Author Topic: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?  (Read 1146 times)

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Offline Neon

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Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« on: September 15, 2016, 08:03:00 AM »
Not that I want to ditch the Syriac script (it should be preserved), but the Latin alphabet is omnipresent. It's all around us. It's the most commonly used script in the world. Most of the world uses it and, not to mention, it is even older than Syriac itself! If we use the Latin script for Syriac maybe less and less Assyrians would forget the language? Let's face it, kids growing up in the western world aren't that used to foreign scripts. As such, Syriac might be daunting for them to learn it. Some might even stubbornly refuse to learn the Assyrian speech just because they couldn't grasp its alphabet. So why not teach our language in the Latin alphabet too? I believe it will make young Assyrians more eager to learn the language and speak it in their daily speech. What are your thoughts?


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Online mrzurnaci

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 01:40:28 PM »
no.
What purpose would this serve that the Aramaic Alphabet doesn't already solve?
Secondly, the Latin Alphabet cannot support our various sounds that Aramaic already covers.

How about teaching the kids the language and alphabet before they learn latin and english?
I grew up using Latin but that didn't stop me from reading the Sureth alphabet.

Thirdly, the Latin alphabet doesn't sound our similar vowel sounds. How would u represent PtaHa and Zlama in Latin?

If the purpose is purely an educational one, you should be teaching the alphabet before going into the language...
Do English/grammar studies teach English before teaching the latin alphabet? No because we learn that through speech.

Also Latin isn't older than Syriac. Syriac is a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet which was used to form the Greek alphabet which spread and eventually formed into Latin.

Offline Neon

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 11:48:59 PM »
no.
What purpose would this serve that the Aramaic Alphabet doesn't already solve?
That isn't the point. Latin just seems more convenient in this day and age. So it would seem appropriate to use it.

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Secondly, the Latin Alphabet cannot support our various sounds that Aramaic already covers.
What sounds exactly? The guttural "kh" is supported by that digraph. The emphatic T sound (as heard in Arabic "tamata" = tomato) is supported by a diacritic, or an accent below T. Latin has always been open to such alternatives, whereas other scripts like Cyrillic and Greek aren't. That's why most of the world uses Latin, from Turkey to Indonesia. Latin can easily incorporate "foreign" sounds.

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How about teaching the kids the language and alphabet before they learn latin and english?
I grew up using Latin but that didn't stop me from reading the Sureth alphabet.
Well, this doesn't seem like it's working. You and I are interesting in Syriac alphabet, but many aren't unfortunately.

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Thirdly, the Latin alphabet doesn't sound our similar vowel sounds. How would u represent PtaHa and Zlama in Latin?
What's wrong with our A, E, I, U and O's? They have always represented the Syriac vowels. Again, long vowel sounds can be represented by accents or diacritics above or below a Latin letter. Most European languages have this feature.

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Also Latin isn't older than Syriac. Syriac is a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet which was used to form the Greek alphabet which spread and eventually formed into Latin.
The Syriac script came to be in 200BC after evolving from Aramaic (800BC), which developed from Phoenician (1200BC). The Latin alphabet appeared in 600-700BC, and it was rather close to its "mother" scripts, Etruscan (700BC) and Greek (800BC), which evolved from Phoenician. As you can clearly see here, Aramaic and Greek are the "offspring" of Phoenician, and have spawned their own derivatives or ascendants.

You can say that the Greek script is to Phoenician, like how Syriac is to Aramaic. Now that doesn't mean Greek is over 2000 years old just because its parent script is that age. As such, it's not logical to say that Syriac is "older" than Latin just because Aramaic is.

By the way, Latin still has letters that look similar to Phoenician, whereas Syriac doesn't, despite sharing the same alphabetic names and being an abjad (like Phoenician). A lot of the Latin letters still retain their "ancient" look, whereas Syriac looks almost completely disparate in contrast to Aramaic and Phoenician. Even the Hebrew script barely looks like Phoenician. Funnily, the Aramaic letters look more closer to Latin and Greek, than they do to Syriac and Hebrew. Take a look at Aramaic's aleph and beth, and compare them to Latin's A and B.

I find it strange how Syriac letters evolved to look so much different from Aramaic's letters, whereas Latin and Greek still have a resemblance to some of the Aramaic and Phoenician letters. And even now Syriac has a two-script system that don't look too homogeneous (madnkhaya & estrangela).
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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 11:48:59 PM »

Online mrzurnaci

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 11:56:49 PM »
That isn't the point. Latin just seems more convenient in this day and age. So it would seem appropriate to use it.
What sounds exactly? The guttural "kh" is supported by that digraph. The emphatic T sound (as heard in Arabic "tamata" = tomato) is supported by a diacritic, or an accent below T. Latin has always been open to such alternatives, whereas other scripts like Cyrillic and Greek aren't. That's why most of the world uses Latin, from Turkey to Indonesia. Latin can easily incorporate "foreign" sounds.
Well, this doesn't seem like it's working. You and I are interesting in Syriac alphabet, but many aren't unfortunately.
What's wrong with our A, E, I, U and O's? They have always represented the Syriac vowels. Again, long vowel sounds can be represented by accents or diacritics above or below a Latin letter. Most European languages have this feature.
The Syriac script came to be in 200BC after evolving from Aramaic (800BC), which developed from Phoenician (1200BC). The Latin alphabet appeared in 600-700BC, and it was rather close to its "mother" scripts, Etruscan (700BC) and Greek (800BC), which evolved from Phoenician. As you can clearly see here, Aramaic and Greek are the "offspring" of Phoenician, and have spawned their own derivatives or ascendants.

You can say that the Greek script is to Phoenician, like how Syriac is to Aramaic. Now that doesn't mean Greek is over 2000 years old just because its parent script is that age. As such, it's not logical to say that Syriac is "older" than Latin just because Aramaic is.

By the way, Latin still has letters that look similar to Phoenician, whereas Syriac doesn't, despite sharing the same alphabetic names and being an abjad (like Phoenician). A lot of the Latin letters still retain their "ancient" look, whereas Syriac looks almost completely disparate in contrast to Aramaic and Phoenician. Even the Hebrew script barely looks like Phoenician. Funnily, the Aramaic letters look more closer to Latin and Greek, than they do to Syriac and Hebrew. Take a look at Aramaic's aleph and beth, and compare them to Latin's A and B.

I find it strange how Syriac letters evolved to look so much different from Aramaic's letters, whereas Latin and Greek still have a resemblance to some of the Aramaic and Phoenician letters. And even now Syriac has a two-script system that don't look too homogeneous (madnkhaya & estrangela).

Answer is no and it'll stay no. Argumentum Ad Populum is not a good or sufficient reason to forgo the Syriac Alphabet.

Just because Turkey or Indonesia use Latin script doesn't mean we should... Both countries also use and teach Arabic because of the Qur'an. What about that?

Should we also adopt Arabic for Assyrians living in Arabic countries so they can use it for Sureth?

Secondly, how is it that Jewish kids learn Hebrew + Alphabet without asking for a Latin variant?

Offline Neon

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 03:50:58 AM »
Answer is no and it'll stay no. Argumentum Ad Populum is not a good or sufficient reason to forgo the Syriac Alphabet.

Just because Turkey or Indonesia use Latin script doesn't mean we should... Both countries also use and teach Arabic because of the Qur'an. What about that?

Should we also adopt Arabic for Assyrians living in Arabic countries so they can use it for Sureth?

Secondly, how is it that Jewish kids learn Hebrew + Alphabet without asking for a Latin variant?
I'm not changing your opinion. I just stated my reasons and gave you answers, because you asked me questions.

I don't think the "ad populum" argument is relevant here, because I did say that Latin is more convenient in this day and age. Sometimes the ad populum argument can be efficient and worthy (like for religion, politics or a fandom), but for other cases it's really unnecessary and it shouldn't be thrown out thoughtlessly. I'm taking about convenience or something that is a necessity - Like a phone, TV, or the internet. Most of the world has these and would rely on these. Now you wouldn't say "just because everyone has a phone, doesn't mean I should too". Phone, internet, what you're typing in right now (Latin), are vital to our world, at least in our countries. So the "ad populum" argument really has nothing on this.

And what about these countries teaching the Quran in Arabic? We can also teach Assyrians the bible in Syriac too. It's no biggie. I won't stand against that.

There are 15 million Jews. They have centers where the Hebrew alphabet is taught. They have a nation. And they're well supported. We're not. Jews also seem very enthusiastic about their heritage and culture. Hebrew is even seen and promoted in Hollywood media. Perhaps that's another thing that entices young Jews to learn the language. And Syriac? I don't see it anywhere outside our culture. But again, that isn't the point, because I never said that Latin should replace Syriac.
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Online mrzurnaci

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 12:20:01 PM »
I'm not changing your opinion. I just stated my reasons and gave you answers, because you asked me questions.

I don't think the "ad populum" argument is relevant here, because I did say that Latin is more convenient in this day and age. Sometimes the ad populum argument can be efficient and worthy (like for religion, politics or a fandom), but for other cases it's really unnecessary and it shouldn't be thrown out thoughtlessly. I'm taking about convenience or something that is a necessity - Like a phone, TV, or the internet. Most of the world has these and would rely on these. Now you wouldn't say "just because everyone has a phone, doesn't mean I should too". Phone, internet, what you're typing in right now (Latin), are vital to our world, at least in our countries. So the "ad populum" argument really has nothing on this.

And what about these countries teaching the Quran in Arabic? We can also teach Assyrians the bible in Syriac too. It's no biggie. I won't stand against that.

There are 15 million Jews. They have centers where the Hebrew alphabet is taught. They have a nation. And they're well supported. We're not. Jews also seem very enthusiastic about their heritage and culture. Hebrew is even seen and promoted in Hollywood media. Perhaps that's another thing that entices young Jews to learn the language. And Syriac? I don't see it anywhere outside our culture. But again, that isn't the point, because I never said that Latin should replace Syriac.

no, the ad populum "argument" is not an argument...

"In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument[\b] that concludes that a proposition is true because many or most people believe it: 'If many believe so, it is so.'"

Your argument that it's convenient and omnipresent as a reason to use Latin is because many people use it. That is a fallacy as learning alphabets doesn't hinder learning...

So no, a "logical fallacy" cannot be "efficient" or "Worthy"

Also, how do you explain the learning of the Hebrew alphabet before Israel? Hebrew was revived during the 1800s with kids learning and reading the Hebrew Alphabet, especially Jews coming from countries where the Latin alphabet was in wide use.

They even went so far as to use Hebrew to replace the Latin alphabet in German writing (look up Yiddish)...

So again, No there won't and never will be a Latin variant for Syriac. The Soviets attempted a Cyrillic variant for Syriac and that didn't work.

we already have 3 Alphabet styles to choose from, pick 1,2, or all 3 and that's the end of it.

Offline Neon

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 10:27:24 PM »
no, the ad populum "argument" is not an argument...

"In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "appeal to the people") is a fallacious argument[\b] that concludes that a proposition is true because many or most people believe it: 'If many believe so, it is so.'"

Your argument that it's convenient and omnipresent as a reason to use Latin is because many people use it. That is a fallacy as learning alphabets doesn't hinder learning...

So no, a "logical fallacy" cannot be "efficient" or "Worthy"
Well, your quote does say that it is an argument. And this isn't a belief. I don't think that using Latin is the way to go just because I "believe" it. There is no truth or false here.

Many people use it for its convenience, not because it's popular. Forget about "other people" - In Facebook, Assyrian themselves type in Latin when they're using Assyrian words. Most Assyrians live in countries that use the Latin script. Obviously, this is more about necessity and convenience (like using the TV, phone, internet). There is no logical fallacy here. Ironically, you're the one having one - You're making a false equivalence.

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Also, how do you explain the learning of the Hebrew alphabet before Israel? Hebrew was revived during the 1800s with kids learning and reading the Hebrew Alphabet, especially Jews coming from countries where the Latin alphabet was in wide use.

They even went so far as to use Hebrew to replace the Latin alphabet in German writing (look up Yiddish)...

So again, No there won't and never will be a Latin variant for Syriac. The Soviets attempted a Cyrillic variant for Syriac and that didn't work.
Good for them? Again you're implying that I somehow want Latin to replace Syriac.

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we already have 3 Alphabet styles to choose from, pick 1,2, or all 3 and that's the end of it.
It's funny. We're known to be divided and against each other with rivaling tribes, and yet, on top of that, even our script has three distinct variations. Maybe Syriac would've been a lot easier and less daunting if it had just ONE, unequivocal script taught to us? I don't care if it's estrangela, madnkhaya or serto. We should've ditched the other two and STUCK with one of them. And I hope you'd agree with that, since you also want unity and oneness.

I, for one, am used to madnkhaya, like many Assyrians, and yet computer system only utilize the estrangela script. At the church, it's 50/50 - Estrangela here, madnkhaya here. It's just frustrating and downright disorienting. I don't think that this will motivate people to learn Syriac when it has more than one scripts. -_-
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Online mrzurnaci

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2016, 08:21:59 PM »
Well, your quote does say that it is an argument. And this isn't a belief. I don't think that using Latin is the way to go just because I "believe" it. There is no truth or false here.

Many people use it for its convenience, not because it's popular. Forget about "other people" - In Facebook, Assyrian themselves type in Latin when they're using Assyrian words. Most Assyrians live in countries that use the Latin script. Obviously, this is more about necessity and convenience (like using the TV, phone, internet). There is no logical fallacy here. Ironically, you're the one having one - You're making a false equivalence.
Good for them? Again you're implying that I somehow want Latin to replace Syriac.


It's funny. We're known to be divided and against each other with rivaling tribes, and yet, on top of that, even our script has three distinct variations. Maybe Syriac would've been a lot easier and less daunting if it had just ONE, unequivocal script taught to us? I don't care if it's estrangela, madnkhaya or serto. We should've ditched the other two and STUCK with one of them. And I hope you'd agree with that, since you also want unity and oneness.

I, for one, am used to madnkhaya, like many Assyrians, and yet computer system only utilize the estrangela script. At the church, it's 50/50 - Estrangela here, madnkhaya here. It's just frustrating and downright disorienting. I don't think that this will motivate people to learn Syriac when it has more than one scripts. -_-

My point is that you can't have a Latin variant because, by reading how you propose Latin's use for educating the Syriac language, it'll be used a crutch that will not facilitate better retainment for Syriac.

My new book has already dealt with the 3 alphabet styles.

Here's an excerpt from my book.

"We have three writing styles: Estrangela/Estrangelo, Serta/Serto, and MadnHaya/MadnHoyo. As part of the Standard Syriac proposal, I propose that Assyrians teach and use Serto/Serta as the official handwriting style, MadnHaya/MadnHoyo as the official printing and academic writing style, and Estrangela/Estrangelo as the official government, Book/Reading material title, religious, and legal writing style."

Problem solved, use all 3 for different stuff.

Serto for handwriting and written Syriac, MadnHaya for academic, and Estrangelo for formal.

Offline Neon

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2016, 11:35:24 PM »
My point is that you can't have a Latin variant because, by reading how you propose Latin's use for educating the Syriac language, it'll be used a crutch that will not facilitate better retainment for Syriac.

My new book has already dealt with the 3 alphabet styles.

Here's an excerpt from my book.

"We have three writing styles: Estrangela/Estrangelo, Serta/Serto, and MadnHaya/MadnHoyo. As part of the Standard Syriac proposal, I propose that Assyrians teach and use Serto/Serta as the official handwriting style, MadnHaya/MadnHoyo as the official printing and academic writing style, and Estrangela/Estrangelo as the official government, Book/Reading material title, religious, and legal writing style."

Problem solved, use all 3 for different stuff.

Serto for handwriting and written Syriac, MadnHaya for academic, and Estrangelo for formal.
Fair enough. You're entitled to your opinion.

Doesn't really solve the problem for me. People can still come across these Syriac scripts and be confused. And the fact that you just implemented three scripts to be used in all corners makes it even more difficult and confusing for readers, considering that we only use madnkhaya and estrangela generally (rarely Serto). And that's pesky enough. Why include another?

I say, how about use just ONE Syriac form for every department (education, formal, handwriting, etc)? You are all for unity and oneness of the Syriac language, so why not also opt for a SINGLE Syriac script to be used by all, easterners and westerners alike?

Oh and how do I get hold of your book? Is it online?
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

Online mrzurnaci

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2016, 02:48:31 AM »
Fair enough. You're entitled to your opinion.

Doesn't really solve the problem for me. People can still come across these Syriac scripts and be confused. And the fact that you just implemented three scripts to be used in all corners makes it even more difficult and confusing for readers, considering that we only use madnkhaya and estrangela generally (rarely Serto). And that's pesky enough. Why include another?

I say, how about use just ONE Syriac form for every department (education, formal, handwriting, etc)? You are all for unity and oneness of the Syriac language, so why not also opt for a SINGLE Syriac script to be used by all, easterners and westerners alike?

Oh and how do I get hold of your book? Is it online?

Alright, I'll ask a few questions on this...

Firstly, How hard is learning Syriac that you can't learn all 3 writing styles?

Secondly, we can't remove or use a writing style over others because then how will we read ancient/classical texts written in the other styles?

Thirdly, Look at the names of our writing styles...

Formally and Officially, Estranglo Syriac is the very original writing style obviously.

Madnhaya (eastern) is also named as Swadaya (conversational) meaning Eastern style is informal or used for conversational Syriac as opposed to "written" Syriac and formal tone.

Then there's Serto (scratch) which is also called psheeTa (simplified) style meaning Serto is a simplified form of either Estrangelo or Eastern style but regardless, it's simplified.

It is for these reasons that I want Serto used for handwriting, Eastern for academic and informal spaces, and Estrangelo for everything else.

Offline Neon

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2016, 09:32:48 AM »
Alright, I'll ask a few questions on this...

Firstly, How hard is learning Syriac that you can't learn all 3 writing styles?
It's not about how hard Syriac is. It's about common sense and convenience. Nearly every language has one script, and its people are taught that script. I know you're gonna be like "what about [insert language], they're taught 20 scripts!", I'd wager that it's just a few ethnicities.

We are already a minority, mostly divided, and yet you expect us to learn three writing styles? This would divide us more. And I'm baffled that this is coming you, the person who is very against the dozens of Syriac dialects and such. Interestingly, most countries or regions with one script have dozens of dialects and even languages. So you can see that even in the other parts of the world it's the norm to have so many dialects and languages united with one script, rather than the other way round.

On a subjective note, Madnhaya is the easiest. Maybe it's because we were taught that, but it has always looked the most basic. The other two haven't been so intelligible to me.

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Secondly, we can't remove or use a writing style over others because then how will we read ancient/classical texts written in the other styles?
There were always be a time when scripts evolve and modern readers can't comprehend them. That is inevitable. Syriac already looks different from Aramaic, and who's to say that it won't evolve anymore.

Aren't you for young Assyrians learning and understanding the modern Syriac script? Isn't that the pivotal part here? Not sure why the classical texts would be vital to them. Maybe, if we're not that lazy, we can translate the older forms to madnkhaya.

Quote
Thirdly, Look at the names of our writing styles...

Formally and Officially, Estranglo Syriac is the very original writing style obviously.

Madnhaya (eastern) is also named as Swadaya (conversational) meaning Eastern style is informal or used for conversational Syriac as opposed to "written" Syriac and formal tone.

Then there's Serto (scratch) which is also called psheeTa (simplified) style meaning Serto is a simplified form of either Estrangelo or Eastern style but regardless, it's simplified.

It is for these reasons that I want Serto used for handwriting, Eastern for academic and informal spaces, and Estrangelo for everything else.
Tbh, that's asking for too much. You can't expect Assyrians to learn all of these. Even my family, raised in the Assyrian church, barely understands estrangelo, and serto is completely alien to them. Again, shoving three scripts on Assyrians will just scare people away. Not to mention, most Assyrians are familiar with one or two of the scripts. The average person wouldn't be so knowledgeable with all of them. And you can't expect that average person to learn them all at once.

In a nutshell, if you want ONE standard Syriac dialect spoken by all of us then you have to be consistent and opt for ONE standard Syriac script. Plain and simple. No need to play favourites.
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Online mrzurnaci

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Re: Should we implement the Latin alphabet for Assyrian?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2016, 02:38:32 PM »
It's not about how hard Syriac is. It's about common sense and convenience. Nearly every language has one script, and its people are taught that script. I know you're gonna be like "what about [insert language], they're taught 20 scripts!", I'd wager that it's just a few ethnicities.

We are already a minority, mostly divided, and yet you expect us to learn three writing styles? This would divide us more. And I'm baffled that this is coming you, the person who is very against the dozens of Syriac dialects and such. Interestingly, most countries or regions with one script have dozens of dialects and even languages. So you can see that even in the other parts of the world it's the norm to have so many dialects and languages united with one script, rather than the other way round.

On a subjective note, Madnhaya is the easiest. Maybe it's because we were taught that, but it has always looked the most basic. The other two haven't been so intelligible to me.
There were always be a time when scripts evolve and modern readers can't comprehend them. That is inevitable. Syriac already looks different from Aramaic, and who's to say that it won't evolve anymore.

Aren't you for young Assyrians learning and understanding the modern Syriac script? Isn't that the pivotal part here? Not sure why the classical texts would be vital to them. Maybe, if we're not that lazy, we can translate the older forms to madnkhaya.
Tbh, that's asking for too much. You can't expect Assyrians to learn all of these. Even my family, raised in the Assyrian church, barely understands estrangelo, and serto is completely alien to them. Again, shoving three scripts on Assyrians will just scare people away. Not to mention, most Assyrians are familiar with one or two of the scripts. The average person wouldn't be so knowledgeable with all of them. And you can't expect that average person to learn them all at once.

In a nutshell, if you want ONE standard Syriac dialect spoken by all of us then you have to be consistent and opt for ONE standard Syriac script. Plain and simple. No need to play favourites.

in that case, I'll opt for Estrangelo since it's universally used by all 3 of our major churches.

 

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