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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Words used to denote God.

 is a phonetic sign denoting the syllable "an". Note that it is a cross making it easy to remember what it stands for. It also stands for three logograms: the word ilum which means "god" (but transliterated as DINGIR, the Sumerian word for "god"), the god of heaven Anum, and then by extension the word šamû which means "heaven". And on top of all this, it can also function as a determinative for names of deities. The following example illustrates this polyvalency:

I remember the Sumerian word by thinking of the Egyptian hieroglyph, representing the d sound which is pictured as a hand which reminds me of fingers which is about as close as you can get to DINGIR in English and as a bonus it reminds me of the phonetic sound “an” and the determinative, D. I cheat and use Egyptian as mnemonic aids instead of Latin grammar like you are supposed to when learning, Gothic, Swedish, etc.
It seems to me that most all of the words for God derive from Sumerian / Akkadian where the determinative for deity name is "D". In recent times, certain pronunciations have come to represent the imperative of agape while others convey the opposite, viz. jihad.
The term in English is God, in Swedish: Gud, in French: Dieu, in Italian: Dio, in German: Gott, in Yiddish: Got, in Spanish: Dios, in Portuguese: Deus, in Greek: Theos, in Gothic: Guþ, in Arabic: al-dhat and الله‎, in Hebrew: El, in Aramaic: El, etc.

Quick note on the traditional transliteration of Akkadian signs: Phonograms are written in italic. Logograms are written in capitals, often transcribing Sumerian words, but also sometimes Akkadian if the logogram has more meanings in Akkadian than in Sumerian. The superscripts are determinatives, and they tend to use the same convention as logograms (capital letters transcribing Sumerian words). The only exception is the determinative for deity names, which is shortened to D instead of DINGIR.

Going back to the example, you have most likely noticed that the same sign can represent different words. This polyvalency originated in Sumerian when the same logogram was used to write related words that had vastly different pronunciations. To distinguish between different readings, contextual information is extremely important. One kind of hint to indicate which word the logogram refers is the phonetic complement. It is a phonogram that spells out part of the word that the logogram represents, and so allow the reader to identify the word. In the example, the sign sequence AN-ú identifies the word šamû, not the deity Anum. Another form of hint is the determinative. The sequence KÁ-DINGIR-RA is followed by the determinative KI, meaning that is must be the name of a city. Only one city is written as KÁ-DINGIR-RA, and that would be Babylon. In fact, the logogram KÁ represents the word babu ("gate"), DINGIR resolves to ilum ("god"), and RA is the genitive case in Sumerian for dingir. Together the sequence gives Babilum, or "Gate of the God", where the god in question would be Marduk, the patron god of Babylon.

See how simple the language of these Earthings is!!!


  1. Typing Stux in the Hebrew mode on a dual-language Hebrew-English keyboard is דאוס or Deus, but God is אלוהים in Hebrew.
    Evil causam magis evil cum homo nescit Christum.
    Assaults of the devil cause more assaults of the devil when man does not know the Messiah.

  2. خُداي or (khُdai) is probably derived from KA-DINGER and thus probably means God, but the popular online translators do not translate it.

  3. خُداي is from the Dari language.
    In Welsh, the word is Duw, but then grammar comes into play. So. “My God” is “Fy Nuw” which is pronounced like “min Nut” with a long “U”.. So, it is impossible for me to understand, but I love the parts I do, like Cymru and Cymraeg for obvious reasons.
    Mungu is God in the language of the African coast dwellers. Popular in the U.S. in the 1960’s.

    神 (Shén) is God in Chinese pictograms. I do not know anything about Chinese, So, I just remember it as “pool of water”. It is also reminiscent of Shema in Hebrew.
    Бог is God in Cyrillic, i.e., Russian, Czech, etc.

    ღმერთი ( ghmert’i) is what the Christians call God in Georgia.

    Malaysia no longer has a word for God. They passed a law against saying it. It is OK to say Tuhan since that means Lord and not God. What earthly use is a language without a word for God? LORD, Jehovah, Tuhan, Yahweh, etc. are regarded as synonyms, but having a distinct meaning different from God.

    The ankh represented the sound "za" in Linear-B script and "NK" in egyptian. "N" is used to change the meaning from the eternal repetative tense to the real living tense in Egyptian. "K" represents breath and spirit. "T" denotes the gentive particle, i.e. "of" in English. Ra is the genetive case of DINGER. So, the Egyptian word for God is "NTR" followed by the DETERMIATIVE, while the Coptic word for God is Νογτε. Makes sense to me, but maybe what I was taught is wrong. Who knows, but it makes me feel good to think that the ancient Egyptians thought of God as real living God and the cross as representing a real living spirit.