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Faber

Aramaic and Hebrew: similarities and differences?

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 How much is Aramaic and Hebrew similar and how much are they different? Perhaps Origen is best to answer this but anyone can reply if they happen to know.

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2 hours ago, Faber said:

 How much is Aramaic and Hebrew similar and how much are they different? Perhaps Origen is best to answer this but anyone can reply if they happen to know.

Something like that is difficult to quantify.  To use an analogy I would say they are first cousins not siblings.  They share the same alphabet and to a large extent the same vocabulary.  However, knowing Hebrew does not mean one knows Aramaic or vice versa.

 

Take for example the article.

 

In Hebrew the definite article is the letter ה (he).

In Aramaic the definite article is the letter א (aleph).

 

They do not use the same letter for the definite article, but that is far from the only difference.

 

In Hebrew the definite article (i.e. the letter ה) is attached the beginning of the word (i.e. הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם = the heaven).

In Aramaic the definite article (i.e. the letter א) is attached the end of the word (i.e. שְׁמַיָּ֔א = the heaven).

 

I hope this helps.  There is a great deal more I could point out but this example of the article clearly shows the two languages have many differences.

 

Why are you interested may I ask?

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If you were fluent or close to being fluent in one of the languages how difficult would it be to (a) understand the other - and - (b) learn the other?

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2 hours ago, Faber said:

If you were fluent or close to being fluent in one of the languages how difficult would it be to (a) understand the other - and - (b) learn the other?

To understand, you wouldn't.  Maybe you could make some sense out of it but if you did not have a knowledge of the grammar there are many things you just would not know.  There are just too many differences.  No doubt you would be able to recognize a great deal of the vocabulary but that is about it.

 

 

To learn, yes it would be easier.  You would already have a feel for understanding Semitic languages, you know the alphabet, and know much of the vocabulary.

 

 

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