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Languages of Syria

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Syrian Arab Republic, al-jamhouriya al Arabia as-Souriya. 18,894,000. National or official language: Standard Arabic. Literacy rate: 65%, 78% males. Immigrant languages: Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (5,000), Chechen, Egyptian Spoken Arabic (75,000), South Levantine Spoken Arabic, Turkmen (126,000), Western Farsi (53,000). Information mainly from W. Fischer and O. Jastrow 1980; B. Ingham 1982; T. Sebeok 1963. Blind population: 152. Deaf population: 902,598. Deaf institutions: 1. The number of individual languages listed for Syria is 17. Of those, 16 are living languages and 1 has no known speakers.
Adyghe

[ady] 25,000 in Syria.  Alternate names: Adygey, West Circassian.  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 35 kms. 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: Furati, Mesopotamian Gelet Arabic, North Syrian Arabic.  Dialects: Euphrates Cluster.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, Najdi Spoken

[ars] 500,000 in Syria. 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). 6,000,000 in Lebanese-Central Syrian, 1,000,000 in North Syrian. Population total all countries: 14,426,540. Also in Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Egypt, French Guiana, Israel, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mali, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey (Asia). Alternate names: Lebanese-Syrian Arabic, Levantine Arabic, North Levantine 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: Mesopotamian Qeltu Arabic, Moslawi, Syro-Mesopotamian 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: Armjanski, Ermenice, Haieren, Somkhuri.  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 Khabur River banks, northern Syria. Alternate names: Aisorski, Assyrian, Assyriski, Lishana Aturaya, Neo-Syriac, Suret, Sureth, Suryaya Swadaya.  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] 37,000 in Syria (2005). 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 the Russian Federation; 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: Barake, Gypsy, Kurbat, Middle Eastern Romani, Nawar, Tsigene.  Dialects: Nawar, Kurbati, Beirut, Nablos, Barake.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Dom 
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Kabardian

[kbd] 39,000 in Syria (2005 Circassian Association). Damascus; Aleppo. Classification: North Caucasian, West Caucasian, Circassian 
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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: Kurdi, Kurmancî, Kurmanji.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish 
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Lomavren

[rmi]   Alternate names: Armenian Bosha, Arnebuab Bisa, Bosa, Bosha.  Classification: Mixed language, Armenian-Romani  Nearly extinct.
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Mlahsö

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

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

[amw] 15,000 (1996). 8,000 in Maaloula. Qalamoun Mountains, 50 km north of Damascus. Villages of Ma’lula, Bakh’a, and Jubb ’Adin. Only in Syria. Alternate names: Loghtha Siryanoytha, Maalula, Neo-Western Aramaic, Siryon.  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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