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Clearly a Misunderstanding.

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Paul Younanmoderator

 
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Clearly a Misunderstanding.

Feb-09-2002 at 10:27 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Shlama l'Kulkhon,

There has been quite a bit of misunderstanding going around about Aramaic and whether or not it still exists as a spoken and written language. Akhi Gabor alluded to this unfortunate lack of information in a recent post when he recalled the statement made on the movie "Stigmata" that Aramaic was a dead language.

I can't blame them - most encyclopedias, dictionaries and other resources say the same thing.

Worst yet - people are under the general assumption that the only Aramaic that's spoken today, particulary among the Assyrians and Jews of Iraq and Iran - is a modern version of the language that is completely different from, say, the language of the Peshitta. I think the most popular name for it is "Neo-Syriac" or "Neo-Aramaic" or just plain "Assyrian."

I'm interested in knowing how many of you have heard this line - that the ancient Aramaic of the Peshitta (and the language of New Testament times) is no longer spoken or written as an everyday language?

How about a digital "show of hands?"


Fk^rwbw 0ml4

Peshitta.org

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BarKhela
 
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1. RE: Clearly a Misunderstanding.

Feb-09-2002 at 01:22 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
 
Greetings...

I have definitely heard/read this line before. In fact, I began to believe it. In other words, I thought that every Assyrian,including the Patriarch, spoke Neo-Aramaic. I thought ancient Aramaic had as much vitality as Latin did----only within the Church....

Fortunately, I don't think that anymore!

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Dean
 
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2. RE: Clearly a Misunderstanding.

Feb-09-2002 at 10:25 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
 
Last edited by Dean on Feb-09-2002 at 10:30 PM (CT)

Shlama Akhi Paul,

Sure, most sources claim that the old language is Dead. They also draw huge distinctions between Aramaic and what is spoken by native speakers today.

They do this by confusion and by spinning so many different names so as to create the impression that we are dealing with totaly different languages or that the dialects were barely related.

Think of it ... on the surface, it seems that Aramaic, Syriac, Assyrian, Babylonian, Chaldean, neo-this or that, Palestinian Aramaic and Samaritan have very little to do with each other.

In reality, its one language.

I'm not sure if any other language suffers from this kind of negatively fracturing propaganda.

Even Hebrew, which really was dead at one point, doesnt get this type of treatment. I've never heard of Neo-Hebrew! -eventhough the Hebrew of today is quite different from the Hebrew of the Torah!

Aramaic on the other hand, never was NOT spoken, yet gets the "Neo" title.

How bout Armenian, another very old language, is never refered to as Neo-Armenian. Distinctions are not made between the very old liturgical Armenian and the Armenian spoken today.

I dont get it !?!?!

-Dean

PS: Unfortunatly, I think many native aramaic speakers are buying it too -over reliance on "modern Assyrian" bibles are only going to make it worse.

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3. RE: Clearly a Misunderstanding.

Feb-10-2002 at 11:08 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #2
 
Shlama Akhi Dean,

I hear you about those native-speakers! It's so frustrating to hear people call this the "Assyrian language" when the real "Assyrian Language" (Akkadian) died out in popular usage over 2,500 years ago. Not to mention, of course, that this language is by no means only spoken by Assyrians today - tens of thousands of Mesopotamian Jews still speak it today.

I do not mean to suggest that Aramaic has not had modern dialects that have evolved over the centuries - it surely has and some of them radically depart from the syntax and grammar of Peshitta Aramaic.

There have always been - and there still are today - people who have kept the Peshitta dialect alive and can speak and write it. Not just Patriarchs or Bishops or Lamsa or Younan. It is by no means like Latin - a dead language - a liturgical language.

As a first example - I'd like to show an article Fr. Albert Aboona in Beth Nahrain magazine, issue 1, 1973. Beth Nahrain is published in Baghdad, Iraq. Can anyone tell me how exactly is this different from the language of the Peshitta?


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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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