[b-hebrew] Understanding Aramaic & understanding Hebrew

Trevor Peterson 06peterson at cua.edu
Sat May 29 10:00:01 EDT 2004


Patrina wrote:

> Please would someone explain to me whether Aramaic is different enough
> from Hebrew that speakers of one language wouldn't be able to understand
> speakers of the other language, or would they be able to follow the
> majority of it apart from an occasional word?

I suspect that it would be rather difficult for a speaker of one 
language who had no contact with the other to understand. On this issue 
I think it's important to realize that Aramaic itself is practically a 
family of languages, with a rather diverse array of dialects. So even if 
your question were applied to different Aramaic dialects, it might turn 
out that speakers would have a difficult time undertanding one another. 
I'm not a native speaker of any of them, so it's hard for me to say. You 
might want to try asking this question on the Aramaic list 
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aramaic/) or ANE 
(https://listhost.uchicago.edu/mailman/listinfo/ane).

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics



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