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חַד גַּדְיָא | Jb Wꜥ | Ib wa (יב וע) — a Middle Egyptian translation of Ḥad Gadya by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

https://opensiddur.org/?p=49423 חַד גַּדְיָא | Jb Wꜥ | Ib wa (יב וע) — a Middle Egyptian translation of Ḥad Gadya by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer 2023-04-04 09:47:14 Ḥad Gadya has a place in Seder tables throughout the Jewish world, and in many communities it was read in translation. This Middle Egyptian translation was almost certainly the one that Moshe Rabbeinu himself sang at his seder table that fateful night in Egypt! …Not really. Ḥad Gadya postdates Middle Egyptian as a written language by about three millennia. But it's fun and Pesaḥ-appropriate to sing this song in the language of that dagnabbed Pharaoh himself. Also included is a transcript of the text into Hebrew script, since Judeo-Hieroglyphics don't exist… yet. Eh, the alphabet was adapted from hieroglyphics from the start. It's fine. You could even say it's an improvement. For reading out loud I've also included the standard Egyptological pronunciation system. If you're stuck in a time machine be careful, it's an artificial convention that should not be mistaken for how Egyptian was pronounced at the time. But personally I think "Tutenkhamen" is easier to say than *Təwā́təʾ-ʿā́nəkh-ʾamā́nəʾ, so sue me. Text the Open Siddur Project Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) Unknown Author(s) https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Nirtsah זמירות zemirot Aramaic פיוטים piyyutim predation salvation 21st century C.E. 58th century A.M. חד גדיא Ḥad Gadya alternate timeline נרצה Nirtsah Late Bronze Age Egyptian Middle Egyptian
Ḥad Gadya has a place in Seder tables throughout the Jewish world, and in many communities it was read in translation. This Middle Egyptian translation was almost certainly the one that Moshe Rabbeinu himself sang at his seder table that fateful night in Egypt! …Not really. Ḥad Gadya postdates Middle Egyptian as a written language by about three millennia. But it’s fun and Pesaḥ-appropriate to sing this song in the language of that dagnabbed Pharaoh himself.

Also included is a transcript of the text into Hebrew script, since Judeo-Hieroglyphics don’t exist… yet. Eh, the alphabet was adapted from hieroglyphics from the start. It’s fine. You could even say it’s an improvement.

For reading out loud I’ve also included the standard Egyptological pronunciation system. If you’re stuck in a time machine be careful, it’s an artificial convention that should not be mistaken for how Egyptian was pronounced at the time. But personally I think “Tutenkhamen” is easier to say than *Təwā́təʾ-ʿā́nəkh-ʾamā́nəʾ*, so sue me.

Massive enormous thanks to Willa Snowbender and her advanced Middle Egyptian class for their proofreading and improvements! Without you all this would be unreadable word salad.


TABLE HELP

Source (Aramaic)Translation (Egyptian, romanized)Translation (Ashuri-Egyptian)Translation (Egyptological Pronunciation)Translation (English)
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
jb wꜥ sp sn[1] The Egyptian form sp sn, literally meaning “two times,” is not read out loud, but rather used to mark a phrase that is repeated. Thus in the Ashuri-Egyptian script included here it has been reflected as ב׳ פעמי׳, and in the Egyptological phonetic transcription it is marked (2×). If read out loud it should be read as “Ib wa, ib wa.” 
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Ib wa (2×)
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×)
One little goat, one little goat
that my father
bought for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא שֻׁנְרָא
וְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj mjw
ḫr wnm jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי מיו
כׄר ונם יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
וב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii miu,
kher wenem ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
A cat came
and ate the goat
that my father
bought for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא כַּלְבָּא
וְנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj ṯzm
ḫr pzḥ mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי טזם
כׄר פזח מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii tjezem,
kher pezeh miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
A dog came
and bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא חֻטְרָא
וְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא,
דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj ḫt
ḫr sḫ ṯzm
ntj pzḥ.n mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי כׄת
כׄר סךׄ טזם
נתי פזחן מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii khet,
kher sekh-en tjezem,
neti pezeh-en miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
A stick came
and hit the dog
that bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא נוּרָא
וְשָׂרַף לְחֻטְרָא,
דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא,
דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj sḏt
ḫr ꜣm ḫt
ntj sḫ.n ṯzm
ntj pzḥ.n mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי סצת
כׄר עם כׄת
נתי סכׄן טזם
נתי פזחן מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii sedjet,
kher am khet,
neti sekh-en tjezem,
neti pezeh-en miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
A fire came
and burned the stick
that hit the dog
that bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא מַיָּא
וְכָבָה לְנוּרָא,
דְּשָׂרַף לְחֻטְרָא,
דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא,
דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj mw
ḫr jhm sḏt
ntt ꜣm.n ḫt
ntj sḫ.n ṯzm
ntj pzḥ.n mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי מו
כׄר יהם סצת
נתת עמן כׄת
נתי סכׄן טזם
נתי פזחן מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii mu,
kher ihem sedjet,
netet am-en khet,
neti sekh-en tjezem,
neti pezeh-en miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
Water came
and put out the fire
that burned the stick
that hit the dog
that bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא תּוֹרָא
וְשָׁתָא לְמַיָּא,
דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא,
דְּשָׂרַף לְחֻטְרָא,
דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא,
דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj jḥ
ḫr zwr mw
ntj jhm.n sḏt
ntt ꜣm.n ḫt
ntj sḫ.n ṯzm
ntj pzḥ.n mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי יח
כׄר זור מו
נתי יהמן סצת
נתת עמן כׄת
נתי סכׄן טזם
נתי פזחן מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii ih,
kher zur mu,
neti ihem-en sedjet,
netet am-en khet,
neti sekh-en tjezem,
neti pezeh-en miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
An ox came
and drank the water
that put out the fire
that burned the stick
that hit the dog
that bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא הַשּׁוֹחֵט
וְשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא,
דְּשָׁתָא לְמַיָּא,
דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא,
דְּשָׂרַף לְחֻטְרָא,
דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא,
דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj mḥwnw
ḫr rḫs jḥ
ntj zwr.n mw
ntj jhm.n sḏt
ntt ꜣm.n ḫt
ntj sḫ.n ṯzm
ntj pzḥ.n mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי מחונו
כׄר רכׄס יח
נתי זורן מו
נתי יהמן סצת
נתת עמן כׄת
נתי סכׄן טזם
נתי פזחן מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii mehunu,
kher rekhes ih,
neti zur-en mu,
neti ihem-en sedjet,
netet am-en khet,
neti sekh-en tjezem,
neti pezeh-en miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
A butcher came
and slaughtered the ox
that drank the water
that put out the fire
that burned the stick
that hit the dog
that bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא מַלְאַךְ־הַמָּ֫וֶת
וְשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט,
דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא,
דְּשָׁתָא לְמַיָּא,
דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא,
דְּשָׂרַף לְחֻטְרָא,
דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא,
דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj ꜣḫ ny mwt
ḫr dn mḥwnw
ntj rḫs.n jḥ
ntj zwr.n mw
ntj jhm.n sḏt
ntt ꜣm.n ḫt
ntj sḫ.n ṯzm
ntj pzḥ.n mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי עךׄ ני מות
כׄר דן מחונו
נתי רכׄסן יח
נתי זורן מו
נתי יהמן סצת
נתת עמן כׄת
נתי סכׄן טזם
נתי פזחן מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii akh ni mut,
kher den mehunu,
neti rekhes-en ih,
neti zur-en mu,
neti ihem-en sedjet,
netet am-en khet,
neti sekh-en tjezem,
neti pezeh-en miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
The Angel of Death came
and slaughtered the shoḥet
who slaughtered the ox
that drank the water
that put out the fire
that burned the stick
that hit the dog
that bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.
וְאָתָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא
וְשָׁחַט לְמַלְאַךְ־הַמָּ֫וֶת
דְּשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט,
דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא,
דְּשָׁתָא לְמַיָּא,
דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא,
דְּשָׂרַף לְחֻטְרָא,
דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא,
דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשֻׁנְרָא,
דְּאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא,
דְּזַבִּן אַבָּא
בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
aḥa.n jj ḏsr nṯr ꜥꜣ
ḫr ḫdb ꜣḫ ny mwt
ntj dn.n mḥwnw
ntj rḫs.n jḥ
ntj zwr.n mw
ntj jhm.n sḏt
ntt ꜣm.n ḫt
ntj sḫ.n ṯzm
ntj pzḥ.n mjw
ntj wnm.n jb
ntj jn.n
jt(j).j m dbnwy
jb wꜥ sp sn
אחאן יאי צסר נטר אע
כׄר כׄדב עךׄ ני מות
נתי דנן מחונו
נתי רכׄסן יח
נתי זורן מו
נתי יהמן סצת
נתת עמן כׄת
נתי סכׄן טזם
נתי פזחן מיו
נתי ונמן יב
נתי ינן
יתיי אם דבנוי
יב וע (— ב׳ פעמי׳)
Aha-n ii djeser netjer aa,
kher khedeb akh ni mut,
neti den-en mehunu,
neti rekhes-en ih,
neti zur-en mu,
neti ihem-en sedjet,
netet am-en khet,
neti sekh-en tjezem,
neti pezeh-en miu,
neti wenem-en ib,
neti in-en
iti-i em debenwi,
ib wa (2×).
Then the blessed Holy One came
and slaughtered the Angel of Death
who slaughtered the shoḥet
who slaughtered the ox
that drank the water
that put out the fire
that burned the stick
that hit the dog
that bit the cat
that ate the goat
that my father bought
for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.

The earliest known appearance of “Ḥad Gadya,” by an unknown author, can be found in the Prague Haggadah (1526). The text of the poem is in a form of playful Aramaic and it is accompanied by the lyrics in medieval Yiddish.[2] The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906, NY) vol. 8 page 190 s.v. “Had Gadya” calls it German.  It is unclear which, if either, came first — the Yiddish or the Aramaic. The Aramaic above below follows the text as it appears in the Prague Haggadah (1526). The Aramaic has been vocalized according to the Prague Haggadah (1590). Besides the transcription of the Aramaic with its vocalization, I have also added a translation sourced from Eve Levavi Feinstein’s Passover Haggadah translation. –Aharon N. Varady

 

Notes

Notes
1The Egyptian form sp sn, literally meaning “two times,” is not read out loud, but rather used to mark a phrase that is repeated. Thus in the Ashuri-Egyptian script included here it has been reflected as ב׳ פעמי׳, and in the Egyptological phonetic transcription it is marked (2×). If read out loud it should be read as “Ib wa, ib wa.”
2The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906, NY) vol. 8 page 190 s.v. “Had Gadya” calls it German.

 

 

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