Syriac letter

Can anyone make sense of this letter, which appears to be in the Syriac script?

Syriac letter

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This entry was posted in Puzzles, Writing.

14 Responses to Syriac letter

  1. TJ says:

    It is assyrian (eastern Aramaic). The script is Nestorian, the one used in Iraq.
    Needs time though to train the eye on a handscript like this. Most of the time, I see assyrian written with computer fonts.

  2. peter j. franke says:

    Yes, this is Assyrian, no doubt.

  3. Danilo says:

    this leter is mine is this language still been used? thanks

  4. TJ says:

    Danilo: the letters is yours? You mean you’ve submitted to Simon to post it?

    As far as I know, yes, the language is still used mainly by christians in Iraq. There is even a TV satellite channel named “Ashur” as far as I remember that broadcast in 3 major languages: Assyrian, Arabic, English.
    Also, I used to have a wave file (.wav) for an anthem that is made specifically for the Assyrian state. I still remember the first words of it… “qá rumramá, d’sheetá ramá…”
    Well, whatever that means.

  5. Drabkikker says:

    Yes, definitely modern eastern Aramaic / Syriac (also referred to as Assyrian; not to be confused with ancient Assyrian, which uses cuneiform).

    Like TJ, I have some trouble reading the handwriting, but as far as I can see, the letter starts (at top right) with Shayneh wa-shlameh… ‘(His) peace and well-being…’ Since I work at a department that specializes in Syriac, I must be able to find somebody who can tell you more. I’ll let you know!

  6. Drabkikker says:

    Yes, definitely modern eastern Aramaic / Syriac (also referred to as Assyrian; not to be confused with ancient Assyrian, which uses cuneiform).

    Like TJ, I have some trouble reading the handwriting, but as far as I can see, the letter starts (at top right) with Shayneh wa-shlameh… ‘(His) peace and well-being…’ Since I work at a department that specializes in Syriac, I must be able to find somebody who can tell you more. I’ll let you know!

  7. Ben says:

    hmm, it has the vowels written in as well, which would imply that it’s not a simple handwritten letter or note or somesuch. I’m guessing it’s a Biblical quote or some other sort of religious text.

  8. Danilo says:

    thank you guys for this information and for the help, this letter it is from my great-grandfather, he went to brazil runing from the war, and there he changed his name, and for this we dont know his name and where is he from and then i decide looking for what it says this letter maybe there is some information if you guys like a can send the other leters thank you very much once more…

  9. Nineb Lamassu says:

    Dear Danilo,

    This is very interesting. The language is Eastern Assyrian, and from what I can tell that he was either from the Baz or the Jeelu region. I base this on how one would pronounce his spelling. For example he writes mukhdale instead of mekhdade or muydale for together/each other.

    my origins too are from Baz and I know many Baznaye whose families had fled to Brazil during the war. there are still many Baznaye Assyrians that hold Brazilian citizen, they had gone to Brazil but later decided to return.
    I personally would love if you could kindly email me the letters and I would only gladly translate them for you, and maybe even help you find your relatives. But for now I have translated this short letter for you despite the fact that i couldn’t see some of it properly. That can of course be solved if you email me them with good scanned picture.

    here is the translation:

    “Peace and greating to you Bru Turku (this is a short name usually given to somebody who is a bit naughty – again very Baznaye Assyrian dialect),

    I have hope in God the lord that soon we shall see each other so that I can tell you about all matters of this very sad world.
    Greetings to Duna, Mariana (this mariana could be a name or an adjective i.e. the shepherd but spelled as it is pronounced and not as it should be spelled. If so then it would Duna the shepherd) , and Mikha together with his wife. Ay (O) Simon just sent me xxxxx that of ours (lit. that is from where we are – the writer still speaks as though he is there with the recipient) it is very necessary and write to me no matter what your situation is.

    I long for you very much

    From your hand and Batir write to me no matter what your situation is.

    He who loves you (something like: yours sincerely)

    Awraham Atto (There is a big Baznaye family from the village of Bet Selim in Baz that carry this last name)

  10. Drabkikker says:

    Hi Danilo,

    I have asked among my colleagues and was finally brought in contact with someone who is from the same region as where the letter originates. The person’s name is Nineb Lamassu, and he is very interested in further communication with you. I quote his reply here in full:

    Dear Danilo,

    This is very interesting. The language is Eastern Assyrian, and from what I can tell that he was either from the Baz or the Jeelu region. I base this on how one would pronounce his spelling. For example he writes mukhdale instead of mekhdade or muydale for together/each other.

    my origins too are from Baz and I know many Baznaye whose families had fled to Brazil during the war. there are still many Baznaye Assyrians that hold Brazilian citizen, they had gone to Brazil but later decided to return.
    I personally would love if you could kindly email me the letters and I would only gladly translate them for you, and maybe even help you find your relatives. But for now I have translated this short letter for you despite the fact that i couldn’t see some of it properly. That can of course be solved if you email me them with good scanned picture.

    here is the translation:

    “Peace and greating to you Bru Turku (this is a short name usually given to somebody who is a bit naughty – again very Baznaye Assyrian dialect),

    I have hope in God the lord that soon we shall see each other so that I can tell you about all matters of this very sad world.
    Greetings to Duna, Mariana (this mariana could be a name or an adjective i.e. the shepherd but spelled as it is pronounced and not as it should be spelled. If so then it would Duna the shepherd) , and Mikha together with his wife. Ay (O) Simon just sent me xxxxx of ours (lit. that is from where we are – the writer still speaks as though he is there with the recipient) it is very necessary and write to me no matter what your situation is.

    I long for you very much

    From your hand and Batir write to me no matter what your situation is.

    He who loves you (something like: yours sincerely)

    Awraham Atto (There is a big Baznaye family from the village of Bet Selim in Baz that carry this last name)”

    Awraham means Ibrahim.

    thanks,

    Nineb

    I have Nineb’s email address, but for reasons of privacy I think it is best not to give it here. If it’s okay with you, you can place a comment on my blog (http://drabkikker.wordpress.com), so I can deduce your email address without other’s seeing it, and send you Nineb’s address in return.

    Good luck!

    Drabkikker

  11. TJ says:

    Danilo: in case we want the name, I think we should look at the sginature of the letter.

    The vowels here, and judging from the shape of the handscript, seems that the person is in fact a speaker but not indeed a literate of the language. The gaps and connectivity in between the letters do look awkward (judging from my perspective as someone who can read and write Arabic as a native). Hence, such a person with limited knowledge about writing, as I believe, would tend to add the vowels; if we want to carry the case parallel to learners of Arabic. A fluent writer in Arabic won’t add the short vowels but we write fluently unless some vowel is needed to emphasize some word.

    The signature, if my reading for the handwriting was correct, seems to begin with “T’ún-“. “H” and “final M” come after word but I can’t put it altogether. T’únham?

  12. TJ says:

    Well… seems the explanation and the translation were submitted already before my post but didn’t show up earlier when i typed the post!

    Case resolved I presume!

  13. Nineb Lamassu says:

    Small correction. I just had another look at it and towards the end it does not say: from you hand and Batir i.e. min idu u batir but it is written min idyu u batir which would translate as: from today/now onwards…

    Dear Danilo I am eagerly waiting to be of more assistance.

    Nineb

  14. Danilo says:

    thanks everyone for the help as nineb said he ll help with other letter thanks…!