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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/the-biggest-group-of-aramaic-speakers-today-is-21536369.aspx

Subject:  Re: Paul Has Been Suspended Date:  11/1/2004  4:08 PM
Author:  GunnarSK Number:  628310 of 2304552

The biggest group of Aramaic speakers today is living - you guess it - in Detroit. There are some smaller groups in Belgium, Germany (Augsburg has a small community). You can still find some small communities in Syria (Ma'alula) and larger ones in Iraq (lake Urmia). We just bought two newly published descriptive studies on the Jewish Aramaic dialects of Irbil and another town in Iraqi Kurdistan.

And yes, there are hundreds of dialects.


Surprising that this thread from its sad beginnings has evolved into an interesting and very much off topic thread on Aramaic (and other Semitic) language. Thanks, guys!

I have to correct you on Urmia. The lake and city of Urmia is in Iran, but it is indeed the geographic focal point of the Assyrian (Aramaic speaking) community in Iran. Most Iraqis speaking Assyrian-Aramaic dialects live in the area north of Mosul/Nineveh with many villages inhabited by Assyrians. Due to urbanisation and Saddam's forced relocation and arabisation policy, many Assyrians also live in the cities of Mosul and Baghdad where the dominant language is Arabic.

I have the good fortune to live in the only city of my country with a sizeable Assyrian population (about 700), and two weeks ago I visited an Aramaic service which was an experience of incredible linguistic and musical beauty. When I learn enough Aramaic to understand more than "Our Father"*, I might consider becoming a member of the local Assyrian Church of the East.

Gunnar


* You can see and listen to the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic here ->
http://www.nestorian.org/the_lord_s_prayer_in_syriac.html
but the Assyrian church choir's sung version is quite special (performed twice during mass) and must be experienced live!


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