Welcome to the Ishtar Cultural Center – Aramaic Course! We are pleased to offer Modern Aramaic (Eastern Syriac) Studies in partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy’s (UDM’s) Language & Cultural Training Department. By taking this course, you are supporting the Center in its goal of preserving a language that is of great importance to Chaldean Syriacs Assyrians people throughout the Diaspora. In Greater Detroit, as this community continues to grow, many are young persons, like you, who are heritage learners; that is, you were born in the United States speaking English as your first language at school or in the community, but speaking Aramaic (Syriac) at home or in the church. You are already familiar with the basic structure of the language in its spoken form, but need to learn how to read and write it more fluently. This course is for you — our heritage learners – who will keep our language alive both here and throughout the Diaspora.

The class is taught in a unitary dialect, consisting of Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac. Students will be taught how to read and write in standardized Syriac (Eastern Aramaic) allowing them to build their speaking skills.

Our special partnership with UDM allows tuition to remain affordable for students who otherwise would not be able to take Aramaic for academic credit. We thank UDM for extending a special rate of tuition that makes learning Aramaic accessible and affordable in an attempt to keep the language a living language – especially given the critical language needs and the threat of future language extinction. This special tuition also includes course fees that support sustaining of the language course at the cultural center, located in the heart of one of the country’s largest populations of Chaldean Americans.