Jewish Neo-Aramaic (Lišāna Arāmīṯ / אַרָמִית לׅשָנַא)

Jewish Neo-Aramaic languages are members of the Aramaic branch of the Semitic language family. There are a number of varieties of Jewish Neo-Aramaic, including:

  • Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic (Lišānîd Jānān / לשניד דינן), which is spoken by about 20 people in Jerusalem in Israel, and was originally spoken in Bijil, Barzan and Shahe, three villages near Aqrah in northern Iraq.
  • Betanure Jewish Neo-Aramaic (lišānā deni), which was spoken by about 36 people in the village of Betanure (בית תנורא‎) in the Barwari region in northern Iraq.

Speakers of Jewish Neo-Aramaic migrated to Israel in the 1950s, and most of them started speaking Hebrew instead of the native language.

Jewish Neo-Aramaic is written with a version of the Hebrew script. It was first used in literature during the 17th century. Most of the literature consists of homiletic literature (midrashim), biblical commentaries, hymns (piyyutim) and similar.

Jewish Neo-Aramaic alphabet and pronunciation

Hebrew script for Jewish Neo-Aramaic

Download Jewish Neo-Aramaic chart provided by Wolfram Siegel (Word doc, in German)


Information about Jewish Neo-Aramaic

Languages written with the Hebrew script

Aramaic, Bukhori, Hebrew, Jewish Neo-Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Juhuri, Karaim, Ladino, Yiddish

Semitic languages

Akkadian, Amharic, Arabic (Algerian), Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Lebanese), Arabic (Modern Standard), Arabic (Moroccan), Arabic (Syrian), Aramaic, Argobba, Assyrian / Neo-Assyrian, Canaanite, Chaha, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, Ge'ez, Hadhramautic, Hebrew, Himyaritic, Jewish Neo-Aramaic, Maltese, Mandaic, Nabataean, Neo-Mandaic, Phoenician, Punic, Qatabanic, Sabaean, Sabaic, Silt'e, Syriac, Tigre, Tigrinya, Turoyo, Ugaritic, Western Neo-Aramaic