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The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Hieroglyph…

The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Hieroglyph Edition)

by Beatrix Potter

Other authors: John F. Nunn (Translator), Richard B. Parkinson (Translator)

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Why? I assume, because the translators thought it would be an interesting exercise. Way back when I took Ancient Egyptian in college, the instructor said that while we could generally make sense out of a hieroglyphic text it was very unlikely that we could create an idiomatically correct one from scratch. It's hard enough doing this when there are living speakers around; when the last one died around 400 CE it's got to be really challenging.

At any rate, the authors tried. Just the problem of the title give some insight into translation; should you translate "Peter" as ptr, the phonetic equivalent, or should you translate it as inr ("rock, stone") which is what it means? The authors choose ptr with a male name determinative, followed by sXat ("hare, rabbit") with a hare determinative.

The original illustrations are used throughout the book, and little notes are added when the authors have to make a translation decision ("linen tail" for "cotton tail"; "Son of Gregor" for "MacGregor" and so on). There is no parallel English translation, so unless you are familiar with the story you'll have to read hieroglyphs. One interesting choice is the author's name is translated as bAtrk sAt pwAttr: "Beatrix, Daughter of Potter" (with "Potter" spelled phonetically, not Kd (someone who makes pots).

Just the thing for the coffee table. ( )
  setnahkt | Jan 2, 2018 |
Classic tale of Peter sneaking into Farmer McGregor's Garden and almost getting caught. Reminds children to obey their parents and not misbehave or suffer the consequences.
  kkcrossley | Apr 16, 2010 |
A classic story of a mischievous rabbit. ( )
  Katya0133 | Feb 28, 2009 |
Beatrix Potter's classic tale has been translated into Middle Egyptian, a pleasant respite from the formal texts that must be translated by archaeology and language students. ( )
  drj | Jan 24, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beatrix Potterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nunn, John F.Translatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parkinson, Richard B.Translatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The hieroglyph edition appeals to a rather different group of people than average Beatrix Potter fans, and therefore should not be combined with the original or with other translations.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0714119695, Hardcover)

The quintessential cautionary tale, Peter Rabbit warns naughty children about the grave consequences of misbehaving. When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor's garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. He quickly gets in over his head, when he is spotted by farmer McGregor himself. Any child with a spark of sass will find Peter's adventures remarkably familiar. And they'll see in Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail that bane of their existence: the "good" sibling who always does the right thing. One earns bread and milk and blackberries for supper, while the obstinate folly of the other warrants medicine and an early bedtime.

Beatrix Potter's animal stories have been a joy to generations of young readers. Her warm, playful illustrations in soft colors invite children into the world of words and flights of fancy. Once there, she gently and humorously guides readers along the path of righteousness, leaving just enough room for children to wonder if that incorrigible Peter will be back in McGregor's garden tomorrow. (Ages Baby to Preschool)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:24 -0400)

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