Introduction to Syriac (book)

 You might want to introduce yourself into the world of Aramaic languages but you don't know where to start.

It is indeed an entire world since Aramaic is not one language but a whole bunch from antiquity to present day.

Some will say ' I want to learn Galilean Aramaic the tongue of Jesus Christ. But before you get enthusiastic about it take into account that it is currently not possible.

There is no corpus of texts in Galilean and the language is being reconstructed. The reconstructions though are often full of errors and generally there's is not consensus among linguists.

Syriac Aramaic would be an excellent choice. Vast body of texts of Syriac literature exists and the language might be structurally the easiest Semitic language to learn. It's not as complex as Classical or confusing as Biblical Aramaic.

A book is a good way to start learning. But which one? There are a lot of books out there to introduce you to Syriac. But which one? Many are difficult to understand ,others require that the learner already knows another Semitic language like Hebrew.

But not the following book.

I found the Introduction to Syriac by W.M.Thackston a great book to begin with, especially for absolute beginners.

It reminds me of the good old language learning methods with short texts, translating phrases, simple grammar in small chunks.

The translation of phrases was particularly useful to me .Makes it easy to retain vocabulary and learn simple grammar structures.


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Table in Syriac Aramaic.

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