Language Features

Kemetic language is "gender specific", a trait you may recognize from other languages such as French. We have three genders: male, female, and neutral; the plural is written the same for all genders, and in many cases as in other Semitic languages, the neutral form is the same as the feminine form.

Nouns referring to women (or any adjectives affecting that noun) frequently end in "-t", a sound that designates the feminine. In later stages of Kemetic, notably Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic, the "feminine t" may be written, but may not be pronounced. Additionally, not all words that end in "t" are feminine. A good example is to look at the term for "lord". In reference to a man it is "neb." In reference to a woman, the term is "nebt" (or "nebet"), "Female Lord," or in English, "Lady."

Just as English language uses a suffix of "-s" (or -es in some cases) to designate a plural, Kemetic uses a "-w" or "-u" (pronounced "oo," as in "moot"). For example, the plural of "netjer" (god) is "netjeru" (gods). Not all words that end in "u" are automatically plural; you will need to look at context. 

Some plurals are "collective nouns": a noun for one thing that comprises many parts. A collective noun in English is the word "team." A team is one thing, yet is made up of many parts. If you are interested in getting to know Kemetic language, consult our House of Netjer reading list, or consider taking a correspondence course with Rev. Tamara, offered in both the Middle Egyptian and the Coptic stages via our Imhotep Kemetic Orthodox Seminary.

Key to Pronunciation

  • "w" and "u" sound like "oo" in "soon"
  • "a" is a "o" or "ah," as in "mop" or "father" (NEVER a short "a" as in "cast.")
  • "kh" is a "ch" as in "loch"
  • "s" is "s" as in "snake, " and rarely "z" as in "zebra"
  • "tj" is a "ch" as in "cheer"
  • "o" is a long "oh" as in "total"
  • "e" is an "e" as in "bet"
  • "dj" is a "dg" as in "dodge"

' (an apostrophe) signifies a glottal stop (similar to the sound made when saying "ma" and "otter" together quickly)