Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Egyptian Fur

I was able to find quite a lot of material in Khartoum on the Fur language, the most interesting (though not necessarily most accurate) of which is a book by Dr. Idriss Yusuf Ahmed published in Arabic first in 2001 by New Star Printing House in Khartoum with a second printing by The Key Publishing House in Toronto, Ontario. Unfortunately they neither use the extended arabic letters for sounds that do not occur in standard Arabic, nor is there any attempt made to represent the tones.

I’ll include the most salient selections as I get to them, but I had to start with this list which made me just about roll on the floor laughing, though I defer to the judgment of the reader as to the plausibility of the connections:

Ancient Pharaonic influences on the Fur language:

Fur Language

Ancient Pharaonic Language




wind, breeze

Sing fi naro


“does what he says”





Usou aan


wait for the signal

Ubwa Simbla

Abu Simbel

black grandmother*

Jasis ah


“built for you”

(mentions al-abanus which has an interesting history of being borrowed into Coptic from greek, though it originally came from the demotic hbny)

The source of the information is given as Professor Zekariah Sayf al-Din of Nyala, South Darfur

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