Chaldean Neo-Aramaic


A language of Iraq

Alternate Names
Chaldean, Fallani, Fellihi, Kaldaya, Kildani, Lishana Kaldaya, Modern Chaldean, Neo-Chaldean, Soorath, Soorith, Suras, Sureth

100,000 in Iraq (1994 H. Mutzafi). Population total all countries: 206,000.


Contiguous with Assyrian Neo-Aramaic [aii] enclaves in Dahuk and Ninawa governorates.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting). Recognized language (2005, Constitution, Article 4(1)), constitutional term: Syriac. Unevenly recognized except in Kurdistan Region.


Alqosh, Bartille, Dihok, Mangesh, Shirnak-Chizre (Bohtan), Tel Kepe, Tisqopa. High intelligibility of Lishana Deni [lsd] and Ashirat [aii] (western dialect group of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic); little or no intelligibility with other Northeastern Aramaic varieties. A member of macrolanguage Syriac [syr].

Language Development
Grammar. NT: 2006.

Syriac script [Syrc].

Other Comments

Ethnic group distinct religiously from other Northeastern Aramaic varieties; separated from the Assyrian in 16th century. The names Chaldean and Assyrian sometimes used in a popular sense to include both groups. Originally located in central western and northern Iraqi Kurdistan and some in bordering Turkey. Christian.

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