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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Author / )
There is no way we Levantines can learn the language of our ancestors in an organic way except via nerds insisting on 1) grammar, 2) writing in one of the unwieldy Syriac scripts that one cannot even read on a computer screen without dowloading strange fonts. But Aramaic is still spoken, let us take advantage of it, and figure out how to say "I want to eat mjaddara" rather than memorize poetry by some dead author. Aramaic isn't a dead language and it is the shame Levantines study Arabic instead of our own heritage.
This book in the Latin alphabet makes both Swadaya and Turoyo alive and easy to read, with all manner of real-world expressions. One can use it to supplement scholarly studies, or just to figure out how modern people speak our ancient language. There are Arabic influences, but the distance between the spoken language and, say, Bar Hebraeus is quite narrow.
I would suggest the authors expand the dictionary. It would be the only one in the latin script.
Most excellent, except for very few and small mistakes. "Debo" in Turoyo is not wolf, but bear.
Aramaic is now recognised throughout the world as the language spoken by Christ and the Apostles. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is very much a 'living' language spoken today by the Assyrian peoples in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. It is also heard in Assyrian emigre communities of the US, Europe and Australia. Modern Aramaic or Assyrian is made up of a number of dialects. The two major ones are Swadaya (Eastern) and Turoyo (Western). This unique dictionary and phrasebook incorporates both dialects in a way that illustrates the differences and gives the reader a complete understanding of both. The dialects are presented in an easy-to-read romanised form that will help the reader to be understood.
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