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Shlama Akhay,

I have been asked on many an occasion what the proper pronunciation of Meshikha's name is. (YES-SHOE-AH vs. EE-SHOE-AH)

First of all, I have to make clear that the name is Hebrew and not Aramaic. How Hebrew names are pronounced in the various Aramaic dialects over the centuries has changed.

For instance, my last name "Younan" is the Imperial Aramaic version of the Hebrew "Yona" ("Jonah", or "Dove"). In Imperial Assyrian Aramaic, there was a tendency to append an "n" to masculine names that ended with an "ah" sound. Therefore, you have the Aramaic "Younan" for the Hebrew "Youna."

Likewise, a literaty convention developed in late Eastern Aramaic in regards to the invention of vowel markings. Several centuries after Meshikha, the Assyrians invented the vowel marking system to supplement the previously vowel-less alphabet (it only consisted of the standard 22 consonants.) They invented the "Eastern" diacretic marking system, which the Masoretes then used to create the vowel markings for Hebrew.

One of these changes was to the letter Yudh. This consonant, previously pronounced exclusively as "y", came to also serve as the vowel "ee" (as in "feet") when a dot is placed below it. The technical name for it is Khwasa (see Lesson 33 on http://www.assyrianlanguage.com)

Over time, Assyrians began to pronounce the name of "Yeshua" as "Eeshua" (or, as commonly spelled, "Eshoo") because they began to insert the Khwasa underneath the initial Yudh in his name. Although the name must have been pronounced this way by the Assyrians before the invention of the vowel markings, this is in all probability just a late Eastern convention, and it is not likely to have been pronounced this way during Meshikha's lifetime.

Admittedly, there is no way we can be sure what his name was pronounced like because at the time there was no vowel system in place. All we have is witnesses written with consonants only.

However, given the accepted Hebrew pronunciation of the name over the centuries, and the fact that Western Aramaic-Speaking Christians (like the Maronites) also pronounce it "Y", I believe the name should be pronounced "Yeshua" and that the "Eshua" pronunciation is merely a dialectical difference that evolved over the centuries among Assyrian Christians.
Just to bring Arabic into the equation again, as I have learnt so much of the lingo now given my work, do you notice how Arabic has actually altered the 'noon' at the end of Yona to a 'seen' <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> ? Hence the Arabic version of Yona/Yonan is Yonas, which kinda resembles the Greek a bit!

As for Eshua, I think the Arabic has the written form as how the Eastern Aramaic speakers used to prounounce the name. Hence the 'eesaa'. I think the spelling was done as so, but starting with an AYIN [which means strangling yourself to pronounce. I don't how Semites can pronounce this letter without near death every time <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: --> ) and spelt AYIN-YAY-SEEN-YAA. I think whats really reflected here is the pronounciation of ESHOOA as used by the Eastern Aramaic speakers who inevitably had much Arab contact.

Modern Arabic speakers of Christianity though reverted to the spelling of YAY-SEEN-WAW-AYIN or YESSOWA'. This is used by many of the Arab Christians who have joined the Western Churches. This spelling is found in the NIV Arabic Version.

Quite often in Semetic languages anyway I see that a YODH/YAY in the middle of a word is pronounced as an I anyway rather than as a 'ye-'. I.e. BRESHYT in Genesis 1:1
Shlama Akhi Paul,

1. Based upon your clarification, the subject is a Hebrew Name. Thank you Akhi for letting us know this matter.

2. The "dot", centuries after M'sheekha, is placed below the consonant letter Yodh so that the first syllable pronunciation should sound "EE".
I believe that the Assyrians ancestors had no hidden agenda upon the insertion of the Khwasa, and their act of doing it was merely to accomodate the "real" Galilean Aramaic phonetic sound EE-SHOO-AH of the Hebrew Name "Y'SHUA" being passed on from generation to generation since M'sheekha.

3. The Name should contain or incorporate the Tetragrammaton "YHWH" in it so that the meaning of the Name is "Yahuah/Yahweh/Iahueh/Eeahuah saves or is salvation". If we choose the name Yahuah or Yahweh for the "conversion" of YHWH then the "contraction" phonetic process will be from Yahu or Yah to become [YAY'] in the pronunciation and not [YE']. And the complete pronunciation will be [YAY'-SHOO-AH]. I expect Akhi Andrew Gabriel Roth to explain this crucial matter into details. If we choose the name Iahueh or Eeahuah for the "conversion" of YHWH then the contraction phonetic process will become [EE'] or [EA'].

4. Could it be that Maran Y'Shua's words on the cross was "EIL EE/EA, EIL EE/EA, l'manna sh'wik-thani instead of "Eili, Eili, l'manna sh'wik-thani"?

Based upon the above I prefer the name EE-SHOO-AH or EA-SHOO-AH for a more accurate naming.

Please see: http://members.efn.org/~iahu/name.htm

Shlama!

george
Actually I was just thinking - don't you think the Greek transliteration into IESOUS kind of bears witness to an early pronounciation of 'EE' rather than 'YE'? If the early Greek texts say as much I think this can be taken as additional evidence that the early pronounciation of the Messiah's names was along the lines of 'EE'.
The name of the son of Mariam was an Aramaic name, and not Greek or West Aramaic. In the East Aramaic, it is pronounced as "Eeso". Shouldn't that be so. Marthoma Nazranee Christians of Malabar in south India (now known as Syro Malabar Church), inherited the original Aramaic usages and kept it todate. Though the Latin missionaries did try very hard to wipe out our ancient and original Thoma traditions, we are fortunate to have kept them and been able to re-establish them. The ancient uncorrepted name for our Lord and savior that we use is "Eeso Meesiha". I feel that it should be the correct name in Aramaic.

Can others please comment. Thanks
Paul Younan Wrote:Shlama Akhay,

For instance, my last name "Younan" is the Imperial Aramaic version of the Hebrew "Yona" ("Jonah", or "Dove"). In Imperial Assyrian Aramaic, there was a tendency to append an "n" to masculine names that ended with an "ah" sound. Therefore, you have the Aramaic "Younan" for the Hebrew "Youna."

I'm certainly no linguist, but had never heard of "Younan" being connect to Yona as a last name.
I did a google search on the name, and came up with:

Quote:younan:
Turkish, Iranian, and Muslim generally: ethnic name for a Greek. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ion ???Ionian???, the tribe of Greeks with whom the Persians had first contact. This term was subsequently borrowed into Hebrew and Arabic, and later came to be used in the Muslim world at large to denote a Greek.

Just thought I would add this little bit of interesting factoid...
The Orthodox Jew Wrote:I'm certainly no linguist, but had never heard of "Younan" being connect to Yona as a last name.

It doesn't take a linguist to read the Peshitta OT for the book of Yona and find out how it was spelled back then (YWNN). Also in the Aramaic Gospels.

The Orthodox Jew Wrote:younan:
Turkish, Iranian, and Muslim generally: ethnic name for a Greek. It is ultimately derived from Greek Ion ???Ionian???, the tribe of Greeks with whom the Persians had first contact. This term was subsequently borrowed into Hebrew and Arabic, and later came to be used in the Muslim world at large to denote a Greek.

In Aramaic the word for a "Greek person" is Yonaia (also from 'Ionian'), as the word for Jew is "Yehudaia".

I'm sure you're aware that Aramaic has nothing to do with Turkish, Iranian ....and Muslim generally. Although here's a little factoid for you: Muslims calls the Prophet Yona "Yunis", see they append an S to the name as we in Aramaic append an N.

The reason being is that "Yona" in Aramaic, like in Hebrew, means "dove". However in Aramaic it is grammatically feminine, therefore it is improper to give a man this name.
Along with "Jonah" being YWNN (Yoonan), "Greece" is YWN (Yawan, with a single N).

The Orthodox Jew Wrote:I'm certainly no linguist, but had never heard of "Younan" being connect to Yona as a last name.

It's also worth mentioning that it's not necessarily a last name. Naming conventions from that region work differently from English naming conventions. Usually, a) a baby is born, b) they're given a first name, c) then they have a series of last names consisting of the first names of the paternal line. So, if your name is "Bob," your father's name is "Joe," your grandfather's name is "Bill," and your great-grandfather's name is "Paul," then your name would be "Bob (bar) Joe (bar) Bill (bar) Paul etc.," however far you can trace the first names back.
Karl Wrote:It's also worth mentioning that it's not necessarily a last name.

I've got a 1st cousin named "Younan Younan".
Paul Younan Wrote:
Karl Wrote:It's also worth mentioning that it's not necessarily a last name.

I've got a 1st cousin named "Younan Younan".

This reminds me of some gems from the "You know you are Assyrian when..." list:

...
37. Your middle name is your father's first name, even if you're a girl.
...
45. You have a name that rhymes with your sibling (ex: Bernard and Bernadette)
...
49. You have a relative whose first and last name are the same.
...

<!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/laugh.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laugh" /><!-- s:lol: -->
Lars Lindgren Wrote:
Paul Younan Wrote:
Karl Wrote:It's also worth mentioning that it's not necessarily a last name.

I've got a 1st cousin named "Younan Younan".

This reminds me of some gems from the "You know you are Assyrian when..." list:

...
37. Your middle name is your father's first name, even if you're a girl.
...
45. You have a name that rhymes with your sibling (ex: Bernard and Bernadette)
...
49. You have a relative whose first and last name are the same.
...

<!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/laugh.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laugh" /><!-- s:lol: -->

It's true! Both my sister's middle names are "Shimon"!
Paul Younan Wrote:
Lars Lindgren Wrote:This reminds me of some gems from the "You know you are Assyrian when..." list:

...
37. Your middle name is your father's first name, even if you're a girl.
...
45. You have a name that rhymes with your sibling (ex: Bernard and Bernadette)
...
49. You have a relative whose first and last name are the same.
...

<!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/laugh.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laugh" /><!-- s:lol: -->

It's true! Both my sister's middle names are "Shimon"!

They are all true!! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/laugh.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laugh" /><!-- s:lol: -->

My wife's and my sister-in-law's middle names are "Charles", and my mother-in-law's middle name is Yousef. But, then again, this isn't that odd since the "middle names" and "last names" reflect the names of your father, grandfather, great grandfather and so on, as described by Karl.

As for number 45, a typical example of this is a family we know whose sons are named Fares, Firas, Frans :-)
Lars Lindgren Wrote:This reminds me of some gems from the "You know you are Assyrian when..." list:

...
37. Your middle name is your father's first name, even if you're a girl.
...
45. You have a name that rhymes with your sibling (ex: Bernard and Bernadette)
...
49. You have a relative whose first and last name are the same.
...

<!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/laugh.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laugh" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Ah, but it's only a "middle name" if you see it as a middle name. I liked my explanation better: given name, first last name, second last name, third last name, etc. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->