The official language in Syria is Arabic. Linguistically, it is a Central Semitic language. Before Arabic was introduced in Syria, Aramaic was the primary language. Although Arabic is the language of instruction in educational institutions, it is not everyone’s native language. Different dialects of the Arabic language are spoken in different regions in the country. One of these dialects is the Mesopotamian Arabic which is spoken in the Mesopotamian basin in northeast Syria. The second regional dialect is Levantine Arabic which is commonly used at home by the inhabitants in the western part of the country. Bedawi Arabic is also among the regional dialects and is used by the Bedouins. The Arabic language was embraced in the 7th Century in Syria and spread widely to different parts of the country. There are 28 letters found in the Arabic alphabet.

Out of the entire Syrian population, 85% are Arabic speakers. Kurdish speakers are approximately 9% of the population. An estimated 30 villages widely speak Aramaic found in north of Damascus which make about 0.3%. Armenian is spoken by approximately 1.6%, while the Domari language is spoken by a very small number making up around 0.1% of Syrian inhabitants.

Syrian Arabic is written from the right to the left. On the contrary, Arabic numbers are written from left to right. Some of the common Arabic words and phrases used in Syria include ‘Sabah El-Khair’ which translates to good morning, ‘shukran’ for thank you, ‘addesh’ to mean how much, and ‘afwan’ for excuse me.

Besides Arabic and the regional dialects spoken in Syria, there are various minority languages spoken in the country. One of these minority languages is Kurdish. It is primarily used among the Kurdish population found in Eastern Syria, Damascus and Aleppo. The second minority language in Syria is Domari Language spoken mainly by the older generation from the Dom community. The Lomavren language is mostly made up of Armenian grammar and the Indic language vocabulary. It is the dialect of the Lom community from Armenia and is spoken by a small group of people in Syria. The Aramaic language is used in three villages in the country namely Bakh'a, Ma'loula, and Jubb'adin. Other indigenous languages are Kabardian, Assyrian, and Armenian.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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