Talk:Aramaic alphabet

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Brahmi script is older than Aramaic[edit]

Someone wrote this, "Aramaic is also considered to be the most likely source of the Brahmi script, ancestor of the Brahmi family of scripts, which includes Devanagari". But how can it be true? Brahmi script is found in Indus valley. Fully mature Indus valley civilization (Harappa, Mohenjo daro) is 3500 BC old . Aramaic script is only 800 BC old. So definitely Brahmi script is older than Aramaic and probably source of Aramaic script. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:13, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

That a script is found in a region where an ancient civilization happens to have existed does not automatically mean it originates from that civilization. For comparison: the fact that the Arabic script is used in Egypt doesn't mean that it goes back the ancient Pharaos. As for the Brahmi script, the minority hypothesis of a connection to the Indus script faces many challenges: see Brahmi_script#Indigenous_origin_hypothesis. Drabkikker (talk) 21:45, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Additionally, there are no accepted archaeological reports of Brahmi script in IVC contexts (don't confuse "Indus valley" with "Indus Valley Civilization contexts"). The earliest dateable examples of Brahmi are 4th or 5th century BCE and they were nowhere near the Indus valley. Tarchon (talk) 00:00, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Syriac scripts?[edit]

Why is there more Syriac script than Aramaic script in this article? Syriac script is based on Aramaic script BUT this article is about the Aramaic script. Why is the first picture of this article a picture of the Syriac alphabet? Shouldn't the first picture be a picture of one of the first forms of the Aramaic alphabet? Maybe, for example, Imperial Aramaic? ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ 19:27, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


Where happened with all the letter images?

User:Vassili_Nikolaev 03-nov-2003

Sorry, it's my IE5.5 somehow does not show png pictures anymore. It works fine in Netscape.

User:Vassili_Nikolaev 03-nov-2003

You knowledgable folks may want to vet changes made by User Wetman 16:45, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

How do you write...?[edit]

Hy. My name is Andrei and I would, please, like to know how do you write my name in aramaic.Thank you.

I would guess Aleph(?)-Nun-Daleth-Rsh-Yodh, but I am no expert on semitic languages, it seems probable it would be written the same (with the equivalent letters/sounds) in Hebrew or Arabic, so you might be better off, asking at that talk page, and then using the Aramaic alphabet instead. Please note that Semitic languages generally don't really use real vowels.


I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to spell my daughters name in aramaic. Her name is ZOE.

Blue Skies Frank

Hmmm, Zayin-Waw-Yodh, maybe? =S Also, check out Hebrew language and Arabic language.
To start with, the name is Greek: Ζωη, life. In transliteration, it could be זו(א)י (zô'ê). In Aramaic, most names are in the emphatic state, so it would translate as חיתא (ħayθâ), or in Syriac ܚܝܬܐ. However, the obvious choice would be the biblical חוה (ħawwâ, or Eve. Gareth Hughes 16:22, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Aramaic alphabet isn't part of Unicode??

It split into several forms, including Hebrew, Syriac, and Mandaic. No one seems to have wanted to encode the original, since it can be treated as a font variation of one of the descendants. - Mustafaa 12:29, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

There is an old (1999) draft for separately encoding Aramaic and there is still a block reserved in the roadmap to the SMP [1] but AFAIK no one is pushing this in the moment. --Pjacobi 13:22, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Link suggestions[edit]

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Era and consistency[edit]

For consistency with Aramaic language this article uses BCE era convention instead of BC in two places. This article is wholly consistent in itself in this usage, but it is not consistent with Template:Alphabets (see my remark here). As that template is being reviewed at the moment, it seems inappropriate to make the article consistent with it. The article in BCE is consistent with Manual of Style and is appropriate to the content. I do not feel that there is sufficient merit to change it. --Gareth Hughes 20:51, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Letter names[edit]

What is the source for the letter-names we use here? -- Evertype· 12:17, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

You're right, they aren't sourced. I know that both Gareth and I can simply rattle them off from memory (much like someone would do their ABC's, and how do you source that? :-) ), but it would be a good idea to get a source to back them with. Let me fiddle with things. אמר Steve Caruso 15:39, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
They are a sample of Imperial Aramaic names, some of which, unfortunately, are reconstructed. I shall try to recover the source that they can be referenced correctly. I think the names have been changed a little over time by editors, usually to adapt them to Classical/Modern Hebrew spelling. It looks like these have been mostly reverted. Rosenthal, the source of the letter shapes, uses the Masoretic spelling of the letter names; this is not surprising as he is dealing with Masoretic texts. I think the information given in the article is rather slim, so the best answer may be to expand on the history of Aramaic script to demonstrate the diversity of language. — Gareth Hughes 16:25, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I am working on encoding Imperial Aramaic in the UCS and I guess I will have to follow Rosenthal and Driver, who agree at least. -- Evertype· 08:49, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Phoenician source[edit]

If the "Aramaic alphabet ... developed out of the Phoenician alphabet", any later alphabet that can be traced back to the Aramaic one, can be traced further back to the Phoenician. It is therefore not "the Aramaic alphabet [that] is historically significant since virtually all modern Indian and Middle Eastern writing systems use a script that can be traced back to it", it is the Phoenician. -- Futhark|Talk 17:13, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, simply replacing 'Aramaic' with 'Phoenician' at the beginning of the second paragraph does not make any sense. Either we have to preface it with the information linking the two scripts, or move the entire paragraph to a point after Phoenician is mentioned. — Gareth Hughes 17:23, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I was being as minimally editorially invasive as I could manage, not knowing if there was anyone who had a strong sense of overriding responsibility for the article. I felt that increasing the historiographic precision on that one point made enough sense to be worth the effort without redisposing the article, and look forward to seeing where it will be taken. -- Futhark|Talk 17:39, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I have wanted to rewrite this article for a long time, but it's a difficult task. The main problem is that there isn't really any one Aramaic alphabet, but many related forms: this article tends to concentrate on Imperial Aramaic script. Phoenician is clearly the source of Aramaic script, which, in turn, is the source of Hebrew square script. However, the amount of borrowing from South Arabian scripts for Arabic is unclear, and Aramaic's influence of the Brahmi family of scripts is tough. Syriac, Mandaean, Pahlavi, Uyghur and Mongolian, though, are clearly derived from Aramaic scripts. — Gareth Hughes 21:31, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Unless evidence is provided to show the Brahmi Script originating from the Aramaic Script, i am removing the line from the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


how can i write my name.."giorgos" (ie in english language meaning george) in aramaic ?

Hieroglyph ancestry[edit]

I noted that Gareth Hughes 23:00, 31 January 2008 (UTC) had removed all links in the Infobox WS that describe the Parent system all the way back to the Egyptian hieroglyphs, for the Arameic script and other scripts. I don't understand the reason for that. It surely cannot be controversial that the Aramaic, Phoenician, Greek, and Proto-Canaanite (and others) scripts all emanate from the Egyptian hieroglyphs. It would be interesting to see the argument, as those relations between scripts are manifested throughout Wikipedia as well as elsewhere, since years.

It really has nothing to do with arguing that those systems aren't derivative of Egyptian hieroglyphs, rather, it is more useful in an encyclopedia to have the top parent in the infobox be a parent language that still shares some similarities to the script being discussed in the article. In this case, by clicking Proto-Canaanite, they are immediately taken to a page on that script, which has its own infobox, with its own parent systems, including Egyptian hieroglyphs as the ultimate source. Brando130 (talk) 17:50, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Please talk about major changes first. Please provide supporting evidence. Please don't respond by putting your edits back in. — Gareth Hughes (talk) 18:46, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Selecting a "top parent in the infobox be a parent language that still shares some similarities to the script being discussed" is if anything arbitrary at its best; the Latin letters A and M still share more than "some similarities" with their precursors all the way back to the hieroglyphs. Going all the way to the, as far as I can tell, accepted root also is also a more consistent, encyclopedic approach. It does then also show the Wikipedia user to which script family or subfamily a particular script belongs, directly! Stopping at an arbitrarily chosen point like "Proto-Canaanite", in an overview like the Infobox, is a bad idea if the oldest known ancestor is a mere two steps away.
Since the oldest scripts probably are less than 10,000 years old and often lasted for a long time (let us say a thousand years on average) it would not be necessarily be burdensome to the layout either. Can we really expect more than ten hierarchal levels anywhere in this context? Probably not. The only dilemma I can think of are the weakly supported relations between scripts, and how to best indicate that. For some Brahmi scripts this has been noted with linked numbers, even if it should not be necessary here.
Please, differentiate between the script symbols per se and the language they represent. They don't necessarily go hand in hand even if, of course, intimately tied. Both phonetic and semantic shifts are common between and within in most European languages, despite that a[n intended] sound may be represented by one symbol or group of symbols. Even if the symbol M was pronounced differently by the early Egyptians it remains the same symbol. The Chinese script family accommodates dozens of extant languages, too, and like the hieroglyph derivatives also has one history tree with a branching pattern full of additions and deletions of its component symbols. The Basque language uses the Latin script apparently without consideration of its linguistic origin.
My point is that the script tree will differ from the language tree and trying to link them, in Wikipedia's layout, will do no good. Ideally, I think these infoboxes should have their script precursors indicated for all scripts in Wikipedia, as far as possible. Looking forward to hear you arguments. Cheers! - Throttleryn (talk) 13:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Since all of these languages and their alphabets have seperate articles, I don't necessarily see how language and script are being inappropriately tied in the article. Some of the confusion simply may be in how I phrased the sentence "top parent in the infobox be a parent language that still shares some similarities to the script being discussed" - and I should have stated that the top parent be a parent /script/ that still shares some similarities, a statement I disagree is 'arbitrary at best' - since these systems do have traceable derivatives, its not just you and I looking at the characters and saying "Oh that one looks more like Phoenician aleph than Greek alpha." Those similarities should also speak to the function of a script, the most important similarity being that the system is still primarily alphabetic. Thus once you go to the article that appears at the top of the infobox, the parent for alphabets, currently the Proto-Canaanite article, you can then further read on and find out all of the same information you are insisting on anyway, mainly that most scholars find alphabetic writing in Sinai/Canaan to be somehow connected to hieroglyphs. At any rate, if hieroglyphs do end up as the top parent of any one particular alphabet, they would logically need to be on top of just about every alphabet out there, a change that might not find consensus all around Wikipedia. Brando130 (talk) 17:07, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
The process going from a logographic system towards an essentially alphabetic system has been in leaps as well as gradual. But the acrophonic writing did not commence with the Proto-Canaanite as you imply by saying it was "primarily alphabetic". Unless I misunderstood it, that is how Champollion finally deciphered the hieroglyphs, by accepting that they were a mixture of logographic and acrophonic/phonetic alphabet symbols. The function you refer to may then be predated by more than fifteen centuries, by the Egyptian hieroglyphs.
However, it is time consuming to draw a little bird or a snake every time you wish to write a letter or a word! So, parallel to that process there was, in Egypt, already the orthographic simplification of the illustrative hieroglyphs - the easily writable hieratic. That is how the process has been in China, too, with the oldest scripts being readily interpretable as illustrations and later styled into their purely symbolic value. [There are strictly phonetic symbols in the Chinese script family too, but whether they are acrophonic I do not know; Japanese has several phonetic, others may have them too] The fact that the oldest Egyptian Hieratic scripts occurs at the same time as the more logographic hieroglyphs may be an artifact; they both are after all many thousands of years. The Demotic script is a few millennia younger but evidently quickly had a greater popularity among the people. I have not seen any actual reason for the switch from hieratic to demotic, even if I believe writing simplicity may have been a reason; in any case it probably was the poor mans hieratic that came to live its own life in the markets and elsewhere (quite likely the same may have been true for the Proto-Canaanite; but not Phoenician which had had the time to mature on the foundations of its direct precursor).
Yes, I do think the Egyptian hieroglyphs should be "on top of just about every alphabet out there", as long as it is the precursor to all other scripts in the group and there is an 'acceptable' degree of evidence for it. Why would anyone from Rabat, Reykjavik, Ulan Bator, or Yangon object to that? If it is the precursor to all other scripts in its group, so be it. - Throttleryn (talk) 06:49, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Georgian alphabet[edit]

May I note that the Georgian alphabet is not an offspring of the Aramaic alphabet, but rather a free - although surely inspired - invention of its inventor, as is the case with the Armenian alphabet?

First table has something wrong[edit]

  • Parent systems
Proto-Canaanite alphabet
→ Phoenician alphabet
→ {{{name}}}

{{{name}}} appears!

--Mahmudmasri (talk) 11:57, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Writing Systems importance reassessment[edit]

I believe that this script should be classified as "High" importance, rather than "Top". While it is an important middle-ground between Phoenecian and many modern scripts, I do not believe it is so central to an understanding of the subject of writing systems as a whole as Phonecian, Arabic, Greek, Brahmi, etc. Vanisaac (talk) 07:20, 28 June 2011 (UTC)


I assume Aramaic was usually written right-to-left, like Phoenician and Hebrew? If so, this should be stated in the article. AxelBoldt (talk) 12:39, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Aramaic script[edit]

What happened to the "Aramaic script" column? It is now renamed to "Hebrew script". Now there are two different columns saying Hebrew. @Achayan: I am no expert but my guess is that this edit was a misstake? Not sure though, therefore I'm asking here first. Shmayo (talk) 16:43, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

This script is called Aramaic even in the Hebrew alphabet article. Shmayo (talk) 16:46, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Missing fonts[edit]

hello, i am not able to display some of the characters on this page. you can see an example here :
this happens with both firefox and with chrome, so i don't think it is a browser issue. i have already checked the browser configuration and the possibility to download missing fonts automatically is enabled. does anyone have an idea how i can see these missing characters ? (talk) 17:01, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

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