Evening in Chaldean Neo-Aramaic.


Evening is noospa in Chaldean Neo-Aramaic. 

Chaldean is considered a sister language of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic. Linguistically these two are dialects of the same language but often they are classified as different languages due to political reasons.

Chaldeans ,the Kaldāye (ܟܲܠܕܵܝܹܐ) as their are known in the Chaldean language are Assyrian Catholics adherent to Chaldean Catholic Church.

Chaldean Catholics from Marcin,Turkey,19nth century.

Read also

A Chaldean American success story.


Aramaic coin of Baaltars.



Baaltars (combination of Baal and Tarsus) was the guardian god of the city of Tarsus in the Persian Empire.

Baal originally ment lord or owner in Northwest Semitic languages but it came to mean god.

In the left of the coin there are the Aramaic letters TN and an M under the throne. The coin's backside reads MZDI in Aramaic which is Mazday or Mazaios the Persian satrap of Cilicia.

AR Stater, 361/360-334 BC, Tarsus,Cilicia.

The lion attacking the bull was a common imagery at Persepolis-the religious capital of the Persian Empire.

Combat between lion and bull (Persepolis).


I 'm confused. Aramaic,Amharic,Armenian.

Is Aramaic Amharic or Armenian?

Of course not. They are all separate languages.

There is quite a lot of people out there that mistake Amharic or Armenian for Aramaic just because their name has three same letters 'Arm' and it sounds more or less the similar to them.

Semitic languages.

Aramaic and Amharic

Aramaic and Amharic are distant relatives both belonging to the Semitic language family. They belong to different branches of the family. 

Semitic languages were/are Hebrew, Phoenician,Arabic,Tigrinya and Maltese.

Aramaic is a Northwest Semitic language first spoken in Upper Mesopotamia while Amharic is a south Semitic language which first appeared in the area of modern day Ethiopia.

Amharic is called አማርኛ Amarenna, sounding like Aramaic.

Aramaic originated in what is nowadays northern Iraq, Northwestern Syria and Southeastern Turkey. It became a major language and spread all over the so-called Fertile Crescent and the native one for many peoples like the Jews besides the Arameans who first spoke it.

Read also When did the Jews shift to Aramaic?

A dialect of Aramaic, Galilean Aramaic is believed to have been the native language of Jesus Christ.

Aramaic is still spoken to this day in pockets in the Middle East in various countries and in the West by the diaspora. These are the Neo-Aramaic languages like Assyrian Neo-Aramaic which has the biggest number of Speakers their estimate ranging from half to one million.

All Semitic languages share a common ancestor and a similar common shared vocabulary. And that is as close as Aramaic and Amharic get.

Semitic languages belong to a bigger language family called Afro-asiatic. Ancient Egyptian and its' descendant Coptic were Afro-asiatic languages.

Armenian and Aramaic

Armenian has no connection to Aramaic whatsoever. It originated in the Caucasus and it is an Indo-european language as opposed to Aramaic which is a Semitic one.

The only similarity they have between them is that their name sounds similar in English.

Medieval Armenia.

So,no Aramaic is not Armenian nor Amharic. They are all different.


Is Syriac and Aramaic the same?

In short, the answer is yes but sometimes no.

Syriac is Aramaic.

Syriac is just a phase in the long history of Aramaic languages.

Arameans are thought to first have appeared in the region between northern Levant and the Tigris river at about 1200 BC. 

There they formed various Aramaic speaking kingdoms like the kingdom of Aram.

The first written Aramaic is dated to about 1000BC. This was is called Old Aramaic or Ancient Aramaic and was written in the Phoenician alphabet.

From Phoenician sprung the Aramaic alphabet.

At about 200AD new regional dialects of Aramaic rose to prominence.

These were Syriac Aramaic dialects. The alphabet for Syriac was different from earlier Aramaic. It was more cursive and probably styled upon Byzantine Greek minuscule.

So,yes Syriac is Aramaic. It is to what some dialects of Old Aramaic evolved to.

Syriac and Aramaic.

Sometimes the term Aramaic is used separately to refer only to Old Aramaic not including the Syriac phase. 

And this why you will sometimes see reference to the Aramaic language and Syriac language as separate.


When did Jews shift to Aramaic?

The Egyptians fearing the expansion of the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar moved their armies north to Assyria. They faced their enemies at Carchemish were they were defeated in 605BC.


After their victory the Babylonians  besieged Jerusalem which resulted in Jehoiakim-king of Judah paying tribute to the Neo-Babylonian empire and young nobility of the kingdom of Judah (Bēyt Dāwīḏ in Aramaic) being transferred and kept hostages in Babylon.

Battle of Carchemish.

But in 603BC Nebuchadnezzar's army was defeated by the Egyptians ruled by Nechu II and as a result Jehoiakim revolted against his Babylonian overlords refusing to pay tribute.

Nebuchadnezzar waisted no time and moved against Jerusalem again which was captured and utterly destroyed.

The Jewish nobility and many others were forcibly exiled to Babylon. There they were forced to learn Aramaic the common language of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Destruction of Jerusalem.
Exile to Babylon.

In 539BC the Achaemenid Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great invaded Babylonia turning it into a satrapy and subsequently giving rise to the so-called Imperial Aramaic.

A ziggurat temple.

After the fall of Babylon Cyrus allowed the exiled Jews to return to Judah. Many of them never returned settling in Lebanon, Syria and Upper Mesopotamia areas where Aramaic was the dominant language.

Others went back to Judah and rebuilt Jerusalem and the Second Temple.

Return to Zion.

The exile to Babylon and  the settlement of the Jews in Aramaic speaking areas resulted in Hebrew gradually falling out of use in favour of Aramaic.

Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language between the 2nd and 4th century C.E. after the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire.

Mered Bar Kokhba
 מֶרֶד בַּר כּוֹכְבָא

Nevertheless it continued to be used as a liturgical language.

From this time on, a  Bible interpreter -the meturgeman (translator) translated orally the Bible from Hebrew to the vernacular Aramaic. This practice lead to the targumim  (translations).

The exile of Babylon in the Bible.

Ezra 1:1-4

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return 
 1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. 
4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’


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Table in Syriac Aramaic.

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