SOURCE: University of Advancing Technology
August 23, 2007 06:00 ET
UAT Instructor Creates Cuneiform and Hieroglyphic Translator
TEMPE, AZ--(Marketwire - August 23, 2007) - University of Advancing Technology (UAT)
instructor and senior web developer Joe McCormack has completed work on a
web-based application that translates English words into cuneiform script
from the Assyrian, Babylonian, Sumerian and the hieroglyphic script of
Egyptian. The tool may be seen at his website, virtualsecrets.com.
The translator works by converting cuneiform and hieroglyphs, both used in
the earliest forms of writing, into English words. For example, typing "I
am a father" into the Ancient Egyptian translator yields hieroglyphs that
roughly translate to "I am" and "father." The translator has been featured
on several museum websites around the world and websites specializing in
resources for the ancient world.
McCormack, a UAT web developer by trade, worked more than 1,000 hours on
researching the cuneiform and hieroglyphic and building the tool and its
accompanying website. Inspiration for the project stemmed from his
fascination with the science fiction television series "Stargate SG-1,"
which featured ancient Egyptian mythology and symbols as plot points. These
caught McCormack's eye and lead to his research.
The website translator engine took approximately an hour to create, with
the language database occupying two hundred hours to line up cuneiforms and
hieroglyphics with text descriptors and make a hierarchy to prioritize the
"One of the reasons something as big as what I've done hasn't been done
before is that there are thousands and thousands of symbols," said
McCormack is talking with museums and institutions to garner further
exposure. In particular, the Egyptian translator has been a hit; more than
half of the 1,100 daily hits stem from the Egyptian hieroglyphic alone.
More than 30 countries in six continents are using the website for
About UAT: The University of Advancing Technology is a unique, private
college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and
academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles
of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of
technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a
recognized leader in technology education.
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