[b-hebrew] FYI: Aramaic study

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Wed Dec 29 11:05:05 EST 2010

Hello Paul:

I call your attention, by way of example, and not limitation, ... to two
corresponding words; one in hebrew and one in aramaic in the verse in
question, numbers 36:1.

a. the hebrew: וידברו ; and

b. the aramaic: ומלילו

The pronunciation of these two words resemble one another, not. The fluent
hebrew speaker, who cannot speak aramaic, will experience zero comprehension
of the aramaic vocalized here.

And I also observe that some people aside from fred, do disagree with Jack
as to the usage of aramaic in judah in 10 a.d. This author of
jewish history contends hebrew, not aramaic, represented lingua franca on
the streets of judah at that time. see page 681 of the link.



fred burlingame

On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 9:00 PM, Paul Zellmer <pzellmer at sc.rr.com> wrote:

>  Fred,
> Have you tried pronouncing the verse in the two languages?  You’ll find
> they **sound** very similar, so similar that the Hebrew original would
> have made basic sense to the Aramaic speaker, even if he had no training in
> Hebrew.  And finding someone who had never had formal training in Hebrew
> would be very difficult to find in a culture where every village was
> supposed to have a synagogue, and every male was supposed to be under the
> tutelage of a rabbi.  If memory serves me right, the first lesson would have
> started with the beginning of Leviticus, and it was in Hebrew.  In fact, the
> only exception to the ban on copying portions from Tanach was given to the
> rabbis, who were allowed to prepare training materials for their students.
> Have you even tried to read the Aramaic portions of the Tanach?  In most
> seminaries, they do not even require students to study Aramaic in addition
> to Hebrew, because the two are so similar that the Aramaic portions are
> basically understandable.  It’s not English-French.  It’s not even
> Italian-French.  The two are much closer than that.  They are far enough
> apart to be distinct languages, but they are close enough that the vast
> majority of the roots are the same.
> Aramaic is not the language of the “enemy,” that (at least formally) would
> have been Akkadian.  Rather, Aramaic was the lingua franca during the time
> of the Babylonian captivity.  So it was adopted by the Jews in captivity in
> order for them to survive.  And, with each generation, the need to
> communicate with their neighbors had more importance than the preservation
> of the daily use of their fathers’ tongue.  But that did not mean that their
> fathers’ tongue died—it simply meant that it was no longer the lingua franca
> in the streets.
> I believe that Jack cleared up that your apparently did not correctly
> understand what he said took place in synagogues.
> Paul Zellmer

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