Hebrew Tidbit #10 – Aramaic Compared to Hebrew

Hebrew and Aramaic are languages that are both part of the Semitic line of languages.

Aramaic uses the same alphabet as Hebrew does.

A key difference is certain characters in words found in Hebrew are shifted to different characters (ex. ז becomes ד). This means זהב would become דהב.

Another difference is that the definite article (often translated as ‘the’) in Hebrew is not at the beginning of the noun in Aramaic but at the end. The character also switches from ‘he’ (sounds like hey, ה) to aleph (א). There is also a vowel change to accompany this. (ex. in Aramaic, מַלְכָּא, which is “the king”) This is also called the determined state in Aramaic.

There are, of course, other differences. See more at jewishvirtuallibrary.org/aramaic

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