Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The New Syriac Primer: An Introduction to The Syriac Language
Kiraz, George Anton

Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2013 pp. xxiv + 277. $70.73

Series Information
Gorgias Handbooks


Description: A truly useful introduction to the Syriac language is a rare find. Honed by years of personal experience with the language, George Kiraz's introduction to the ancient language of the Christian church speaks with clarity and authority. This fruitful integration of scholarly introduction and practical application provides a primer that is more than a simple grammar or syntactic introduction to the language. Written in a style designed for beginners, Kiraz avoids technical language and strives for a reader-friendly inductive approach. The letters are introduced a few at a time and are reviewed in a way that reinforces their identity. Students are next introduced to the concepts of gender, number, and tense as well as how they appear in Syriac. The often troubling prefixes and suffixes of the language are lucidly explained, and readings from actual Syriac texts allow the student to experience the language first hand. Various genres and literary forms are introduced in this section. Bonus words are added at each stage to build an effective vocabulary as the reader works through the lessons. Next the grammar proper is introduced with the phonology and parts of speech of the language. Both Estrangelo and the East Syriac scripts are presented in a separate chapter, in order to avoid confusion. Unlike most grammars, the primer includes a practical chapter on how to use Syriac dictionaries, read manuscripts, and type Syriac on the computer using Meltho. A section on reading Garshuni, Syriac written in Arabic script, rounds out the main text. Appendices of the verbal paradigms make this very practical introduction a must-have for any beginner in Syriac. Glossaries of grammatical terms and Syriac-English comparisons make this book ideal for a textbook in beginning Syriac. The book comes with downloadable material so that readers may listen to all reading sentences and text passages in the book.

Subjects: Methods, Linguistics, Syriac

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). Enter your SBL Member ID and click the "Log in" button. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

I donít remember my SBL Member ID.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).



SBL Membership Id:  


Review by H. F. van Rooy
Published 11/3/2014
Citation: H. F. van Rooy, review of George Anton Kiraz, The New Syriac Primer: An Introduction to the Syriac Language, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us