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Tuesday 25.09.2018 | Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo

Children learn the language used in the time of Jesus Christ

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A hundred students in some village in Galilee are rigorously taught the ancient Aramaic language, which is very similar to Hebrew and the Arab language. This language was spoken at the beginning of our era.

Primary school children know the language so well in fact they would be able to have a friendly chat with a contemporary of Jesus Christ, if they would have had the chance. This language was a sort of lingua franca 2 000 years ago in the Middle East – it was spoken, written, used in trading and reading in ancient Judea, Persia and Mesopotamia, BBC reports.

Today, according to different estimates, there are no more than 200 000 people that use this language in their day-to-day. Small communities can be found in Syria and Kurdistan. However, because of assimilation and the outflow of young people to the West, the distribution of this language is slowly declining.

As a result of long and hard work, 110 children are now being taught Aramaic language as part of their education program. These children live in a place where, according to the locals, Jesus Christ once lived. Education materials are being brought from Sweden, where the one of the largest and influential Aramaic language communities resides.

A similar project is being carried out in some Palestinian village, where 50-70 children are taught Aramaic language every year.

Despite all this, Aramaic language specialists doubt that they will be able to fully revive this language and achieve its distribution. «It is a wonderful attempt, but it is hard to imagine how the Aramaic language specialists will be able to realize their dream. Most likely, this language will not be «revived» – only elderly people use it to communicate, and this is not enough,»- says some California University professor.

«Christians left for Europe and North America, the Jews that knew Aramaic language ended up in Israel. Some communities that speak Aramaic can be found in Kurdistan – immigration and assimilation do what they do best,»- an expert says.

Nevertheless, there are those who believe that the revival of the Aramaic language could create serious problems to Arab language, even though the organizers of this restored teaching claim that they are doing this to preserve language and culture.

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