Talk:Aramaic language

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Contradiction[edit]

the Aramaic variety by which Eastern Christianity was diffused, whether or not those communities once spoke it or another form of Aramaic as their vernacular, but have since shifted to another language as their primary community language.

Modern Aramaic is spoken today as a first language by many scattered, predominantly small, and largely isolated communities of differing Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups of the Middle East[5]—most numerously by the Assyrians in the form of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic—that have all retained use of the once dominant lingua franca despite subsequent language shifts experienced throughout the Middle East.

Ehh, what the eyyff? The first paragraph, without any citations raises an unqualified skeptical attack on whether aramaic was spoken by Eastern Christians.

Then the next paragraph says that Assyrians have always retained it despite language shifts. Ok so whats the deal here? And why do we have such a ridiculous attack on the idea that Eastern Christians haven't always spoken aramaic? How can they have adopted a new language when Arabic is made more dominant? In fact the truth is that Aramaic is disapperaing, afterall its "endangered" as the intro suggests. Gabr-el 21:15, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I am wondering if[edit]

this whole section ( Aramaic word processors) really belongs here? Some of the corporate links includedin it are pretty (opinion) marginal too. Carptrash (talk) 04:57, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

1955[edit]

In 1955, Richard Frye questioned the classification of Imperial Aramaic as an 'official language'.

Really? As recently as in 1955? Why, this was practically yesterday, and we all know there has been no good scholarship since the Russian Revolution (I mean the Russian Revolution of 1905, of course). It is a much more urgent necessity for the reader of this article to know what the mainstream academic position on the status of Aramaic was in 1842.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 00:48, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

... noting that no surviving edict expressly and unambiguously accorded that status to any particular language.

That's a good point. It would have been highly untypical for an Ancient Near Eastern state not to leave an official legally binding document proclaiming the status of a language as official. For example, we all know there are countless surviving clay tablets from the Third Dynasty of Ur proclaiming explicitly: "Sumerian is the official language of the Third Dynasty of Ur".--91.148.159.4 (talk) 00:55, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

ISO codes[edit]

Does anyone have any idea what are the exact ISO codes for the Jewish kinds of Aramaic - Daniel & Ezra, Babylonian Talmud, Jerusalem Talmud, Targumim, Zohar?

The language of Daniel & Ezra is probably arc. The Babylonian Talmud is probably tmr. But what about the Jerusalem Talmud, the Targumim and the Zohar?

Neither the current list in the article nor Ethnologue make it clear.

Thanks in advance for any help. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 20:23, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Jewish Palestinian Aramaic [jpa]; Samaritan Aramaic [sam]; Jewish Babylonian Aramaic (ca. 200-1200 CE) [tmr]; Official Aramaic (700-300 BCE) [arc]. The language of Daniel and Ezra is probably [arc]. The Jerusalem Talmud is [jpa]; the Babylonian Talmud is [tmr]. (Taivo (talk) 21:12, 11 April 2010 (UTC))
Thanks. It makes sense.
Any idea where would the language of the Zohar be categorized? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 07:36, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
It depends on whether the language is more Palestinian or Babylonian. (Taivo (talk) 09:03, 12 April 2010 (UTC))
That's the problem - i don't know. I only know the Biblical Aramaic well and much less the Aramaic of the Talmuds. The Aramaic of the Zohar seemed to me quite different from that of both Talmuds, but i'm not an expert. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:18, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
The language of the Zohar is "unique" in that it is rather synthetic, drawing from several dialects in a way that a number of scholars have questioned whether or not it is a constructed dialect (as opposed to a natural one). As such, I'm not sure it would really fit under any of the ISO codes neatly. אמר Steve Caruso 02:00, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
According to Gershom Shalom, who is probably the most respected scholar of the Kabbalah (though somewhat outdated), the Aramaic of the Zohar is an entirely artificial language that attempts to imitate the style of Talmudic Aramaic, but was in fact written by the 13th century Jewish mystic Moshe de Leon. Leon lived in Spain before the Expulsion, and his Aramaic is heavily influenced by Medieval Spanish and - one presumes - the Ladino dialect of the time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.65.120.93 (talk) 11:02, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

BCE/BC AD/ACE[edit]

Our calendar starts at Jesus' birth. If you want to lie to people and say we date it from a 'common era', then just conclude that; 'common era' is another way of dating from Jesus' birth, so call it what it is. Otherwise you will confuse a lot of people who then discover "Oh, that was when Jesus was born? Why does academia want to hide this fact from us?" I don't know, why do you want to hide the truth from people about Jesus' time on earth? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.231.195.182 (talk) 07:28, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Aramaic studies as a field tends to use BCE/CE. As such, it is that convention we use here and it is against Wikipedia guidelines to change it. It has as much to do with Jesus and Christianity as it has to do with the Talmud and Judaism, Darius I and Zoroastrianism, or King Ashoka and Buddhism (all of which are prominent Aramaic-language related entities). :-) So in short, don't mess with it. אמר Steve Caruso 13:07, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Just in case some readers might not be familiar with the BCE/CE convention, I've wikilinked the first occurrence of "BCE" in the article's lede. Regarding the more general issue of using BCE/CE vs. BC/AD, you might want to see Common Era#Opposition, but please remember that any editing needs to respect WP:NPOV and other core Wikipedia policies. Richwales (talk) 03:30, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

History, periodization[edit]

For the division of the history of Aramaic into periods, the article follows Beyer, but a lot more publications follow that of Fitzmyer; these include Creason's article in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages (2004), Kaufman's articles in the Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992) and in Hetzron's Semitic Languages volume (1997), and the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon (http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/). I can't find a recent major reference book that follows Beyer. Should it be changed?Linguistatlunch (talk) 14:25, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The "Hebrew" Gospel of Matthew[edit]

There is an Asia Minor tradition starting in the early second century (Papias-Irenaeus-Origen) apparently picked up by Jerome that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in "Hebrew" (Aramaic). Jerome even claimed to have found the "original", but had to backtrack, since the work he found had nothing to do with the canonical Gospel. Thus there was perhaps some Aramaic work in Jerome's hands, which might be noted, but it is highly misleading to include Matthew in a mere list containing works such as Daniel and Ezra.

Even when the Catholic Encyclopedia article was written, the question of the original language of Matthew was debated, but no modern scholar of any repute makes any claim today of an Aramaic origin for the book.

The first link that came up in Google: http://www.bible.ca/jw-YHWH-hebrew-matthew.htm cites noted scholars from the first half of the 20th c. disputing the claim. To modern scholarship, the whole discussion is a mere footnote. --Janko (talk) 14:34, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Number of speakers[edit]

The page says ~500,000 speakers, but Semitic languages says 2.2 million. Neither seem to have citations. Are the figures perhaps using different definitions? roguekheldar (talk) 04:52, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Sounds: Vowels[edit]

This section should be introduced with a statement of which Aramaic language is being described. There can't be one description that is valid for most Aramaic varieties, so it's reasonable to choose one to form the core of this section. Syriac is one natural choice, since it's so well documented and studied. However, the chart as it stands isn't correct for Syriac, and most of the content of the following paragraphs are simply basic general phonetics, not specific to Aramaic.

Furthermore, the statement that "As with most Semitic languages, Aramaic can be thought of as having three basic sets of vowels" is problematic. It's true that proto-Semitic had three vowels, each long and short. To whatever extent that's true of any particular Aramaic language, it's true either because it descended from Semitic, or because the roughly triangular shape of the vowel space is a consequence of the structure of human mouths -- in other words, many languages around the world have a triangular-shaped vowel inventory. Looking at Syriac, it isn't particularly true. Most /e/ vowels have no special relationship with /i/ or /a/, and the long low back and perhaps rounded vowel /ā/ (zqapa) ([ɑ:], [ɒ:], or maybe even [ɔ:]) is quite separate from /a/ in all varieties of Syriac. I'll consider substituting this with a more up-to-date and accurate (and referenced) description.Linguistatlunch (talk) 23:05, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Hebrew[edit]

did Aramic is the same language such as Hebrew ? , becouse it it the same 22 alphabetic letters. פארוק (talk) 21:35, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

They have the same basis, which is the Phoenician alphabet. 75.14.223.204 (talk) 17:47, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
also Assyrian . פארוק (talk) 05:37, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

in Israel[edit]

in israel only the Jews of Kurdistan are speaking Aramaic every day. the orthodocs jews pray in Aramaic and study the holy books in this language. פארוק (talk) 10:46, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

ISO Codes[edit]

It doesn't matter whether or not ISO codes are supported by Ethnologue or not. Ethnologue is not the authority or determinant for ISO authority. The ISO codes are administered by a separate organization within SIL and there are many, many codes for extinct languages that are not, and may never be, incorporated into Ethnologue. That doesn't diminish their ISO authority at all or make them somehow "poor stepchildren". --Taivo (talk) 09:24, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Aramaic/ Hebrew[edit]

Is Aramaic and Hebrew different versions of the same language? In many countries of the world, apart from English-speaking ones (South Africa excepted), people can speak 2 or more languages, and move between them effortlessly, examples are China, Slavic countries, Holland, Belgian, etc. Is/was this the case with Aramaic and Hebrew speakers? And also, how closely related is Hebrew and Aramaic? 86.178.174.199 (talk) 22:58, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

How did Jesus and Pilate communicate, assuming the Biblical account to be true? In the Bible and in film versions, it always seemed that they talk to each other directly without an interpreter. 86.178.174.199 (talk) 22:54, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Hebrew was a dialect of Canaanite. Aramaic was a separate branch of Semitic, though similar. Greek was quite widespread, with Greek inscriptions in the sanctus sanctorum of more than one temple, so perhaps they both spoke Greek, but if they didn't it wouldn't make much sense for the Bible to mention translators, since they wouldn't add anything to the narrative. — kwami (talk) 04:48, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

misidentified[edit]

Aramaic is not a northwestern Semitic language. Dr. Cornelia Wunsch tells me that in the 21st century, the language spoken in Nebuchadnetsar's time and later is being called the Neo-Babylonian dialect of Akkadian. Akkadian is not a northwestern Semitic language, they broke off from it about 2000 BCE. Reach Wunsch and Pearce's book Documents of Judean Exiles and West Semites in Babylonia in the Collection of David Sofer and update your article, but for now, you can change the description of Aramaic. 71.163.117.143 (talk) 12:37, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

also see the following article https://www.academia.edu/4723117/Aspects_of_Aramaic_and_Babylonian_Linguistic_Interaction_in_First_Millennium_BC_Iraq 71.163.117.143 (talk) 12:40, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems we're confusing two languages here: Akkadian (an east Semitic language) and Aramaic (a Northwest Semitic language). In Babylonian times, both languages were spoken alongside each other: (the Neo-Babylonian variety of) Akkadian as the official language of the empire, Aramaic as an inofficial lingua franca widely used in everyday life, brought along with the peoples who migrated or were deported there. Drabkikker (talk) 13:42, 15 March 2015 (UTC)