This page contains information about the language spoken by Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. Aramaic was the language of the ancient Aramaens and Chaldeans, who lived in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates (Babylonia) in the millenniumn before the birth of Jesus. In Jesus' day, Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Middle East, the dominant language of trade and culture in the area.
Over the years, as Latin developed into Italian, French, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese, and Attic Greek developed into Modern Greek, Aramaic developed into various dialects of modern Aramaic such as Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac, and others. Speakers of modern-day Aramaic are few in number and dispersed across Syria, Turkey, Russia, Israel, Georgia, Iran, and Iraq but their numbers are rapidly diminishing. Currently the roughly 15,000 speakers living in three villages north of Damascus, Syria (notably in Ma'alula) represent the largest single body of Aramaic or Syriac speakers. However, almost all of the younger generation in these villages also speak Arabic.
To learn more about this fascinating language and its current status, click through the links below.
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