Tag Archives: Imperial Aramaic

Dr. David Taylor Teaching Aramaic at Oxford

I picked up on Twitter that Dr. David Taylor (who I was fortunate to meet and talk to for a bit at the First Hugoye Syriac Symposium where he gave a fascinating lecture on Syriac printing in the 19th and early 20th-century in the Middle East) just finished teaching a class on Imperial Aramaic over at Oxford to the tune of about 40+ students. πŸ™‚

With the pending “official” release of GAL010: Everyday Aramaic (Galilean) I’ve been working on over at DARIUS (which has managed to attract a few students already), I’m more than thrilled to see more Aramaic language courses and classes being offered in a way that is meant to make it easier to learn and more conversational.

Perhaps I should get in contact with him and bounce some ideas back and forth. πŸ™‚


Odd Aramaic Floating About YouTube

Today, following one of my news feeds, I came across two very odd videos on YouTube. Here’s the first one:

When I was reading the title and watching the verb forms it was going over, I began scratching my chin in puzzlement. In Imperial Aramaic, Pe’il and Pu’al forms are *extremely* rare (in fact they tend to only show up in participle forms if at all) and are not the direct passives of Pe’al and Pa’el.

The three forms this video *should* have been going over were Hithpa’al, Hithpe’el and Hoph’al.

Now here’s the second one:

Among other things, notice how they use “merci” for “thanks.” This immediately struck me as odd, as “merci” is distinctly French, not Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.

I would have expected “basima/basimta” or even “taude,” and I was not the only one judging by the comments; however, one of the comments mentioned:

[…] One thing, though is like a little scratch to my ear.”Merci’ , which is used mainly by Lebanese and Iranian Assyrians. Other Assyrians, who went from Atra to different countries, likeο»Ώ Russia, and were not subjected to Western influence, don’t use it. It is French, […]

The rest of the comments (especially on the 4th page) also reveal some interesting regional differences.

Curious. πŸ™‚