Šlomo Surayt II ܫܠܳܡܐ ܣܘܪܰܝܬ ܒ – Surayt-Aramaic (Turoyo) for advanced learners is a continuation of “Šlomo Surayt – An introductory course to Surayt-Aramaic (Turoyo)”. The advanced course has been developed within the framework of the Surayt-Aramaic-Online Project (SAOP) 2017-2020, co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (Erasmus+ SP Project 2017-1-DE01-KA203-003573).
In addition to the digital language course for advanced learners, this project has produced further learning and teaching materials for Surayt-Aramaic (Turoyo). These include the application Surayt LearnerApp and a digital corpus of around 200,000 words consisting of short articles and essays written by various authors specifically for this project.
Four other institutions were involved in the SAOP under the coordination of Freie Universität Berlin. These are Stockholm University, the Syriac Orthodox Mor Ephrem Monastery (Netherlands), Beth Mardutho – The Syriac Institute (USA), and the Süryani Kültür Derneği in Midyat (Turkey).
The contents of this advanced course have been developed by the SAOP team under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Shabo Talay at the Freie Universität Berlin. After determining the topics for the individual learning units, Murat Can at the Mor Ephrem Monastery prepared a first draft of the lessons with texts and exercises. The team at the Freie Universität Berlin, who prepared the grammar for all units, revised the draft adapting texts and exercises to the grammatical guidelines and created the respective vocabulary lists. In contrast to the introductory course, the language content of the learning units has been adapted to the respective grammar topics in order to enable the learners to comprehend Surayt-Aramaic in a more systematic and structured way.
The course is divided into four parts. The first part consists of eight learning units, with texts, dialogues, in-depth grammatical explanations with tasks and exercises of different formats accompanied by vocabulary lists.
The second part contains a Reader called Qëryono with ten text samples. These texts are taken from the project’s digital corpus and have been revised and commented on by the FU team. The texts have different subjects and degrees of difficulty and serve to deepen the study of Surayt-Aramaic. The vocabulary of these texts has also been added to the glossary.
Detailed grammar tables follow the texts and cover pronouns and pronominal suffixes, pseudo- and auxiliary verbs, verb conjugation, verbs with object suffixes and numbers, as well as weekdays, months and seasons. This part presents the most important grammatical features of Surayt-Aramaic in tabular form.
The last part of the course, the glossary, contains the entire vocabulary of both Šlomo Surayt courses, which has been prepared with the help of the lexicon software T-Lex and expanded with information on grammar. The English-Aramaic word list following the glossary is a frequently requested addition.
The advanced course, like the introductory course, is published both online at www.surayt.com and as a textbook. Both courses are also integrated into the SuraytApp, developed by Beth Mardutho – The Syriac Institute for SAOP and can be accessed on both Android and IOS devices alike. The lexical material of Šlomo Surayt can also be accessed via the freely available app SuryoyoTalk (IOS and Android), developed by Andreas Sunal (Trabdin, Sweden).
This course has been revised numerous times and its contents and methodology have been evaluated by several independent volunteers. Despite these multiple revisions, there may still be errors or sections in the texts that need further optimization. Therefore, we would appreciate any feedback via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to thank everyone who made this project possible. First and foremost, the responsible persons in the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships Programme of the European Union, the EU department of the DAAD for the Supervision of EU Projects, the administrations of the partner institutions and at the Freie Universität Berlin: the external funding administration and the administration of the Department of History and Cultural Studies. We would also like to thank all the organizations and individuals who supported the project at our informational events in several EU countries, Lebanon, Turkey, and in the USA, and enriched it with constructive criticism.
For corrections and discussion of the original version of the course in German, we would like to thank Prof. Dr. Otto Jastrow, Dr. Stefanie Rudolf, Merlin Reichel, Linda Üzel and Eddy J. Talay.
Finally, I would like to personally thank all members of the SAOP team and the Principle Investigators at the partner institutions of the project, Archbishop Mor Polycarpus Dr. Augin Aydin (Mor Ephrem Monastery), Prof. Dr. Elie Wardini (Stockholm University), Dr. George Kiraz, Beth Mardutho – The Syriac Institute (USA) and Ayhan Gürkan (Süryani Kültür Derneği, Midyat) for the fruitful cooperation. This pleasant cooperation among the five partner institutions in the project phase (2017-2020) was possible mainly thanks to the coordination talent of Soner Ö. Barthoma, FU Berlin, who deserves special thanks for his professional and highly reliable job.
Berlin, August 2020