An additional message from Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D. ©
My recordings are fine to learn prayers in ancient Aramaic. The pronunciation I use is a recreation of the Aramaic Jesus would have spoken, combining the two current modern intonations used in Aramaic churches with a "touch" of ancient Hebrew.
There are two current modern spoken Aramaic dialects, and neither is very similar to the other, even in vocabulary. A good modern phrasebook that details the differences is
published by Hippocene Books. Very good online learning tools for one of the modern dialects (modern Assyrian) can be found at
This includes also some songs.
Considering modern Arabic, there are also a number of different dialects (Moroccan, Egyptian, Palestinian) and these also have different vocabularies (not simply pronunciations) often even for common things. Although there is a "Modern Standard Arabic" taught in universities, this is a really a pastiche that no one speaks in practice and would identify one as a foreigner.
If simply "seeding" the feeling of a language is the most important thing, then anything actually spoken would help. Even the Yiddish, combining bits of German and pre-modern Hebrew, will help with the "Sprachgefühl," as the Germans say.
Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth A. Reed. All rights reserved.