Friday, November 09, 2012

Diverse translational Aramaica

ARAMAIC/SYRIAC WATCH: Translations from and into Aramaic figure in some recent stories.

First, A translation of the Syriac New Testament into Arabic:
First Translation of New Testament From Jesus' Primary Language Into Arabic

Posted GMT 11-9-2012 1:29:9 (AINA)

WACO, Texas -- A former monk/civil engineer/business manager, who now teaches Arabic at Baylor University, has translated the New Testament for the first time into Arabic -- one of the fastest-growing languages on Twitter -- directly from what most scholars believe was Jesus' primary language.

Arabic is the world's fifth most common language, according to Wikipedia, and enrollment in its study has soared at U.S. colleges and universities, according to the Modern Language Association.

Abdul-Massih Saadi, Ph.D., a lecturer in Arabic in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences, said his 12-year undertaking has been "a good struggle" to translate the text into two versions -- Modern Standard Arabic as well as a colloquial Arabic dialect -- in the volume.

Saadi's 800-page project meant not only poring over original texts rather than the English of the King James Version or the New International Version, but also holding the colloquial Arabic version up for scrutiny by people ranging from educated to illiterate to be certain it meshed with the language they speak and understand -- including idioms.

"Our translation is the first Arabic Bible based on Eastern Bible tradition, namely the Syriac," said Saadi, who is from Aleppo, Syria. "Most unique in this project is the Colloquial Arabic Version, with the colloquial is known as Mardini."

The term Syriac refers to one Aramaic dialect in which Christian literature was written. Evidence from the second century A.D. indicates Aramaic-speaking Christians undertook translating the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament into Syriac, he said.

Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic and so is technically the language of Jesus, but he would have spoken a first-century Galilean dialect, whereas Syriac originated as the somewhat later Anatolian dialect spoken in the city of Edessa.

Second, some of the Syriac poetry of Ephrem the Syrian has been translated into Turkish:
Turkish Ministry Collects Poems in Assyrian in a New Book

Posted GMT 11-6-2012 1:41:11 (AINA)

Syriac [Assyrian] poems have been translated into Turkish by the Mardin Kırklar Church high priest Gabriel Akyüz, at the request of the Culture and Arts Ministry.

"These poems are an important part of Syriac culture and literature," Akyüz said. The translated works include poems by one of the most important names in Syriac literature, Mor Efem. The poems were written during the fourth century using a seven-syllabic meter, Akyüz said.

The book consists of 400 pages and includes additional information on Mor Erem's life.

There are many PaleoJudaica posts on Ephrem, including here, here, here, here, here, here (sort of), here, and here.

Finally, over at the Aramaic Blog, Steve Caruso has posted a retroversion of the Lord's Prayer into first-century Galilean Aramaic: The Lord's Prayer Reconstructed in Galilean Aramaic Posted!