next project. When you have an existing audience, you also have the opportunity to connect with countless others who share your interests. It’s often easier to find a language tutor or correspondence course with an audience in mind.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you have knowledge of how to write your own language, the next step is to put this knowledge to use. This means that you’ll need to start writing. If you’re looking for a traditional way to learn, there are many different types of books you can study. In the same way, there are many different ways of forming words and sentences in your language. You can use tools like Grammarly, which helps you find errors in your writing as you go. Having a good, solid foundation in grammar and spelling will help you express yourself more clearly and accurately. For many, writing is a tricky task, which can be made simpler with the help of computers. Back in the day, people had to write everything by hand. While newer, more automated methods have taken its place, you can still find people who write by hand, especially when they are older generations who were taught how to do it correctly. Composition software also makes it easier to practice and easier to correct mistakes as you go. Many students who use these types of tools report that they make writing a joy and that it becomes much easier to find the right words once you get the hang of it.
As you start to write more and more, you’ll find that certain words and phrases will start to come back much more easily than others. This is natural, as you’re learning a new language and the words you need may not yet be present in your dictionary. When this happens, you can either use your own words or look up synonyms and antonyms. However, it’s a good idea to look up the former in the latter case, as this will make your writing much more precise and organized. In the same way, as you get more familiar with the language, these words will start to appear more naturally as you write. After all, this is what humans have been doing for centuries. If you’re looking for a new hobby or passionate interest, consider writing as a way of expressing yourself and connecting with others.