One of the treasured objects in the British museum today is the Rosetta Stone. Discovered in 1799 by a soldier of Napoleon Bonaparte’s army, this stone, also referred to as stele, weighs around 1700 pounds. The importance of this discovery lies in the fact that the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics is attributed to this stone. The writings on the Rosetta Stone is in ancient Greek, Hieroglyphics and Demotic. The reason was probably to make the inscription indecipherable for the common man.
The time when the Rosetta Stone was being scripted, Greek was used as the language of the kings of Egypt, the Pharos, Demotic was the most used script of Egypt at that point of time and hieroglyphics was the language of the priests. This stone was discovered in a village on the banks of the Nile called Rosetta. Hence the name, The Rosetta Stone.
To the world of translation the process of translating the writings on the Rosetta stone was a humongous challenge. Though the Greek version of the script was done by 1803, it was the hieroglyphics which was proving to be a hard nut. There were scholars who were already researching Egyptian and Greek cultures. Many were able to recognize bits of the inscriptions but no one could translate the whole inscription on the stone.
It was only after someone spotted similarities in the Demotic and Hieroglyphics that it came to light that both the scripts are the same. Ultimately it was the French scholar, Jean-Francois Champollion who translated the hieroglyphics completely in 1822. This was the breakthrough moment when the translation world was given the gift of translated hieroglyphics, which ultimately led the way towards the modern day understanding of the pictorial script.
Hieroglyphics are pictographic representations. Civilizations as old as the Indus valley have used this kind of writing but the translation proves to be a constant challenge. Scholars, Indian as well as foreign, have put forward many theories in this context. Yet due to the lack of any known script of that time the inscriptions belonging to the Indus valley civilization still remains unknown to the world unlike the Rosetta stone.
Interestingly, the spread of the Indus civilization is geographically spread almost across all of modern Pakistan, some parts of Delhi and Mumbai long with parts of Afghanistan. For those who provide translations services in Hyderabad, hieroglyphics can be a good option to explore as a part of their translation work if one is interested in investing that kind of time of effort.
However the contribution of the Rosetta Stone towards the translation world is one of the applaud able achievements. The Rosetta stone was deciphered, due to the fact that one of the script, Greek was known, and the scholars were able to understand that Demotic as another script that was used. Knowing about the literary culture of a period in history to decipher the writings from that era is one of the most crucial elements in translation.
When such discoveries are complied into a book for publication, translators play a big role in structuring, writing and editing of what has been discovered into a book format in various languages. Translators like the ones engaged in providing translation services in Hyderabad can make a significant contribution towards making a book to be publish interesting to read for the ones interested.