Aramaic-speaking television channel from Sweden.

Suryoyo Sat is a Swedish channel that broadcasts in Syriac Aramaic.Other channels might exist but it is the only one that I am aware of.It broadcasts in Arabic and English as well.Here is the link to the original site.Enjoy!

Suryoyo has recently been a great help in the attempt to revive Syriac Aramaic as a spoken language in Israel.You can read more about that here.


Reviving Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke

By Diaa Hadid
Jish, Israel: Two villages in the Holy Land’s tiny Christian community are teaching Aramaic in an ambitious effort to revive the language that Jesus spoke, centuries after it all but disappeared from the Middle East.
The new focus on the region’s dominant language 2,000 years ago comes with a little help from modern technology: an Aramaic-speaking television channel from Sweden, of all places, where a vibrant immigrant community has kept the ancient tongue alive.
In the Palestinian village of Beit Jala, an older generation of Aramaic speakers is trying to share the language with their grandchildren. Beit Jala lies next to Bethlehem, where the New Testament says Jesus was born.
And in the Arab-Israeli village of Jish, nestled in the Galilean hills where Jesus lived and preached, elementary school children are now being instructed in Aramaic. The children belong mostly to the Maronite Christian community. Maronites still chant their liturgy in Aramaic but few understand the prayers.
“We want to speak the language that Jesus spoke,” said Carla Hadad, a 10-year-old Jish girl who frequently waved her arms to answer questions in Aramaic from school teacher Mona Issa during a recent lesson.
“We used to speak it a long time ago,” she added, referring to her ancestors.

Atif Zarka, 64, a volunteer Aramaic teacher's assistant holds a copy of the Gospel of Luke in Aramaic script in the Arab village of Jish, northern Israel.

During the lesson, a dozen children lisped out a Christian prayer in Aramaic. They learned the words for “elephant,” ”how are you?” and “mountain.” Some children carefully drew sharp-angled Aramaic letters. Others fiddled with their pencil cases, which sported images of popular soccer teams.
The dialect taught in Jish and Beit Jala is “Syriac,” which was spoken by their Christian forefathers and resembles the Galilean dialect that Jesus would have used, according to Steven Fassberg, an Aramaic expert at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
“They probably would have understood each other,” Fassberg said.
In Jish, about 80 children in grades one through five study Aramaic as a voluntary subject for two hours a week. Israel’s education ministry provided funds to add classes until the eighth grade, said principal Reem Khatieb-Zuabi.
Several Jish residents lobbied for Aramaic studies several years ago, said Khatieb-Zuabi, but the idea faced resistance: Jish’s Muslims worried it was a covert attempt to entice their children to Christianity. Some Christians objected, saying the emphasis on their ancestral language was being used to strip them of their Arab identity. The issue is sensitive to many Arab Muslims and Christians in Israel, who prefer to be identified by their ethnicity, not their faith.
Ultimately, Khatieb-Zuabi, a secular Muslim from an outside village, overruled them.
“This is our collective heritage and culture. We should celebrate and study it,” the principal said. And so the Jish Elementary School become the only Israeli public school teaching Aramaic, according to the education ministry.
Their efforts are mirrored in Beit Jala’s Mar Afram school run by the Syrian Orthodox church and located just a few miles (kilometers) from Bethlehem’s Manger Square.
There, priests have taught the language to their 320 students for the past five years.
Some 360 families in the area descend from Aramaic-speaking refugees who in the 1920s fled the Tur Abdin region of what is now Turkey.
Priest Butros Nimeh said elders still speak the language but that it vanished among younger generations. Nimeh said they hoped teaching the language would help the children appreciate their roots.
Although both the Syrian Orthodox and Maronite church worship in Aramaic, they are distinctly different sects.
The Maronites are the dominant Christian church in neighboring Lebanon but make up only a few thousand of the Holy Land’s 210,000 Christians. Likewise, Syrian Orthodox Christians number no more than 2,000 in the Holy Land, said Nimeh. Overall, some 150,000 Christians live in Israel and another 60,000 live in the West Bank.
Both schools found inspiration and assistance in an unlikely place: Sweden. There, Aramaic-speaking communities who descended from the Middle East have sought to keep their language alive.
They publish a newspaper, “Bahro Suryoyo,” pamphlets and children’s books, including “The Little Prince,” and maintain a satellite television station, “Soryoyosat,” said Arzu Alan, chairwoman of the Syriac Aramaic Federation of Sweden.
There’s also an Aramaic soccer team, “Syrianska FC” in the Swedish top division from the town of Sodertalje. Officials estimate the Aramaic-speaking population at anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 people.
For many Maronites and Syrian Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, the television station, in particular, was the first time they heard the language outside church in decades. Hearing it in a modern context inspired them to try revive the language among their communities.
“When you hear (the language), you can speak it,” said Issa, the teacher.
Aramaic dialects were the region’s vernacular from 2,500 years ago until the sixth century, when Arabic, the language of conquering Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula, became dominant, according to Fassberg.
Linguistic islands survived: Maronites clung to Aramaic liturgy and so did the Syrian Orthodox church. Kurdish Jews on the river island of Zakho spoke an Aramaic dialect called “Targum” until fleeing to Israel in the 1950s. Three Christian villages in Syria still speak an Aramaic dialect, Fassberg said.
With few opportunities to practice the ancient tongue, teachers in Jish have tempered expectations. They hope they can at least revive an understanding of the language.
The steep challenges are seen in the Jish school, where the fourth-grade Aramaic class has just a dozen students. The number used to be twice that until they introduced an art class during the same time slot — and lost half their students.

The rounded Aramaic alphabet.

the Syriac Estrangelo Aramaic alphabet
Estrangelo is the oldest of the Syriac scripts used to write Classical Syriac which stopped being widely used since the 10th century.

Nowadays some scholarly publications,titles and inscriptions are written in the Estrangelo.Its' name comes from Greek and it means 'rounded'.It later evolved into the cursive Serto -the Western Syriac script  

Estrangelo did not use vowel diacritics. They were used later in some cases.

In the following image I have put some letters together that look alike for ease of learning them.

But two later versions of the Syriac alphabet (Serto and Madnkhaya) that evolved later did use vowel signs.

Two vowel systems developed,the western based on Greek vowels under the Byzantines for Serto and the eastern under the Persian Sassanids for Madnkhaya which used dots.

Now let's give it a try to write the Syriac Estrangelo alphabet.

Apart from Syriac various languages used the Estrangelo alphabet or variations or derivatives of it like Sogdian .

Christian Sogdian document written in the Estrangelo alphabet.
This is the last page of an Old  Christian Sogdian document written in the Syriac Estrangrelo script ,related to the postal system of the Mongol Empire.
The text is a translation from a Syriac original and it speaks about  a younger monk who ask questions to an older monk who gives answers in turn.

The words in red read ptry (older monk) as in father from the Greek pater and br't (brother) , younger monk.

Letter Sound Value (Classical Syriac)
Name Translit. ʾEsṭrangēlā
Transliteration IPA
*ܐܠܦ ʾĀlep̄*[c] Syriac Estrangela alap.svg ʾ or null
mater lectionis: ā
[ʔ] or ∅
mater lectionis: [ɑ]
ܒܝܬ Bēṯ Syriac Estrangela bet.svg hard: b
soft:  (also bhv or β)
hard: [b]
soft: [v] or [w]
ܓܡܠ Gāmal Syriac Estrangela gamal.svg hard: g
soft:  (also ghġ or γ)
hard: [ɡ]
soft: [ɣ]
*ܕܠܬ Dālaṯ* Syriac Estrangela dalat.svg hard: d
soft:  (also dhð or δ)
hard: [d]
soft: [ð]
*ܗܐ * Syriac Estrangela he.svg h [h]
*ܘܘ Waw* Syriac Estrangela waw.svg consonant: w
mater lectionis: ū or ō
(also u or o)
consonant: [w]
mater lectionis: [u] or [o]
*ܙܝܢ Zayn* Syriac Estrangela zayn.svg z [z]
ܚܝܬ Ḥēṯ Syriac Estrangela het.svg  (also Hkhx or ħ) [ħ][x] or [χ]
ܛܝܬ Ṭēṯ Syriac Estrangela tet.svg  (also T or ţ) [tˤ]
ܝܘܕ Yōḏ Syriac Estrangela yod.svg consonant: y
mater lectionis: ī (also i)
consonant: [j]
mater lectionis: [i] or [e]
ܟܦ Kāp̄ Syriac Estrangela kap.svg hard: k
soft:  (also kh or x)
hard: [k]
soft: [x]
ܠܡܕ Lāmaḏ Syriac Estrangela lamad.svg l [l]
ܡܝܡ Mīm Syriac Estrangela mim.svg m [m]
ܢܘܢ Nūn Syriac Estrangela nun.svg n [n]
ܣܡܟܬ Semkaṯ Syriac Estrangela semkat.svg s [s]
ܥܐ ʿĒ Syriac Estrangela 'e.svg ʿ [ʕ][d]
ܦܐ Syriac Estrangela pe.svg hard: p
soft:  (also ph or f)
hard: [p]
soft: [f]
*ܨܕܐ Ṣāḏē* Syriac Estrangela sade.svg  (also S or ş) [sˤ]
ܩܘܦ Qōp̄ Syriac Estrangela qop.svg q (also ) [q]
*ܪܝܫ Rēš* Syriac Estrangela res.svg r [r]
ܫܝܢ Šīn Syriac Estrangela sin.svg š (also sh) [ʃ]
*ܬܘ Taw* Syriac Estrangela taw.svg hard: t
soft:  (also th or θ)
hard: [t]
soft: [θ]

Check back often.I will be updating the exercise.
Remember. Syriac is read from right to left.

Individual letters

Two-letter combinations
Syriac (left to right)
Latin (right to left)



Simon Peter

Apostle Simon Peter was nicknamed Cepha (Κηφᾶς)  in Aramaic which means 'stone'.Peter (Πέτρος) is the exact translation of the name in Greek by which the apostle became widely known.Πέτρος( Petros) comes from the word πέτρα (petra).This is how the name is spelled in the Aramaic square script.


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