Aaou Hieroglyphic Dictionary App: A Smart Alternative to Faulkner’s Middle Egyptian Dictionary

Aaou Egyptian Hieroglyph Dictionary App

iPhone version – $9.99

iPad version – $18.99

I stumbled across this app after I bought an iPhone in late 2009, and it has proved to be incredibly useful when I either can’t find a word in Faulkner’s Middle Egyptian Dictionary, or forgot the book at home.

What is the Aaou app all about?

Aaou is a hieroglyphic dictionary app created by Jean-Francois Dumon for the iPhone, iPod touch, and the Ipad.

The current version (1.8.0) comes with over 21,000 words and is packed with a ton of features.

 The main features can be found below:

  • Aaou Main ScreenHieroglyphic dictionary, searchable through transliteration, sign filtering, or English.
  • Manuel de Codage displayed next to the word, allowing for easy reproduction in JSesh.
  • Gardiner sign list
  • Ability to filter signs depending on their shape.
  • Index of uniliterals, biliterals, and triliterals.

A quick walkthrough of Aaou

Let’s say you came across a word that you don’t recognize. You don’t even know what the first sign is, so you can’t look it up in Faulkner’s Dictionary. You’re basically stuck.

Aaou can solve this problem. Let’s take a look how.

The word the we will use for this example is mt Hmt - art, craft, “art, craft.”

The first step is to either guess which family the hieroglyph falls under, or use the filtering abilities of the app to see signs that are of similar shape. In this example, we will use the latter.

Step 1: Use the filter ability.

In order to find this sign, we will go to Reminder > Vertical and then scroll through the signs until we find our hieroglyph.

Aaou Filter Hieroglyph by Shape

From this, we have identified not only that the hieroglyph is U24, but also that it has two possible phonetic values, ḥm(w) and ḥmt. 

Step 2: Use the hieroglyph search function.

Now, we will search for words containing U24.

To do this we will go to Hieroglyphs > U > U24.

Once you have highlighted the hieroglyph, tap the “+” sign. In order to narrow our results even further, we will include another hieroglyph in our search, the t glyph. Since this glyph is in the alphabet, we can select the “a” group.

After you add the hieroglyph, tap search to see the results:

Filter by Hieroglyphs

Aaou Filter by Hieroglyph

Search Results

Aaou Search Results

The number (21 in this case) in the top left corner of the search results shows how many words within the Aaou Hieroglyphic Dictionary that contain these two hieroglyphs.

Now, you must scroll through the results in order to find the word. If you can’t find the word, you have, at the very least, narrowed where in Faulkner’s dictionary you might find the word (somewhere around ḥmt).

Again, I can’t recommend this app enough. I know there are a few other apps similar to this one, but I haven’t had the need to check them out since I’m completely satisfied with Aaou.

iPhone version – $9.99

iPad version – $18.99

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