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Languages of Syria

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Syrian Arab Republic, al-jamhouriya al Arabia as-Souriya. 18,016,874. National or official language: Standard Arabic. Literacy rate: 65%, 78% males. Also includes Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (5,000), Chechen, South Levantine Spoken Arabic. Information mainly from T. Sebeok 1963; W. Fischer and O. Jastrow 1980; B. Ingham 1982. Blind population: 152. Deaf population: 902,598. Deaf institutions: 1. The number of languages listed for Syria is 16. Of those, 15 are living languages and 1 is extinct.

Living languages

Adyghe

[ady] 25,000 in Syria.  Alternate names: West Circassian, Adygey.  Classification: North Caucasian, West Caucasian, Circassian 
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Arabic, Levantine Bedawi Spoken

[avl] 70,000 in Syria. Southwest corner, Hawran Region, from the border to within 20 miles of Damascus. Alternate names: Bedawi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, Mesopotamian Spoken

[acm] 1,800,000 in Syria. Eastern Syria. Alternate names: North Syrian Arabic, Furati, Mesopotamian Gelet Arabic.  Dialects: Euphrates Cluster.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, Najdi Spoken

[ars] 500,000 in Syria. Population includes 100,000 North Najdi, 100,000 Central Najdi (1995). Syrian desert. Alternate names: Bedawi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, North Levantine Spoken

[apc] 8,800,000 in Syria (1991). Population includes 6,000,000 in Lebanese-Central Syrian, 1,000,000 in North Syrian. Population total all countries: 14,309,537. Also spoken in Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Israel, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mali, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey (Asia). Alternate names: Levantine Arabic, North Levantine Arabic, Lebanese-Syrian Arabic, Syro-Lebanese Arabic.  Dialects: There is an urban standard dialect based on Damascus speech. Beiruti dialect is well accepted here. Aleppo dialect shows Mesopotamian (North Syrian) influence.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, North Mesopotamian Spoken

[ayp] 300,000 in Syria (1992). Far eastern Syria. Alternate names: Moslawi, Syro-Mesopotamian Arabic, Mesopotamian Qeltu Arabic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, Standard

[arb]  Middle East, North Africa. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Armenian

[hye] 320,000 in Syria (1993).  Alternate names: Haieren, Somkhuri, Ermenice, Armjanski.  Dialects: Western Armenian.  Classification: Indo-European, Armenian 
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Assyrian Neo-Aramaic

[aii] 30,000 in Syria (1995). Ethnic population: 700,000. Over 30 villages on the banks of the Khabur River, northern Syria. Alternate names: Lishana Aturaya, Suret, Sureth, Suryaya Swadaya, Assyrian, Neo-Syriac, Assyriski, Aisorski.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern 
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Azerbaijani, South

[azb] 30,000 in Syria (1961 census). Homs and Hama. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani 
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Domari

[rmt] 10,000 in Syria (1961). Turkey to India; Nawar is in Palestine, Syria, and Egypt; Kurbat in Syria and western Iran; Helebi in Egypt and Libya; Karachi in north Turkey, the Caucasus of Russia; and north Iran; Domaki and Wogri-Boli in India; Barake in Syria; Luli and Maznoug in Uzbekistan; other groups in Iran; Churi-Wali in Afghanistan. Alternate names: Middle Eastern Romani, Tsigene, Gypsy, Nawar, Kurbat, Barake.  Dialects: Nawar, Kurbati, Beirut, Nablos, Barake.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Dom 
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Kurdish, Northern

[kmr] 938,000 in Syria (1993). Northern Syria: Northern Cizire (Qamishlok), Kurd-Dagh (Ciyayê Kurdî, Afrin), Ain-Arab, Allepo, Damascus. Alternate names: Kurmanji, Kurmancî, Kurdi.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish 
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Lomavren

[rmi]   Alternate names: Armenian Bosha, Arnebuab Bisa, Bosha, Bosa.  Classification: Mixed Language, Armenian-Romani 
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Turoyo

[tru] 7,000 in Syria (1994). Ethnic population: 20,000 (1994).  Alternate names: Suryoyo, Syryoyo, Turani.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northwestern 
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Western Neo-Aramaic

[amw] 15,000 (1996 Maalula Home Page, Internet). Population includes 8,000 in Maaloula. Qalamoun Mountains, 30 miles north of Damascus. Villages of Ma`lula, Bakh`a, and Jubb `Adin. Only in Syria. Alternate names: Maalula, Siryon, Loghtha Siryanoytha, Neo-Western Aramaic.  Dialects: Ma`lula (Maalula, Maaloula, Ma`lu:la), Bakh`a (Bax`a), Jub-`adin (Jubb `Adi:n). Little dialect variation.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Western 
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Extinct languages

Mlahsö

[lhs] Extinct. Qamishli town. Originally in Mlahsó and `Ansha villages, Diyarbakir Province, Turkey. Alternate names: Suryoyo.  Dialects: Close to Turoyo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northwestern 
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