Aramaic Cheat Sheet

This cheat-sheet is derived from the Basics of Biblical Aramaic by Miles V. Van Pelt, as far as possible it is based on the format of the “Get an A! Study Guide” which Van Pelt wrote as a students companion for his book Basics of Biblical Hebrew. So the numbers in brackets alongside the headings refer to the page numbers in BBA. It’s assumed the user will have a fair working knowledge of Hebrew.

Aramaic Cheat Sheet (pdf)


Peal Verbs

Let me give you an example of what I’m thinking regarding Aramaic resources.

There are 1096 Aramaic verbs in the OT (statistics from BW8). 233 of those are Peal perfect verbs. So if you learn the Peal perfect paradigm, you’ve learnt 21% of all the verbs. That, in itself, is good news. 1 paradigm = 21%. (If you learnt the imperfect as well, you’d have 30% under your belt!)

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Aramaic Resources

I am currently enjoying learning some Aramaic to complete the trilogy of biblical languages. What concerns me, however, is the real lack of resources and general lack of interest in the language. Most Christians, to some extent, recognise the benefit of learning Greek and Hebrew, but no-one seems to care about Aramaic. So I’m hatching a cunning plan:

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Participles and Translation Practice

Now we have almost enough Aramaic under our belt to be able to do some translation. Using Reymond’s examples we’ll start with some simple English to Aramaic sentences.

Sometimes translating from English to Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic can seem a little pointless, since our primary goal is to be able to read those languages and translate into English. However, as we’ll see now, doing English to x really helps us grasp how the language works. So without further a do…

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Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are those words which take the place of a noun. So in the sentence “Simon learns Aramaic” pronouns could be used to replace the nouns: “he learns Aramaic”, or even “he learns it”.

Pronouns agree with their antecedent (= the noun to which they refer) in number and gender. In the example above, both pronouns are singular, the first (“he”) is masculine (agreeing with “Simon), the second (“it”) is neuter (agreeing with “Aramaic”).

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