The Wikipedia article "Aramaic of Jesus" contains many instances of transliterated Aramaic, using a system I have not seen before. Some of the notations are well-established, like for /ʃ/ and macrons for long vowels, but there are many I haven't seen before.

I tried looking up more information on Aramaic transcription systems. Wikipedia has no article on Aramaic transcription, and the articles on Aramaic, Romanization of Hebrew, and various Hebrew letters don't seem to have any relevant information.



  • ţlīthā, ţlē

B-underline (the Wikipedia page used an actual underline; I added an underline diacritic since Markdown doesn't allow underline):

  • Ţb̲îthâ, šəb̲aqtanî

Circumflex vowels:

  • šəb̲aqtanî, bar-Yêšû`, tômâ

Spacing grave accent:

  • Šim`ôn bar-Yônâ, bar-Yêšû`, r`am

g-breve ğ (I'm guessing this is supposed to represent /ɣ/, similar to its use in Turkish/Azeri.):

  • rğaš

What transliteration system is this?

1 Answer 1


The t-cedilla indicates ט (tet).

The b-underline indicates an aspirated ב (bet; sounding similar to v).

Circumflex vowels indicate long vowels.

The grave accent on its own indicates ע (ayin).

The g-breve indicates an aspirated ג (gamal; sounding similar to "gh").

It's one of many variations that Semiticists use to express Aramaic, Hebrew, and other Semitic languages in transliteration. The actual symbols and Unicode combinations used may vary, but their meanings are generally understood and there is no one generally "recognized" or "authoritative" system and different publications use their own flavors (even in academic works). :-)

  • Hello Steve and welcome to Linguistics@SE. I have edited your post to remove signature. See FAQ for why signatures are not encouraged. Dec 14, 2012 at 9:54
  • 1
    But if the circumflex indicates long vowels, then what does the macron indicate in the same article? Dec 15, 2012 at 8:29

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