Languages of Syria

Syria is located in Western Asia, an Arab nation bordering Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. It has a rich ancient history dating back to ancient civilisation of 10000 BC.

Like many of its neighbours in the Middle East, the main language spoken in Syria is Arabic that has at least 17 variants that depend on the area where they are used. Arabic, however was not the original official language used by Syrians. Aramaic used to be the official language, and traces of it still exist among the Assyrians and in liturgical scripts of the few Christians found in Syria. Aramaic was replaced by Arabic in the 17th century when the country was occupied by the Muslims.

There are several Arabic dialects that are widely used in Syria, the main ones are the Levantine dialect in the West and the Mesopotamian in the northeast regions. Mesopotamian Arabic in itself has 2 variations, the Qeltu from the Khuzestan province in Iraq and the Gelet from the Tigris region. The Kurdish language is used in the Kurdish regions of Syria and has three variations: Pehlewani, Sorani and Kumanji. Approximately 6% of the Syrian population speak Kurdish and its variants.

Then there is the Lomavren language, a mic dialect of the Lom people from Armenia, which is spoken by a small minority. There is also the Turkmen used in the Turkmen regions and the Karbadian language which has two variations, Besleney and Karbadian.

English and French are also used but sparsely, only the intellectuals who can afford a decent education are able to use the two.

Here is a complete list of all languages used in Syria, both major and minor:

  • Levantine, Arabic
  • Mesopotamian, Arabic
  • Najdi, Arabic
  • Ossetic
  • Assyrian, Aramaic
  • Azerbaijan
  • Domari
  • Kabardian
  • Turoyo
  • Lomavren
  • Mlahsó
  • Armenian
  • Turkmen
  • Kurdish
  • English
  • French

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