On 28 Feb, Wesley Parish wrote:


> Actually sooner, if what we read in the books of `Ezra and Nehemyahu are
> anything to go by.  Aramaic was growing in use among the returnees from
> Babylon and that was deeply resented by some of the senior priests and
> officials.  Certainly, if we look at the Christian Bible, we find that one
> Iesu of Nazareth used Aramaic - "Tabitha koum" - "little girl, get up."

     In Nehemiah, chapt.13, verse 24, it is recorded that
the children of the Jews who had not been deported to Babylon,
half of them were speaking "Ashdodit"  (presumably a Philistine dialect)
and did not know how to speak "Jewish". The word in the original
is |yhudit|. It's not clear whether Hebrew was meant or Aramaic
(although the account is itself written in Hebrew, so that might be
a clue).

> I'm aware of the existence of Ladino (Judeo-Spanish as spoken by the
> communities in some parts of the world.), and of some Hebrew-influenced
> Arabics.  How many people in Israel would still use them?

    AFAIK, they are dying out with the older generation: their children
tend to speak Hebrew outside the home and the other langs to their
parents, and the grandchildren probably only speak Hebrew.
There used to be a (small) newspaper writtten in Ladino, but I haven't seen
it in many, many years.
    BTW, up until the recent immigration from the ex-Soviet Union (many of
whom are speakers of Yiddish), Yiddish was kept alive here mainly
by the (Ashkenazi) Ultra-Orthodox community. They used to speak it
exclusively --- Hebrew not being allowed as a spoken language. But
this has been changing too. Today, they speak both Yiddish (among
and Hebrew (to everybody else). Their newspapers are now in Hebrew,
not Yiddish.
    The situation with the immigrants from the ex-Soviet Union is similar.
Many of the older people speak Yiddish, but the younger ones primarily
speak Russian and Hebrew. The newspapers put out by and for that
community are in Russian.

Dan Sulani
likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a

A word is an awesome thing.