The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          

 


Languages of Syria

Syrian Arab Republic, al-jamhouriya al Arabia as-Souriya. 18,894,000. National or official language: Standard Arabic. .

Immigrant languages: Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (5,000), Chechen, Egyptian Spoken Arabic (75,000), South Levantine Spoken Arabic, Turkmen (126,000), Western Farsi (53,000).

The number of individual languages listed for Syria is 17. of those, 16 are living languages and 1 has no known speakers.

Adyghe

[ady] 25,000 in Syria.  Alternate names: Adygey, West Circassian.  Classification: North Caucasian, West Caucasian, Circassian   

Arabic, Levantine Bedawi Spoken

[avl] 70,000 in Syria. Southwest corner, Hawran region, from the border to within 35 kms. of Damascus. Alternate names: Bedawi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic   

Arabic, Mesopotamian Spoken

[acm] 1,800,000 in Syria. Eastern Syria. Alternate names: Furati, Mesopotamian Gelet Arabic, North Syrian Arabic.  Dialects: Euphrates Cluster.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic   

Arabic, Najdi Spoken

[ars] 500,000 in Syria. 100,000 North Najdi, 100,000 Central Najdi (1995). Syrian desert. Alternate names: Bedawi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic   

Arabic, North Levantine Spoken

[apc] 8,800,000 in Syria (1991). 6,000,000 in Lebanese-Central Syrian, 1,000,000 in North Syrian. Population total all countries: 14,426,540. Also in Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Egypt, French Guiana, Israel, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mali, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey (Asia). Alternate names: Lebanese-Syrian Arabic, Levantine Arabic, North Levantine Arabic, Syro-Lebanese Arabic.  Dialects: There is an urban standard dialect based on Damascus speech. Beiruti dialect is well accepted here. Aleppo dialect shows Mesopotamian (North Syrian) influence.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic   

Arabic, North Mesopotamian Spoken

[ayp] 300,000 in Syria (1992). Far eastern Syria. Alternate names: Mesopotamian Qeltu Arabic, Moslawi, Syro-Mesopotamian Arabic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic   

Arabic, Standard

[arb]  Middle East, North Africa. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic   

Armenian

[hye] 320,000 in Syria (1993).  Alternate names: Armjanski, Ermenice, Haieren, Somkhuri.  Dialects: Western Armenian.  Classification: Indo-European, Armenian   

Assyrian Neo-Aramaic

[aii] 30,000 in Syria (1995). Ethnic population: 700,000. Over 30 villages on Khabur River banks, northern Syria. Alternate names: Aisorski, Assyrian, Assyriski, Lishana Aturaya, Neo-Syriac, Suret, Sureth, Suryaya Swadaya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern   

Azerbaijani, South

[azb] 30,000 in Syria (1961 census). Homs and Hama. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani   

Domari

[rmt] 37,000 in Syria (2005). Nawar is in Palestine, Syria, and Egypt; Kurbat in Syria and western Iran; Helebi in Egypt and Libya; Karachi in north Turkey, the Caucasus of the Russian Federation; and north Iran; Domaki and Wogri-Boli in India; Barake in Syria; Luli and Maznoug in Uzbekistan; other groups in Iran; Churi-Wali in Afghanistan. Alternate names: Barake, Gypsy, Kurbat, Middle Eastern Romani, Nawar, Tsigene.  Dialects: Nawar, Kurbati, Beirut, Nablos, Barake.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Dom   

Kabardian

[kbd] 39,000 in Syria (2005 Circassian Association). Damascus; Aleppo. Classification: North Caucasian, West Caucasian, Circassian   

Kurdish, Northern

[kmr] 938,000 in Syria (1993). Northern Syria: Northern Cizire (Qamishlok), Kurd-Dagh (Ciyayê Kurdî, Afrin), Ain-Arab, Allepo, Damascus. Alternate names: Kurdi, Kurmancî, Kurmanji.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish   

Lomavren

[rmi]   Alternate names: Armenian Bosha, Arnebuab Bisa, Bosa, Bosha.  Classification: Mixed language, Armenian-Romani  Nearly extinct.  

Mlahsö

[lhs] Extinct. Qamishli town. Originally in Mlahsó and ’Ansha villages, Diyarbakir Province, Turkey. Alternate names: Suryoyo.  Dialects: Similar to Turoyo [tru].  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northwestern   

Turoyo

[tru] 7,000 in Syria (1994). Ethnic population: 20,000 (1994).  Alternate names: Surayt, Suryoyo, Syryoyo, Turani.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northwestern   

Western Neo-Aramaic

[amw] 15,000 (1996). 8,000 in Maaloula. Qalamoun Mountains, 50 km north of Damascus. Villages of Ma’lula, Bakh’a, and Jubb ’Adin. Only in Syria. Alternate names: Loghtha Siryanoytha, Maalula, Neo-Western Aramaic, Siryon.  Dialects: Ma’lula (Maalula, Maaloula, Ma’lu:la), Bakh’a (Bax’a), Jub-’adin (Jubb ’Adi:n). Little dialect variation.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Western   
 
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