Official Assyrian Discussion
The Assyrian language (Assyrian Neo-Aramaic also known as Chaldeo-Assyrian) is spoken by roughly 1 million people. Although the population of Assyrians around the world is 4 million, the large majority of them don't speak their original language anymore due to many years in the Diaspora (just like Hebrew was prior to it's revival). The Assyrian language is a Semitic language, meaning it originates from the middle eastern region of the world and it is related in large to Hebrew and Arabic.
It is written in the Syriac Script, and is read from right to left (like the other Semitic languages, Hebrew and Arabic)
The Assyrian language is a form of Aramaic, however it is not extinct and is a known language by a whole nationality.
The Assyrian people (also Chaldeans and Arameans) who all speak different dialects of the Assyrian language are the native people of Iraq. they are the historical descendants of the Ancient Assyrians and Babylonians who primarily ruled the land.
Assyrians are sometimes called "Iraqi Christians or Assyrian Christians" are more than just a Christian nation in the middle east. While it is true that this language is surviving in the middle east because of churches, they are a people with culture and history. They have a beautiful language that deserves to be saved and preserved.
Through duolingo, a course can be created to teach the Assyrian language and have a language course that will boost the number of speakers. This would be a useful tool to the estimated half million Assyrian people living in English speaking countries (Australia, Canada United States and United Kingdom)
Together, we can save this language!.
Applicant/Possible contributor(s) to an Assyrian for English Speakers Course
Q1: What is Assyrian?
A1: Assyrian (or formally known as Assyrian Neo-Aramaic or Chaldeo-Assyrian is a modern language, a form of living Aramaic, spoken around the world by the ethnic Assyrian people.
Q2: Where does this language originate?
A2: The Assyrian language has it's roots into Syriac Aramaic (the North-Eastern dialect of the former Lingua Franca of the middle east.
Q3: Who are the Assyrian people?
A3: The Assyrian people are the native inhabitants of the land between the two rivers located today in Northern Iraq, South-Eastern Turkey, Eastern Syria and Western Iran.
Q4: How many Assyrians are there around the globe?
A4: atour estimates that there are around 4 million Assyrians living around the world. The Assyrian people underwent genocide in their homeland for many years until spreading out into the diaspora, thus making their population smaller compared to others.
Q5: What is the current state of the language?
A5: Conforming to ethnologue language code "aii" (Assyrian Neo-Aramaic) is a 6b (Threatened) language and is in danger of collapse due to extermination of natives from their homeland in northern Iraq due to Terrorism.
Q6: Should I learn this language?
A6: If you are either willing to help preserve a language from going extinct, would like to learn a modernly spoken language that contains a lot of vocabulary similar to the one of the Akkadian, learn the modern version of the former Lingua Franca of the Middle Orient region, or just if you like the way this language looks and want to be able to write in it, then you should learn it!
Q7: Which languages is it similar to?
A7: Because the Assyrian language is a Semitic language, it is similar to Hebrew and Arabic.
Q8: What does the language look like?
A8: The chart below shows a few examples of the Syriac script (right to left), the script the Assyrian languages is written in.
ASSYRIAN - ENGLISH 10 Basic Sentences
1) Peace! - ܫܠܵܡܵܐ
2) How are you? - ܕܹܟܼ ܐܲܝܼܘܸܬ؟
3) My name is Ninos. - .ܫܸܡܝܼ ܐܝܼܠܸܗ ܢܝܼܢܘܿܣ
4) I am a man. - .ܐܵܢܵܐ ܝܘܸܢ ܚܲܕَ ܓܲܒ̣ܪܵܐ
5) She is a woman. - .ܗ̇ܝ ܝܼܠܵܗܿ ܚܕܵܐ ܒܲܟ̣ܬܵܐ
6) They are boys. - .ܐܲܗ݇ܢܝܼ ܐܝܼܠܵܝ ܝܵܠ̈ܕ݇ܐ
7) They are girls. - .ܐܗ݇ܢܝܼ ܐܝܼܠܵܝ ܒܢܵܬܹܐ
8) The boy drinks tea with the girl. - .ܝܵܠܵܕ݇ܐ ܟܫܵܬܹܐ ܟ̰ܐܝ ܥܸܡܸܕ ܒܪܵܬܵܐ
9) The dog eats rice. - .ܟܲܠܒܵܐ ܟܐܵܟܹܠ ܪܹܙܵܐ
10) I eat rice. - .ܐܵܢܵܐ ܟܐܲܟ̣ܠܹܢ ܪܹܙܵܐ
Assyrian Music and Media
1) Fouad Amanuel - Golleezan
2) Edmon Lazar - Manila Mani
3) Edmon Lazar - Shekhani
4) Evan Aghassi - Khazade
5) Jana Sawa - Nina
6) Linda George - Jwangeleh
7) Sargon Gabriel - Solte
8) Ogin Bet Samo - Pokha D'Shokhlapeh
9) Ogin Bet Samo - Blood and Tears
10) 16 Assyrian singers - Sahda (Martyr)
I bought a Syriac New Testament from the American Bible Society. I then learned that Syriac is a living language. I was surprised. There are some Assyrians living in the Detroit Michigan USA area. I met a Syriac speaking Assyrian in Tulsa Oklahoma USA years ago. With him I compared some Hebrew ans Syriac words. Some of them were pronounced the same, some slightly different. The Syriac alphabet is beautiful.
Hi everybody, the above is an updated version of the Official Assyrian language discussion, there is new information so if you are interested, you might want to take a look :-)
I would love to learn how to speak Aramaic (Assyrian). It would be wonderful if Duolingo could make a course for it and preserve this language!
I can't believe , like if they read my thoughts. Now even suryoyos are here , turoyo,
Shlom e lakh
This is great! I saw your comment about Syriac in the ME Languages Alliance post this week. Mind if I link to it in a later post? There's an Assyrian community in the town I'm from so I've seen the language here and there, and I've been curious about it.
I'm also waiting on tenterhooks for the Romanian course to come out. :)
Wow, that is life saving news! you don't even have to ask me about linking, of course you can! I would really like to learn this language, for the past few days, I have pondered that it would be the right middle eastern language for my future studies and possibly job. I'm sure wondering if any Assyrians use duolingo. But I also wonder if they speak Syriac, or a different dialect, etc.
I usually hear people refer to it as Assyrian Aramaic, or just Assyrian, but it looks like those are just names for the Modern varieties of Syriac. I'm sure there are ethnic Assyrians who use it, but a lot of people aren't learning the language anymore. I remember hearing a radio story about the Assyrian diaspora in the US that said that there were some dialects that had completely died out in the ME and were only spoken in the Chicago and Detroit areas. I'm not sure which dialects are represented here.
These are probably Western Dialects like Mlahso, they dies out because almost all speakers had been killed, during the Ottoman Genocide 1915
yes please go and study and learn as much as you possibly can about Assyrians and the language, there are not enough historians/linguists who know about our past. it's quite frustrating when you go to a history class (elementary through high school) and there is only a SINGLE PARAGRAPH in the textbook about the Assyrian empire/our contributions. Please please please i hope our culture and language fascinates you enough to the point where you learn all you can about it! baseema rrabah for this discussion page, thank you for advocating for us on such a widely used app/website as Duolingo.
Hey, if the Duolingo Irish course actually made more fluent speakers for Irish, a language which is endangered (and was basically reduced to more of a tool of nationalism in schools), then hey, why not Aramaic!
If this ever gets traction, I can read, write, and speak Assyrian and Aramaic, although I'm still learning how to fluently translate between Assyrian and Aramaic, so my Assyrian is better.
Hey Paul please respond if you're interested in doing so. I'm interested in making a team to work on Assyrian for duolingo!
Thanks for your commitment! It's great to know that you guys are focused on the course and expanding the team.
Yeah, well now that we have a larger team, once our new team mates settle in, we shall soar above with progression! (at least that is our plan)
> I'm a contributor to the Romanian course.
Ah, I didn't realize. Well then, best of success with Romanian and Syriac here on Duo. FWIW, I would really enjoy studying/learning Syriac, although what really interests me is Old Aramaic, and there are several other languages I would like to master first, so Aramaic/Syriac must wait a few years . . . or decades.
There is a Maronite Church in Tulsa Oklahoma USA http://www.dioceseoftulsa.org/index.cfm?load=org&org=81 that uses the Maronite Rite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maronite_Church with Syriac. I wonder if these people would Like Duolingo Syriac.
I like the Aramaic New Testament! I love it's correlation with Hebrew and the scripts. Just wish I understood it or could find out more about it!
Please make suryoyo an available course on duolingo! It's one of the oldest languages that carries amazing history, it is slowly dying away and that would be a shame. But if it was be avaliable here, I think alot of people would love to learn it!
I'm interested in restarting this course. REPLY if you are interested in forming a team to work on Assyrian!
Question is... how do we do this? :)
here are a few problems
1) Some software systems cannot recognize Syriac script.
2) Not all phones offer Syriac keyboard without installing separate apps (very annoying).
3) Windows comes with Syriac keyboard in Estangela Edessa font (not standard in either Suraya or Suroyo.
4) I doubt we'd wanna use the Latin or Cyrillic alphabet to have Assyrian on duolingo.
I fought a little to get a course started on duolingo, but realized quickly that in order to do this we must achieve syriac script updates across devices.
reach out to Apple Support, Microsoft Support... tell them we need Syriac Script in Eastern and Western fonts across all platforms! I tried many times, but my voice alone is not big enough).
So in short, there are many small background things that should get fixed first.
Still, there is something we can do and that's work on a precourse using supplimentary platforms. Let me know if you'd be interested!
I would like to see an Assyrian course on Duolingo. My first language is Italian, but I am fluent in English and can read Syriac (ܟܬܒܢܝܐ). If there is something I can do for the course, I'd like to apply.
I would love to learn some Aramaic! I know that it is the closest language to Hebrew that is still alive today.
Yes please. Assysrian is in risk of begin exctinct because of the assyrian genocide by ISIS
This is indeed quite nifty. Questions though:
- Do you want to add vowel marks to everything? The Hebrew course doesn’t, except rarely to disambiguate.
- Which dialect are you going for?
- I think the letters connecting might be a problem. Apparently they are for Arabic.
Do you want to add vowel marks to everything?
Yes. Many Assyrians worldwide do not read without vowels, yet alone, some do not even read Syriac script at all. Adding vowel markers isn't a problem though, it will only require a few extra lessons to teach them, but that shouldn't be a problem.
Which dialect are you going for?
Eastern Dialect. Because of the resources available, with Windows© PC's and devices already preset with Estrangela font, it is easier to teach eastern. For those who want to learn using Eastern script, they could replace the Edessa font on their PC as I have, to Eastern script.
I think the letters connecting might be a problem. Apparently they are for Arabic.
Displaying letters is actually not the problem with Arabic, there is a whole English for Arabic course and displaying is just fine.., however if we create the course in Estrangela font, the replacement font (Eastern or Western script) can read and convert that text making it easier for the ones who want either eastern or western, and the large majority might stick to Estrangela, a more traditional version of writing in Syriac script!
Apple© users can also install Syriac keyboard and be able to use the course...
However I do see a problem.
This will need to be a website only course as IPhones and Androids alike do not have Syriac support as of yet. But this shouldn't impediment the creation of a duolingo Assyrian Neo-Aramaic course!
According to Wikipedia the Urmia dialect or the Iraqi Koine is somewhat of a prestige dialect. Is that what you’re going for specifically?
Yes, Iraqi Koine (although a rather ambiguous term) is known by the vast majority of Assyrian speakers as "Assyrian dialect. Koine is like a standardized version, and does not have "dialectal features" such as the ones spoken by individual villages. Even though Iraqi Koine should be the "dialect" that is primarily taught, answers in the Chaldean, Urmian, and other dialects should be generally accepted if one is to translate a sentence :-)
I want to give you a HUGE thanks for the Memrise course...It's clearly the best I've found in the internet! I just want to ask you some questions:
Do you know any kind of Assyrian dictionary? Do you use somekind of that?
And I noticed, that sometimes the pronunciation is different from the written world (like "ܓܲܒ̣ܪܵܐ", which - if I red it rightly - is "Gabra" or "Gavra", and it's pronounced like "Gawra") Is there any grammar rules for that?
Can you recommend a "pronounciation guide"? (in the Course there's no explanation about signs like these: "ܐܾ ܐ̣ ܐ݂")
Thank you for the explanation, and have luck with the Assyrian Courses (Duolingo, Memrise)
As a Syrian, I would be very, very interested in seeing a course like this on Duolingo. Thank you for starting this forum!
Mango Languages offers the Assyrian [or just the Chaldean dialect] if you want to check that out !!
really man, i'm greatly interested in this language, but i have no idea where can i learn this language
Assyrian speak Neo-Aramaic with the influence of Akkadian They adopted the language in 600-700 BCE. Syriac is Middle Aramaic. Nobody speaks the old Aramaic or Jesus' dialect
and that's the thing... "dialect"... yes, languages change over time, and there are various forms of one language, however, I still find it incredible that Assyrian is Aramaic.
Thanks for the answer. I've been studying Neo-Aramaic for the last year (just bits) and I've found some really great books...:
- "Introductory Chaldean" by Bp. Sarhad Y Jammo
- "Chaldean Grammar" by Bp. Sarhad Y Jammo
I found these books pretty good for learning Neo-Aramaic, even though they're in Chaldean. However, as I have read through some articles and stuff, people are saying that Assyrian NA and Chaldean NA are pretty much the same languages, so I hope it'll help...
Between, if you also like Surayt/Turoyo (the one which is spoken in Tur Abdin, Turkey), I can recommend you this book: "Šlomo Surayt!" at surayt.com
If you could recommend me some more books/resources in Assyrian/Chaldean or even Surayt, I would really appreciate it... thx
Have a nice day!
Aramaic script now available on tinycards [Looks the same as the basic sentences]:https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/5f2f8ed1-a26c-409f-85f5-62ca18c1bb48
Assyrians script now available on tinycards: https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/675f8811-9e56-41f6-bc45-c93daa9ecaf6
Shlama! I am looking for a NATIVE speaker of Assyrian Aramaic (from Northern Iraq - not Turoryo) for private lessons on Skype. Once/twice a week, willing to pay in advance for the lessons. If you are interested, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!