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How did you teach your kids Assyrian?


Staff member
My son is now 5 years old and although he understands Assyrian pretty well, like thodd his age, he talks to us and cousins in English.

I know he is still young but I want to get him from the current stage of only understanding the language to fully and comfortable speak the language.

for those who have young kids born outside of the homeland, how did you manage to get them to speak with the language? Share your tips and experiences.

thank you.

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Personally, I have a 1 year old daughter and the best I can do is speak to her in Surit. She can't speak yet, but she has a strong grasp of the language regarding understanding. I only speak to her in Surit and it helps a lot.

To answer your question on kids born in diaspora, I am one of those children. I can proudly say I speak lishana d yimma ou masin qarin w katwin b lishanan. This was mainly due to the fact we only speak Surit gu bayta. Plus, going to Assyrian school at church helped a tremendous amount regarding the reading and writting aspect.

My opinion is that you have to promote the language and engage your children to speak it with you. Growing up, all us cousins spoke English to each other, but with our parents, that was a no no, and now as we are older we speak Surit with eachother because we can.

So, in the end of the day, I will follow the path in which my parents set me on, and pass along the same style of teaching to my children.

There is a caveat here. You have to make sure your children remain umtanayeh and have a deep respect for our culture and language. Otherwise, they will fall victim to Western ways and will not show interest in "Assyrianism". If you plant the seed early on and instill a love for our nation, everything will turn out just fine. All the best, akhona.


Active member
Five years old is not too young to be speaking it (especially if he's replying in English). It's okay if he speaks to his cousins in English (as children always learn to speak like their peers, not their parents), but you should only ever speak to him in Assyrian and vice versa. Try encouraging him to re-phrase his English phrases into Assyrian (if he struggles with it, you can help him find the words, but always have him repeat whatever he wants to say in Assyrian).


Bronukh: "Dad, can we go to the park to play today?"
At: "ha, broni? bayyit azikh l-gantha? maSit mbaqritli b-surith?"
Bronukh: "baba, can we azikh to the park to mTawlikh today?"
At: "mur 'baba, maSikh azikh l-gantha qat mTawlikh idyo?'."
Bronukh: "Yeah, that."
At: "'yeah, that' mo, broni? mur 'he, hadikh!'."
Bronukh: "he, hadikh."
At: "hadikh akh mo?"
Bronukh: "maSikh azikh l-gantha qat mTawlikh idyo?"
At: "dakh la, broni? de methi lah jakitukh u palTikh."

Be as stubborn as you can about it without trying to upset/frustrate him if he doesn't get what he wants. Always be correcting him; he'll be confused at first between the two languages, but with time he will learn to separate them (as all children growing up multilingually eventually do). Eventually, he should learn to "play ball" and just start speaking with you in Assyrian initially rather than English.

It's important to be consistent. The key is you, not your son. :)


Staff member
Great answers guys, will have more to say about both later.

welcome back Carlo, very nice seeing you again.