List of Loanwords in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
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The Iranian languages are also situated in around the Assyrian Homeland, where they'd influence the language.[1]

Loanwords in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic came about mostly due to the contact between Assyrian people and Arabs, Persians, Kurds and Turks in modern history, and can also be found in the other two major dialects spoken by the Assyrian people, these being Chaldean Neo-Aramaic and Turoyo.[2] Assyrian is one of the few languages where most of its foreign words come from a different language family (in this case, Indo-European).[3]

Unlike other Neo-Aramaic languages, Assyrian has an extensive number of latterly introduced Iranian loanwords[4]. Depending on the dialect, Arabic loanwords are also reasonably present.[5] Some Turkish loanwords are Turkified words that are of Arabic origin.[6] To note, some of the loanwords are revised (or "Assyrianized"), and therefore would sound somewhat different to the original word.[7] Furthermore, some loanwords may also have a slightly different meaning from the original language.[8]


Below is a list of loanwords in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, separated into sections based on the source language.



Assyrian Word Original Word Part of Speech Meaning Notes Classical Syriac equivalent
Transliteration Spelling
?áskari ? noun soldier Middle Persian loanword. p?l ?
?askariya noun military gays? ?
?alasás adverb as if; basically; allegedly Some speakers.
bas conjunction; adverb but; only Persian loanword. Some speakers. ?ell?
buri noun water pipe Colloquial Iraqi Arabic.
dunye, dunya ? noun world ??lm? ?
fundiq ? noun hotel Ancient Greek loanword. putt?q?
?arb ? adjective strange Some speakers. nr?y?
?assala noun washing machine
?ukma, xukma noun government mabb?r?n
?ishl noun diarrhea Some speakers.
jizdán(a) noun wallet tarm?l?
majbur ? adjective forced, obliged
maymun noun monkey q?p ?
mami noun lawyer Some speakers.
musta?fa noun hospital bê? k?r?h?
qit noun story, tale Cf. Kurdish qesd. t?nn?y?
qia noun forehead bê? gn?
dra noun chest (anatomy) ?a?y? ?
, x noun health lm?n?
?i ? adjective healthy lm?n?y? ?
sijin noun jail; prison Some speakers. bê? s?r?
?allaja noun refrigerator Some speakers.
?iyara noun aeroplane
?uti noun clothes iron Turkic loanword.
y?lla interjection hurry up; let's go, come on Some speakers.


Assyrian Word Original Word Part of Speech Meaning Notes Classical Syriac equivalent
Transliteration Spelling
bi?, bu? adverb more yatt?r ?
?am?a ? noun spoon
?angal noun fork
?anta, janta ? noun purse; backpack k?s? ?
?arikk ? noun quarter, fourth r?
darde noun sorrow, pain k ?
darmana noun medicine, drug Also borrowed into Classical Syriac. samm?, darm?n? ,
?erzan adjective cheap, inexpensive
g?ran, gran, ?agran ? adjective expensive
halbatte, halbat interjection; adverb of course; naturally
ham adverb also p?
hi? determiner no, none; nothing l?; l? meddem ;
m?s noun table pr?
parda ? noun curtain
penjar(a) noun window kaww ?
rang(a) noun colour ?e ?
razi ? adjective satisfied, content Arabic loanword. ra?y? ?
sabab noun; conjunction reason; because Arabic loanword. ?ell ?
sany, ?asany, hasany ? adjective easy pq?
tambal ? adjective lazy ann?n?
xyara ? noun cucumber Also borrowed into Classical Syriac. y?r? ?
zahmat, zamit ? noun; adjective trouble, difficulty; troublesome, difficult Arabic loanword. qa?y? ?
zarda noun; adjective yellow; yellowish Some speakers. ; n?y? ; ?


Assyrian Word Original Word Part of Speech Meaning Notes Classical Syriac equivalent
Transliteration Spelling
ae, a?le çep noun left semm?l? ?
çuh determiner no; not Some speakers. l?
yama verb closing, shutting sar
hawar hewar noun aid r?n?
hiwi hêvî noun hope sa?r? ?
jamikka cêmik noun twin Cognate with Latin geminus, French jumeau, Portuguese gêmeo. t?m? ?
?uala kopal noun staff, cane Cf. Persian . ?a ?
mra(z)zole verb lecturing, scolding Arabic loanword. gar
qonya noun drain; well b?lt?; b?r? ; ?
?ola sol noun shoe Cognate with English sole, Latin solea. m?s?n?
z?ra zer noun; adjective yellow; yellowish Some speakers. ; n?y? ; ?


Assyrian Word Original Word Part of Speech Meaning Notes Classical Syriac equivalent
Modern Ottoman Transliteration Spelling
belki, balkit belki ? adverb maybe From Persian balke (?, "but"). k?bar
?aku? çekiç ? noun hammer marzap?t?, ?arzap?t? ,
dabanja tabanca noun pistol, gun
d?s, dus düz adjective straight, flat; correct t?r
gami gemi noun boat, ship ?elp?, s?p[n]t? ?,
hazir haz?r ? adjective ready From Arabic ir (, "present").
kismet k?smet ? noun fate From Arabic qisma (?, "division").
pe?gir pe?kir noun towel From Persian pi?gir ().
rahat rahat ? adjective comfortable From Arabic ra (, "relaxation").
sa?att saat ? noun hour; clock From Arabic sa (), itself probably borrowed from Aramaic. ?
tammiz, tammis temiz ? adjective clean, tidy From Arabic tamy?z (, "refinement"). da?y? ?
t?s, taws toz noun dust ?a?q? ?
zengin zengin adjective rich, wealthy From Persian sangin (, "heavy"). ?att?r?


These foreign words are borrowed from European languages:

Assyrian Word Original Word Part of Speech Meaning Notes Classical Syriac equivalent
Transliteration Spelling
?atmabel, ?atnabel English, French: automobile noun automobile, car
benzin, benzil German: Benzin noun petrol/gasoline
batri French: batterie, English: battery noun battery
b?y English: bye interjection bye p ba-l?m?
bira Italian: birra, from Latin: bibere noun beer pezz?
bomba English: bomb, French: bombe noun bomb From Ancient Greek bómbos ().
gl?s English: glass noun cup (not necessarily made of glass) k?s?
ha(l)lo English: hello interjection hello, greetings l?m? ?
lori English: lorry noun lorry/truck
ma?ina Russian: ma?ína (?) noun train; automobile Meaning differs depending on the speaker, dialect and/or context. Ultimately from Ancient Greek m?khan? ().
m?ayyoke English: check verb checking, inspecting The noun Old French eschec, from medieval Latin scaccus, via Arabic from Persian h (, "king").
pakit(a) English: packet noun packet
st?p English: stove noun stove; heater
stumka, ?is?umka Ancient Greek: stómakhos () noun stomach Also borrowed into Classical Syriac. Cognate with English stomach. kars?, ?esmka ?, ?
t?lifón English: telephone noun telephone Coined from Ancient Greek têle (?, "afar") and ph?n? (?, "voice, sound").
tilvizyón English: television noun television Coined from Ancient Greek têle (?, "afar") and Latin v?si? ("vision, seeing").

See also


  1. ^ Yohannan, A. (1900). A Modern Syriac-English dictionary, Part 1, New York.
  2. ^ Yildiz, Efrem, The Aramaic Language and Its Classification, Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 14:1 (2000)
  3. ^ Odisho, Edward Y. (2002). ,,The role of aspiration in the translation of loanwords in Aramaic and Arabic", W. Arnold and H. Bobzin (ed.): Sprich doch mit deinen Knechten aramäisch, wir verstehen es! 60 Beiträge zur Semitistik. Festschrift für Otto Jastrow zum 60 Geburtstag, Wiesbaden, 489-502.
  4. ^ Younansardaroud, Helen, Synharmonism in the Särdä:rïd Dialect, Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 12:1 (1998): 77-82.
  5. ^ The Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Barwar, Geoffrey Khan, Boston, 2008
  6. ^ Yamauchi, Edwin M., Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or Syriac? A Critique of the Claims of G.M. Lamsa for the Syriac Peshitta, Bibliotheca Sacra 131 (1974): 320-331.
  7. ^ Yohannan, Abraham, Some Remarks Regarding the Pronunciation of Modern Syriac, Journal of the American Oriental Society 25 (1904)
  8. ^ Younansardaroud, Helen (1999). ,,The influence of Modern Persian on the Särdä:rïd dialect", Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, XIII:65-68.

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