September 5, 2022 in Localization, Translation

What is the difference between the Aramaic and the Arabic?

aramaic vs arabic
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Are Aramaic and Arabic the Same Language?

If you’re confused about the difference between the two languages, you’re not alone. Both are ancient languages. Many people have trouble telling them apart because both are spoken in the Middle East and have similar pronunciations and origins. However, Aramaic and Arabic are very different languages with vastly different sources and uses. Here’s an in-depth look at what sets the two apart!

The Arabic Language

Most people in the world today think that Arabic is a single language. However, this is not entirely accurate. While there is a single standardized form of Modern Standard Arabic used in writing and media throughout the Arab world, this is only one form of the language.

In reality, there are dozens of dialects spoken by Arabs in different regions. These dialects could be pretty different, to the point where speakers of two different dialects might not be able to understand each other if they were to speak without using Modern Standard Arabic as a common ground. The differences between dialects can be seen in both pronunciation and vocabulary.

For example, the word for ‘bread’ in Moroccan Arabic would be pronounced khubz, while someone from Iraq might say khubz. There are also some notable lexical differences.

For example, ‘dog’ would typically be written with three letters: كسوة (in Morocco), but it would have four letters کشور (in Iraq). It should be noted that despite these variations, all dialects still retain many shared words.

As such, most Arabs can still communicate with one another effectively when speaking their dialect. While Modern Standard Arabic has been standardized for writing purposes and remains identical across the Arab world, what constitutes Arabic or even an Arabic speaker depends on how you define these terms.

arabic vs aramaic

Aramaic Language

Aramaic is a Semitic language once the lingua franca of the Middle East. It is a Canaanite language related to Hebrew and Phoenician. In the 7th century AD, Aramaic stopped being the essential language in the Middle East. Aramaic was the official language of the Persian Empire and was used as a liturgical language by Jews and Christians. The Arabic language began to replace Aramaic in the 7th century, but Aramaic is still spoken by some people in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. The languages are very similar and are part of the Indo-European language family. Modern Arabic evolved from old Arabic, which you call classical Arabic. However, they have different accents and grammar structures.

Aramaic is a Semitic language like Arabic, Hebrew, and Phoenician. It was once the lingua franca of the Middle East, but today it is mainly spoken in pockets throughout the region. There are three main dialects of Aramaic: Western Aramaic, Eastern Aramaic, and Mandaic.  Arabic is also a Semitic language spoken throughout the Middle East. It is the official language of 26 countries and has over 422 million speakers. Unlike Aramaic, which has three main dialects, Arabic has many different dialects that can vary significantly.

So while both languages are Semitic and spoken in the Middle East, they are not mutually intelligible. There is no agreement on how many dialects exist for each language. For Arabic, some linguists say there are six major ones: Moroccan, Algerian, Egyptian, Levantine (or Syrian), Mesopotamian (or Iraqi), and North African. For Aramaic, some linguists say there are two major dialects: Western Aramaic and Eastern Aramaic. While these two languages may have similarities because they’re both Semitic in origin and were once spoken throughout the Middle East, they diverge considerably enough to be considered separate languages.

aramaic and arabic

Written in different scripts

Most people think Aramaic and Arabic are identical, just written in different scripts. However, they are two other languages. Aramaic is a Semitic language, while Arabic is a Central Semitic language. They both share standard features, but there are also significant differences. You might be interested in knowing the facts about the Semitic language.

For example, Aramaic has twenty-two consonants, while Arabic has only sixteen. Additionally, Aramaic has no short vowels, while Arabic has three short vowels.

There are many other differences between these two languages: for instance, the verbs of Aramaic have five tenses (present, past perfective, past imperfective, future perfective, and future imperfective), whereas those of Arabic have six tenses (present, present perfective/past perfective tense which varies according to region), among others.

Similarities between them

Both Aramaic and Arabic are Semitic languages. They both have triliteral roots, meaning that most words are formed from three root consonants. Both languages also use vowel harmony, where certain vowels are used in a word depending on the other vowels in that word.

Additionally, both languages have feminine and masculine forms of nouns and adjectives.  There is a close relationship between both languages: the two are mutually intelligible to some degree. However, there are significant differences as well.

For example, many people believe that Arabic is more suited for writing than speaking; it does not make any sounds that don’t exist in English. The grammar of these two languages is different as well- but again, there are similarities as well:

The case system (which determines how words change when put into different grammatical situations) is very similar between Aramaic and Arabic, although it’s much more complex in Arabic. That being said. However, the way verbs are conjugated changes significantly.

It should be noted that while there are some similarities between the two languages in terms of verbs, the moods expressed by them differ greatly. Furthermore, even though both languages share similarities regarding their vocabulary and morphology, they’re also radically different regarding syntax. Whereas Arabic is mostly SVO (subject-verb-object), Aramaic is mostly SOV (subject-object-verb).

The biggest difference

The two languages are similar in their alphabet and grammar, but they have different roots. Aramaic is a Semitic language, while Arabic is a Central Semitic language. This means that Aramaic has more in common with Hebrew and Amharic than with Arabic.

The two languages also have different dialects; Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of 26 countries, while Aramaic has been mostly relegated to religious use. Aramaic-speaking communities exist worldwide, and most speakers live in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria.

However, there are fewer speakers of Aramaic than Arabic today because it’s primarily limited to isolated rural areas or small communities like Assyrians (who speak West Neo-Aramaic) and Chaldeans (who speak East Neo-Aramaic) or Mandaeans (who speak Mandaic). Arabic is widely spoken throughout North Africa, Arabia, Afghanistan, and parts of India and is an important cultural link between Muslim countries.

Aramaic Grammar vs. Arabic Grammar

There are many similarities between Aramaic grammar and Arabic grammar. However, there are also some significant differences. These differences can be seen in how each language handles verb tenses, nouns, and pronouns.

1. Aramaic has a more decadent system of verbal conjugations than Arabic.

2. Arabic has a more decadent system of noun declensions than Aramaic.

Aramaic has a more decadent system of verbal conjugations than Arabic. This means that Aramaic can express a broader range of meanings with its verbs than Arabic. For example, Aramaic has a particular conjugation for verbs meaning “to want,” which Arabic does not have. This makes it possible to express nuances of meaning that would be difficult or impossible to describe in Arabic.

One significant difference between Aramaic grammar and Arabic grammar is the way that each language handles verb tenses. In Aramaic, there are only two verb tenses – past and present.

This means that verbs always have to be conjugated to indicate whether they are referring to an action that happened in the past or is happening in the present. In Arabic, there are six verb tenses – past, present, future, imperfect, perfect, and imperative. This allows for more flexibility when conjugating verbs.

Arabic has a more decadent system of noun declensions than Aramaic. This means that Arabic can express a broader range of meanings with its nouns than Aramaic can. For example, Arabic has a particular declension for feminine nouns, which Aramaic does not have. This makes it possible to express nuances of meaning that would be difficult or impossible to describe in Aramaic.

Another difference between Aramaic grammar and Arabic grammar is the way that each language handles nouns. In Aramaic, all nouns are masculine or feminine. There is no neutral gender.

This can make it difficult to know how to conjugate a noun when there is no context for its gender. In Arabic, there are three genders – masculine, feminine, and neutral. This makes it easier to conjugate nouns because there is always a gender to fall back on.

difference between aramaic and arabic
what is aramaic

Writing Systems: Arabic vs. Aramaic

Both of these writing systems have their unique features and benefits. Here, we will compare and contrast these two writing systems, looking at their history, their use today, and their advantages and disadvantages.

One of the main differences between Arabic and Aramaic is their alphabet. The Arabic alphabet consists of 28 letters, all of which are consonants. The Aramaic alphabet, on the other hand, consists of 22 letters, including both consonants and vowels. This can make Aramaic a more challenging writing system to learn for beginners.

Another difference between Arabic and Aramaic is their grammar. Arabic grammar is very complex, with many rules and exceptions. Aramaic grammar, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. This makes Aramaic a more user-friendly writing system, especially for those who are not native speakers of Arabic.

Arabic is also a more widely used writing system than Aramaic. Arabic is the official language of 26 countries, while Aramaic is only used by a handful of minority groups. This means that there are more resources available for learning Arabic than for learning Aramaic.

However, Aramaic has some advantages over Arabic as well. Aramaic is a more flexible writing system, able to be adapted to different languages more easily than Arabic. Aramaic is also more concise than Arabic, making it easier to read and write.


No, Aramaic and Arabic are not the same languages. Though they are both Semitic languages, they have different origins. Aramaic is one of the oldest continuously spoken languages, while Arabic is a relatively new language. They also have other writing systems, with Aramaic using an Aramaic alphabet and Arabic using a script. Furthermore, their vocabularies are not identical, as each language has words that are unique to it.

Finally, while both languages are spoken in the Middle East, Aramaic is also spoken in other parts of the world, such as India and Ethiopia. It is still used by some communities of Jews who come from these regions, although most people speak it only as a second language. In contrast, Arabic is the dominant regional language throughout this region and beyond. As you can see, there are many differences between Aramaic and Arabic, but they do share some similarities.


According to some linguists, the Arabic language may have originated from Aramaic. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Near East during the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and continued to be spoken after the rise of Islam. Arabic borrows many words from Aramaic, and there are similarities between the two languages. However, the origins of Arabic are still debated, and further research is needed to determine its true origins.

Aramaic is the oldest and most continuously written and spoken native language in the Middle East, leading the Hebrew and Arabic scripts.

No, Arabs cannot read Aramaic. Arabic and Aramaic are both Semitic, but they are incomprehensible to each other (because they have the same etymology as the corresponding Arabic sources, they can understand some words here and there, but the context is complete. Not enough to understand).

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