UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT MERCY
ARAMAIC 1100 & 3990
Introductory Aramaic/1100 (3 semester credits) – no prerequisite required; prerequisite required for enrolling in Aramaic 1110. This course is designed for heritage language learners of Modern Aramaic – Syriac. As heritage learners, many students may already possess some degree of fluency in one of the four competency areas (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), while remaining challenged in another area. For example, some may have mastered basics of the spoken language (such as reproduction of the sound system, and integrating these sounds into learned utterances – even participating in brief conversations). Some have mastered writing the script, but still need help creating sentences and paragraphs in written form. This course will build on previously acquired language fluency and aims at augmenting vocabulary and structure in a practical context. Increasing attention will be devoted to individual student practice and needs. We will utilize authentic materials and sources, as well as use sources from scholars in the field of Aramaic Studies. Some cultural themes will be covered. At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to do the following:
- use the sound system effectively.
- expand and use vocabulary regarding recurring events and functions in both written and spoken form.
- demonstrate creative language use in response to spoken or written questions or directions in complete sentence form.
- read and understand passages on a variety of familiar topics relating to basic personal and social needs.
- take notes on spoken and written language pertaining to factual topics.
- appreciate diversity through comparison of cultures.
The Class is taught in a unitary dialect, consisting of Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac. Students will be taught how to read and write in standardized Syriac (Eastern Aramaic) allowing them to build their speaking skills.
Advanced Culture/3990 (1 credit) – no prerequisite required
An advanced level of language study which focuses on contemporary cultural themes presented in varying forms. In the context of Aramaic Culture, Advanced Culture 3990 provides an understanding of the civilization, culture and customs of Aramaic/Syriac-speaking peoples. Students will receive introductory lessons on the Mesopotamian civilizations dating back to the Sumerians. The course also provides students with the traditions of Aramaic/Syriac-speaking people. Students will be introduced to the geography of northern Iraq as well as the customs in specific villages.