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)



Add comnent

  1. How to indicate the vowels in Estrangelo Syriac script ?

  2. There were no vowel signs in Estrangelo originally.Sometimes Serto vowels are used with Estrangelo.My next post will be about vowels in the Syriac scripts.

  3. Peace be with you Admin!
    Thank you very much for your video!
    I wish to learn Aramaic language.As I know this was a native language of the Lord-Jesus Christ!
    Can you tell me please on wich he spoke?Wich one must I learn?
    I like very much Estrangelo script.
    Thank you very much for your attention!
    Kind regards from Georgia!:)

  4. I am not anything like an authority on the subject-I'am studing Aramaic myself sharing what I have learned or come across in this blog.

    Jesus probably spoke Galilean Aramaic.Since you like the Estrangelo script maybe you should pick Syriac.There is a large body of texts written in the script such the Peshitta,the Syriac translation of the New Testament.

    Along with Syriac you can even study a Neo-Aramaic language like Assyrian Neo-Aramaic or Turoyo which are still spoken today.

    On the other hand Biblical Aramaic,especially those parts of the Bible written in Aramaic is a good start.The material of the Bible written in Aramaic is limited so it will take less time to learn.But you will need to learn the Hebrew block script to read these.

    Good luck with your studies!

  5. Thank you very much for your advice!
    God bless you and wish you success!:)

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