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Introduction to Swadaya

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In the previous lessons in this series on the Aramaic Alphabet(s), we have looked at each of the letters of the Aramaic Alphabet in turn. So far, we have examined the letters in the Ashuri script, the Estrangela script, and the Serta script.

However, another Aramaic script which you might have seen or heard about is Swadaya. Swadaya is also called the Madnhaya, or Eastern script, as well as Modern or Neo-Aramaic script.

Swadaya is a later development of the Estrangela and Serta scripts. It has not only been in use for many centuries, but is still in use today, especially in Modern (Neo) Aramaic. Swadaya script is often used for the Aramaic Peshitta Old Testament (the Peshitta Tanakh) as well as the Aramaic Peshitta New Testament. It is commonly used for Syriac, as well as Aramaic in the East and Aramaic today.

In this lesson, therefore, we provide an introduction to the Swadaya script, before discussing each of the letters in this important script individually. However, before doing this group of lessons, we strongly encourage you to study the Ashuri letters, the Estrangela script and the Serta script, because this group of lessons on Swadaya builds on those earlier ones.

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Ewan MacLeodFeel free to leave comments or questions about this lesson on an introduction to Swadaya!