I have heard people translate "Adoneinu Moreinu VeRabeinu" (please don't ask where) into Aramaic as "Adonana Morana Verabana". I assume that the "a" is an aleph at the end. However, I realized that Adonana should translate as Ha'adon (the teacher) rather then Adoneinu.

How do you translate "our" in Aramaic?


You are getting confused between Biblical Aramaic and Babylonian Talmudic Aramaic. In Biblical Aramaic, the first person plural possessive suffix is -na (נא-). Adonana (אדוננא) means "our lord", not the lord. "The lord" would be adona (אדונא), with the addition of an aleph only. As such, the phrase that you are looking for would be Adonana Marana veRabbana (אדוננא מרנא ורבנא).

In Babylonian Talmudic Aramaic, the first person plural possessive suffix is -an (ן-). The phrase would be rendered as Adonan Maran veRabban (אדונן מרן ורבן).

If you want to see this in an Aramaic textbook, you can consult the following:

  • aha, so Sifra, Malka (Hamelech) is in Eretz Israel Aramaic. – Shmuel Brin Mar 13 '13 at 3:49
  • @ShmuelBrin, No - that's also in Babylonian Aramaic. The definite article is an aleph on the ends of words whichever Aramaic you are speaking. I only included that part in my first paragraph because you asked about that in relation to the word adonana. Sorry if that was confusing of me. – Shimon bM Mar 13 '13 at 3:57
  • Re: your second paragraph. You sure that's not "our master, our teachers, and our rabbis"? – Seth J Mar 13 '13 at 4:04
  • @SethJ - Yes, I'm positive. Unfortunately, Biblical Aramaic doesn't differentiate between the singular and the plural noun when they feature a first person plural suffix, but BT Aramaic does. If you wanted to pluralise each of those nouns, you would get Adonayin Maranayin veRabbanayin. (As Frank points out, the "common" pronunciation of this would be Adonin Maranin veRabbanin). – Shimon bM Mar 13 '13 at 4:10
  • Interesting. Hence my uncertainty in my first paragraph. But then what about the examples of Rabban and Maran? And why isn't it Adonanan? – Seth J Mar 13 '13 at 4:15

I believe either "an" or "ein" would most likely be the correct suffix. This would be Adonan/Adonein (not Adonanan/Adoneinan).

Moreinu is be a bit different, since it is a weak consonant at the end. First of all, the "o" gets reduced to a Patah. I initially thought of Zimmun. The MeZamen calls "My teachers" first. I thought it should be similar vocalization at the beginning (Shvah). But then I realized that's because it's plural, and the Patah is further reduced to a Shvah. In singular it's Maran; think R' Yosef Karo.

As for Rabbeinu, it would be Rabban. Think Rabban Gamliel, for example.

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    Can you write the words you are saying in Hebrew letters too so people are sure to understand what you are saying exactly. Transliteration is never an exact science. – Double AA Mar 13 '13 at 3:20
  • Not totally sure I can do that with the tools at my disposal. I just tried a bit, and it didn't go well. Had to abandon my edit. – Seth J Mar 13 '13 at 3:22
  • About Maran, though, isn't RaMBa"M called Maran by the B"Y or somebody? And I think the Tur is also called something similar by the Ba"Ch, though I'm not totally sure. – Seth J Mar 13 '13 at 3:24
  • @DoubleAA, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maran – Seth J Mar 13 '13 at 3:25
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    And @AdamMosheh, you come out of hiding to downvote me? How rude. See: jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12491-rabban – Seth J Mar 14 '13 at 3:53

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