Coptic Language Tools

ambrogio-introductio-iacobitarumCoptic is one of the earliest receiver languages for the Scriptures to be translated into, following close on the heels of Greek.  Some of the extant manuscripts are translated from Greek texts which have since been lost to us, but the Coptic versions preserve those readings for us due to the language’s precision.

Coptic is also a reliable witness to the phenomenon of the nomina sacra and the fact that it carried over from Hebrew into the languages into which its holy texts were translated (e.g. Greek, Coptic, Aramaic, Syriac, et al.).

On this page will be amassed listings and links (wherever available) to articles and tools to aid in the study of the too-oft overlooked language of Coptic.

Nota bene: The Coptic dictionary is ordered by consonant only, ignoring all vowels, e.g., “CouRT” would come before “CaT” since only the consonants dictate order.

Grammars

  • Lambdin, Thomas O.  Introduction to Sahidic Coptic.  Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2000 (orig. 1983).
  • Layton, Bentley.  Coptic in 20 Lessons: Introduction to Sahidic Coptic with Exercises and Vocabularies.  Leeuven: Peeters, 2007.

Standard Lexicon

Texts

Articles

  • Grotberg, April Lynn. “Prosody of Overt Case Marking in Coptic.” Linguistic Society of America. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008.  Online.
  • Stern, Ludwig. (1885). “Fragment eines koptischen Tractates über Alchimie.” Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 23: 102–119.  Online.
  • Worrell, William H. Coptic Sounds. Humanistic Series xxvi. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. Studies, 1934.  Online.
  • _____. 1930. “The Pronunciation of Coptic.” Journal of the American Oriental Society (JAOS) 50(1): 144-149.  Online.

Free Fonts

  • Spachmim (download form SBL)

Video Resources

  • Bebawy, David.  Innovative Video Lessons for Reading the Coptic Language (DVD).  Jersey City, N.J.: Coptic Media Productions, 2006.

Articles of Interest re: Coptic Manuscripts

  •  Ibrahim, Raymond (Ed.). 10 Aug 2014. “Islamic State Torches 1200 Rare Christian Manuscripts.”  Coptic Solidarity (blog).

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