Friday, February 19, 2010

Is the Aramaic #Wikipedia in the Syriac language

I received a letter in Dutch about the Aramaic Wikipedia. It says:

In the language pages of Wikipedia you can find a certain “Aramaic” Wikipedia using arc in the domain. According to ISO arc is a language that was spoken from 700 to 300 BC. It is currently extinct. The current Aramaic language is called Syriac. It has its own script.

I am fluent in the Syriac language but not the Aramaic language. The articles in the arc.wikipedia are all written in the Syriac script, not the Aramaic script.

My question is if it is possible to change the name from arc to syr because the facts indicate that this would be better. Wikipedia is known to provide truthful information. The current situation does not reflect correct information.

I looked into the matter and found that according to SIL the Syriac language is a macro language. It consist of two living languages; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and Chaldean Neo-Aramaic.

I have no clue what to think of it. The best I can do is ask around, ask you.


Steve Caruso said...

I think I am still an Administrator over at the Aramaic Wikipedia from a long time back, but I have not done much with it in the past several years. :-)

The articles are all written in various Neo-Aramaic dialects (all Syriac-influenced Christian dialects), which would be like having a Romance Language Wikipedia with some articles in French, Occitan, Spanish, Italian, Catalan, all jumbled together.

It ended up that way because there was not enough interest in any one Neo-Aramaic dialect to get the project off the ground, and despite several attempts by zealous individuals to turn it into an Assyrian Wikipedia, their zeal ran out as quickly as it came. :-)

Now, just a note, Aramaic as a whole is a macro language with hundreds of mutually unintelligible dialects and dozens of scripts. Syriac Script and "Aramaic" Script (which usually refers to either Imperial Aramaic Script or "Hebrew" Blockletters) are merely two of them.

Perhaps I should expound a bit further about this on my own blog. :-)


Maurice said...

I took a look at the Aramaic Wikipedia, and I found out that the articles that are published, are written in the Syriac alphabet. In some articles the language itself is 'Old Syriac' (Kthobonoyo) in western Syriac dialect.
In other articles however, the language is written in the eastern Syriac dialect (Madenkhaya) A.K.A. "Assyrian-Neo Aramaic".

Syriac is one of the Aramaic languages. But if you take a critical view on the script itself; The current Aramaic Wikipedia is written in Syriac.