What is the difference between Aramaic and Hebrew?

The main difference between Aramaic and Hebrew is that Aramaic is the language of the Aramaeans (Syrians) while Hebrew is the language of the Hebrews (Israelites).

Both Aramaic and Hebrew are closely related languages ​​(both Northwest Semitic) with fairly similar terminology. However, there are many grammatical and lexical variations between these two languages.

Key areas covered

1. What is Aramaic - Definition, Features 2. What is Hebrew - Definition, Features 3. Similarities Between Aramaic and Hebrew - Overview of Common Features 4. Difference Between Aramaic and Hebrew - Comparison of Key Differences

key terms

Aramic, Hebrew Difference Between Aramaic and Hebrew - Comparative Summary

What is Aramaic?

Aramaic is a Northwest Semitic language. It originated with the Arameans in ancient Syria. Aramaic can look back on three thousand years of history and has gone through several stages of development. However, Modern, or Neo-Aramaic, is a group of related languages ​​that includes the modern spoken varieties of the Aramaic language that have been preserved and developed in the de-stalked communities in the Middle East.

Aramaic vs. Hebrew

In addition, World Ethnologue has identified 19 spoken varieties of the Neo-Aramaic language that are prevalent in the world to this day. The largest groups of Aramaic speaking communities practice the Assyrian New Aramaic language, the Turoyo. Modern Aramaic language and the Chaldean Neo-Aramaic language.

What is hebrew

Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Northwestern group. Although Hebrew was spoken in Palestine centuries ago, it was used in the 3rd century BC. Replaced by the western dialect of Aramaic. But even after that, the Hebrew language continued to be used as a liturgical and literary language.

Compare Aramaic and Hebrew

Hebrew was revived as a spoken language in the 19th and 20th centuries. Hebrew is the official language of Israel today. As the language of the Bible, Hebrew is fascinating and attracting people all over the world. In short, most consider Hebrew to be a sacred language, and the majority of the ultra-Orthodox will only use it for prayer.

Similarities Between Aramaic and Hebrew

  • Aramaic and Hebrew are both sacred languages ​​because of their use in the Bible.
  • Both languages ​​are common in Jewish communities.
  • They fall under the Northwest Semitic subfamily of the Afro-Asian language family.
  • We also write both Aramaic and Hebrew in the Aramaic square script.

Differences between Aramaic and Hebrew

definition

Aramaic is a Northwest Semitic language. It is a spoken language of the Aramaeans. Hebrew is now also a Northwest Semitic language. But it is a spoken language of Hebrew.

status

Hebrew was originally a biblical language. The Hebrew language came to life after 2000 years and is now a modern language with over 9 million speakers. Although Hebrew ceased to be an actively spoken language, it has never ceased to be practiced as a written language throughout history. Hebrew is the official language of Israel today.

Furthermore, with the emphasis on the Neo-Aramaic languages, none of them have official language status in their countries. However, the majority of modern monolingual speakers of the New Aramaic languages ​​are more likely to be older adults, and the younger speakers are currently learning Aramaic as a second language along with another mainstream language in the country as a first language.

grammar

In addition, there are some noticeable grammatical differences between these two languages. For example, the particular article differs between these two languages. In Hebrew, the definite article is placed in front of the noun as he , while in Aramaic the definite article is added as aleph at the end of the noun. In addition, letter changes are visible between these two languages. For example, Hebrew words that contain “sh” are often replaced with a “t” in Aramaic. For example, “teqel” is the Aramaic spelling of the Hebrew word “sheqel”.

diploma

In short, the main difference between Aramaic and Hebrew is that Aramaic is a Northwest Semitic language spoken by the Aramaeans while Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language spoken by the Hebrews. Unlike Hebrew, which is a thriving language, many species of the Aramaic language are currently critically endangered, and some are already extinct.

Reference:

1. " Aramaic Language - Structure, Script & Alphabet ." MustGo.com. 2. “ 7 Things You Should Know About Hebrew .” My Jewish Study.

Image courtesy:

1. “ Hebrew Alphabet ” By Drdpw - Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia2. " Plate with Aramaic Hatran inscription from Hatra, Iraq, Iraq Museum " By Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg) - Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the author: Anuradha

Anuradha holds a BA in English, French and Translation Studies. She is currently studying English literature in a second language context in the master’s course. Her areas of interest include art and literature, language and education, nature and animals, cultures and civilizations, food and fashion.