The Sound of Meaning Language Series

Runa Simi (Quechua)


the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Charles William Johnson


In the previous linguistic analyses of the Earth/matriX The sound of Meaning Language series, I have compared the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs to languages of North America [Atákapa, Túnica and Chitimacha], Mesoamerica [Maya, Nahuatl and Purépecha] and the Caribbean area [Taino].

In this study, I shall complete that geographical circuit by examining one of the main language systems from South America: Runa Simi or, Quechua, as it is popularly known. Other renderings are: Qhichwa Simi and Runa Shimi. The language system of Runa Simi extends to over 45 dialects, said to be grouped in at least seven languages, thus constituting in fact a family of languages. Variations in rendering the word-concepts are vast, but I shall concentrate on one of the lists offered by the famous linguist Maurice Swadesh, under whom I once had the privilege of studying under while he was in Mexico.

The comparative linguistic text is divided into two main columns. In the left column are listed the Runa Simi (Quechua) word-concepts and in the right column are listed the word-concepts from the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. As in previous studies, I employ the source work by E. A. Wallis Budge, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, [ Dover, 1978, 1314 pages in two volumes], for the Egyptian hieroglyphs.

As in other studies, the work by Budge confirms the relationship of a language of the Western hemisphere of the Americas to the language of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. One would not expect a 100% match between the two languages, but neither would one expect such a high percentage of near cognate matches between them. The word-concepts on the Swadesh list has its own assigned progressive number as in the first example that follows, regarding to the expression for first personal singular, I.

Runa Simi (Quechua) Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs
1- 1-
ÑuQa, I N-ua - I, me [352b]

As shown, this very first word on the Swadesh list is enough to suggest contact or a relationship between Runa Simi and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. As occurred similarly with regard to the other languages compared to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs in this series, Runa Simi (Quechua) confirms many word-concepts in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and, vice versa, the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs confirm many of the Runa Simi (Quechua) words.

With such a large number of smilar phonemic/morphemic expressions between the two languages, I find it difficult to attribute these linguistic correspondences to random accidents of linguistic coincidence. In my mind, after having now discovered hundreds of similarly related phonemic/morphemic expressions between the language systems of the Western hemisphere to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, one conclusion appears to be evident. Either the cited languages of the West were sister languages to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs or, they both derived from some yet more ancient proto-language.

It takes only one example to suggest and confirm that there existed some kind of contact between the ancient Egyptian culture and those cultures of the Western hemisphere cited in my studies.

In other words, simply by removing certain letters from the Runa Simi word-concepts, the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs make their appearance. Consider the following examples:

Runa Simi Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs
to dig
aaH -to break ground, to plough, to dig up earth [29b]
to think
uaa -to think, to meditate, to take counsel [145b]

The example of linguistic comparison between Runa Simi (Quechua) and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs that caught my eye from the beginning concerns the word-concept for Khipu, which means "a knot" or, "bundled knotted strings" in Quechua. The word Khipu is not on the Swadesh list. But it served as a wake-up call to the possible significance between Runa Simi and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The Khipu, or knotted strings, in the Inca culture, is of great significance, reflecting strings that are tied in knots with interpretative numeric and mnemonic meanings assigned to them as of the color, knots and structure of the strings. Also, consider that the pre-Andean and Inca nation of Tawantinsuyu [the four directions] viewed the city of Cusco as the center of the Universe or existence, the origin or the "navel" of birthplace. With all of this in mind, I searched for a similar phonemic word-concept for Khipu in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Here is what I found:

Runa Simi Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs
KHiPu, a knot KHaPa - "navel string, umbilicus [572b]

This near cognate, Khipu | Khapa, caused me to continue with the linguistic comparisons in this study of the Swadesh list between Quechua and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. It would be beyond me as to how someone could observe that the ancient Inca employed the word Khipu for a knot in a string, and the ancient Egyptians employed Khapa for an umbilicus or navel string, and not draw a conclusion of similarity between the two. Especially, when we know that the ancient Inca viewed the Khipu as being significant to the concept of the centerpoint or navel of their birthplace.

I then considered the fact that the Quechua language today is referred to as Runa Simi, which literally means "people mouth" according to some scholars; meaning the mouth (or language) of the people. When one observes that a similar phonemic expression in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs could be ReMaMa-T, one observes the literal meaning of "people word"; the word of the people. This would make sense for Quechua could mean the word of the people, with the concept of "mouth" symbolizing the idea of the spoken word. In this example, one may see how one language supports and clarifies phonemic/ morphemic expressions in the other language.

But, many more linguistic correspondences make their appearance that require consideration. Here are just a few outstanding examples:

Runa Simi Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs English
allpa apap earth
ancha ash many
irqi rer child
khimsa khemt three
muhu mui seed
nina nen-t fire
qara kara skin, hides
rawray ruru to burn
sacha shta forest
unu inu water
waq'ay uag to cry

From such examples of near cognates, I decided to research further the possible linguistic correspondences between Runa Simi and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, which I now present in this brief analysis.

In the following glossary, I have emphasized the consonantal roots by placing them in capital letters and leaving the vowels and diphthongs in small letters.........................Read more:


"New Book on Runasimi/Quechua Coming"


©2009-2010 May Copyrighted by Charles William Johnson. All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited.

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