10 June 2021, The Tablet

The glories of Aramaic


The Forum: Aramaic: an imperial language without an empire
BBC World Service

Bridget Kendall’s first task in steering this symposium on a 3,000-year-old language (10 June) was, naturally, to encourage the members of her scholarly panel to speak some Aramaic. Professors Holger Gzella and Alison Salvesen and Dr Alinda Damsma duly obliged, with selections from various dialects spoken over the millennia – and the result was uncannily distinctive. A little like Arabic in some places, less like it in others, and on occasion almost seeming to reproduce the cadences of Tolkien-style Elvish.

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