[b-hebrew] Aramaic and Hebrew

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Sep 23 10:35:58 EDT 2006


Aramaic was the language of the Babylonian empire. When the Jews were
taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, the same thing happened to
them as happens to immigrant populations in the U.S.: the immigrant
generation may or may not learn the language of the new country,
however their children may actually be more fluent in the local
language than their parents' language, their grandchildren are
definitely more fluent in the local language, so that after 70 years,
grandchildren to great-grandchildren, many if not most Jews spoke
Aramaic in all situations except in official business, in the synagog
and school. On the street and in the home, Aramaic was the preferred
language to speak.

There were a few attempts at making Hebrew the language on the street,
but they didn't succeed, rather Hebrew was used as was Latin in
medieval Europe: the language of commerce, law, high literature,
religion, though not at the hearth nor on the street.

The Persian empire continued the use of Aramaic as the lingua franca,
which only confirmed the use of Aramaic throughout the empire.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 9/23/06, sujata <shevaroys at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Did Hebrew and Aramaic co-exist? If that was the case, what was the reason Aramaic replaced Hebrew in Judaea and surrounds?
>   Best,
>   sujata

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