Aramaic Alphabet

The Aramaic alphabet became a script by 800 BC. It was adapted by Arameans from the Phoenician alphabet and was used to write the Aramaic language. The Aramaic alphabet also displaced the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet for the writing of Hebrew. Among modern scripts, the Hebrew alphabet most closely resembles the Imperial Aramaic script from the 5th century BC, with an identical letter inventory and nearly identical shapes.

The Aramaic language and script were used as a lingua franca (language used between populations speaking vernaculars that are not mutually understood) throughout the Middle East. As a result, almost all modern Middle Eastern writing systems and some non-Chinese Central and East Asian writing systems can be traced back to the Aramaic alphabet.

Aramaic is written in script from right to left. The alphabet consists of 22 letters, all indicating consonants.

Symbol
Name
Pronunciation
English
𐡀Ālap/ʔ/; /aː/, /eː/,
𐡁Bēth/b/, /β/b
𐡂Gāmal/ɡ/, /ɣ/g
𐡃Dālath/d/, /ð/d
𐡄/ɦ/h
𐡅Waw/w/; /oː/, /uː/v
𐡆Zain/z/z
𐡇Ḥēth/ʜ/ /χ/h
𐡈Ṭēth/tˤ/t
𐡉Yodh/j/; /iː/, /eː/y
𐡊Kāp/k/, /x/k
𐡋Lāmadh/l/l
𐡌Mem/m/m
𐡍Nun/n/n
𐡎Semkath/s/s
𐡏ʿĒ/ʢ/ /ʁ/
𐡐/p/, /ɸ/p
𐡑Ṣādhē/sˤ/
𐡒Qop/qˤ/q
𐡓Rēsh/r/r
𐡔Shin/ʃ/sh
𐡕Taw/t/, /θ/t