Coptic Alphabet


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Coptic Alphabet

 

an alphabetic writing system created in the second and third centuriesA.D. by the Egyptians who translated the Bible from Greek into Coptic, since the complex and extremely specific Egyptian writing, which in many respects did not reflect real pronunciation and actually did not represent vowel sounds, was not suitable for translation. In the early centuries of the Common Era, Egyptian magical texts, in which it was important to fix the sound of words (especially in incantations), were written down with Greek letters, using Egyptian cursive symbols (demotic writing) for sounds absent in Greek.

The Coptic alphabet consists basically of 24 Greek letters and six to eight (different in the various dialects) demotic symbols. With the dying off of the Coptic language, the Coptic alphabet went out of daily use and survived only in religious texts.

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