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Language Family: Aramaic

  • Mar 30, 2012
  • 12:58 AM

Saving Endangered Languages

Ghada Shbeir / Assyrian International News Agency
Shbeir writes and sings in the ancient language of Syriac, drawing attention to the beauty of the endangered Aramaic dialect that originated in the Mesopotamian city of Edessa, which now lies in Turkey. Syriac was the lingua franca of much of the Middle East from about the 7th century BC until the 7th century AD, when Arabic pushed the language to obscurity.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 07:59 PM

National Anthem Strikes A Chord In Iraq

Radio Free Europe
Iraqi lawmakers are expected to vote soon on a controversial proposal for a new national anthem that would alter the Arabic-language anthem to make room for verses in the minority Kurdish and Turkoman languages.
  • Mar 11, 2012
  • 01:15 PM

How does God's word sound? May depend on translation

John Przybys / Las Vegas Review - Journal
"I've been asked repeatedly if the translations I've worked on are translations of the King James, for example, assuming a translation from English to English," said Green, who also is New Testament editor of the Common English Bible, released in 2011. "So when I explain that it is a translation from Hebrew or Aramaic, in a few cases, and Greek, people are surprised and they wonder if Bible scholars actually know those languages."
  • Jan 11, 2012
  • 10:51 PM

Ancient Language Gets Extended Life In Iraq

Brooke Anderson / Wall Street Journal
ANKAWA, Iraq—It is commonly known as the language of Jesus and is the root of both Arabic and Hebrew. But what's less widely known is that Aramaic is still spoken, and is in fact thriving in some parts of Iraq.
  • Dec 27, 2011
  • 10:40 AM

At Christmas, a Maronite Christian Village in Israel Revives the Language Spoken by Jesus Christ (video)

Karl Vick / TIME
The hope is real — almost all Maronite students in Jish opt to study the language — yet the odds of full revival might best be described as mixed. On the positive side, Maronites have the example of Israel’s revival of another ancient tongue. “Look what the Jews did with Hebrew 100 years ago,” Khalloul says.
  • Dec 13, 2011
  • 11:51 PM

From the Old Written to the New Spoken

Romil Benyamino / AINA
Sacramento -- In a small apartment in Sacramento California, there lives a Seventy-two year old Assyrian Deacon named Elisha Simon who spends many of his hours typing away on his computer; translating hand-written Aramaic texts into Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.
  • Jul 27, 2011
  • 01:19 PM

Old school printer exploits his passion for languages to the last letter

Annie Slemrod / The Daily Star
Languages, and Syriac in particular, are Chahan’s passion. But they began as a necessity. Born in Allepo’s Syriac quarter to a family from Odessa, he spoke Armenian with his mother, Turkish with his father, and Syriac in church. School was in French, and government activities were carried out in Arabic, so “from the age of 7 you needed to speak five languages,” he says.
  • Jul 22, 2011
  • 12:38 PM

The riddle of the Syriac double dot: it’s the world’s earliest question mark

Cambridge Network
Manuscripts written in Syriac, an ancient language of the Middle East, are peppered with mysterious dots. Among them is the vertical double dot or zagwa elaya. A Cambridge academic thinks that the zagwa elaya is the world’s earliest question mark.
  • Apr 19, 2011
  • 07:24 PM

Kurds alter cultural and linguistic fabric of non-Kurdish areas around Iraq’s Mosul

Samer Saeed /
Hayali claimed in his statement that the Kurds were forcing their language as the medium of instruction in schools in districts and villages where Arabs, Turkmen or Syriac-speaking Iraqi Christians are the majority.
  • Apr 17, 2011
  • 10:07 PM

Exclusive: Early Christian Lead Codices Now Called Fakes

Natalie Wolchover / LiveScience
Seventy metal books allegedly discovered in a cave in Jordan have been hailed as the earliest Christian documents. Dating them to mere decades after Jesus' death, scholars have called the "lead codices" the most important discovery in archaeological history...