Inspired by this question, I understand that mappik in Aramaic has a different meaning than in Hebrew.

I just wanted to be sure: is mappik in Aramaic pronounced the same way as in Hebrew?

  • 2
    On this I will concede ignorance. I'm not sure anyone can really attest to whether or not the Aramaic Mappik is pronounced as a breath of air or some other way, since Aramaic hasn't been widely used as a spoken language in millenia, and even if it had been used, those using it - primarily - are the same people who have used Hebrew. I can only state that from personal experience I've noticed that most people tend to pronounce it the same way they do the Hebrew Mappik.
    – Seth J
    Sep 7, 2011 at 17:47
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    I've noticed that most (I'll even say almost all) of the people tend to totally ignore mappik in both Hebrew and Aramaic. Therefore, I'm asking a question. Thanks for sharing you experience, it's helpful.
    – jutky
    Sep 7, 2011 at 17:50
  • @Isaak Moses, thanks for fixes. I don't remember if I've noticed it once, but English in not my mother-language, neither I speak English in my daily practice.
    – jutky
    Sep 7, 2011 at 17:54
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    @SethJ: Aramaic has been used and is used, though it's not of course the same Aramaic as is found in K'suvim, the targumim, or the Bavli (inter alia): enwp.org/Neo-Aramaic. So pronunciation in it will likely differ from pronunciation in the Jewish Aramaics (and they may not even have a mapik he counterpart for all I know). But "hasn't been widely used as a spoken language" may be ignored if we allow consideration of pronunciation of kadish as evidence. Otoh, as you note, those saying kadish also knew Hebrew.
    – msh210
    Sep 7, 2011 at 17:59
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    @jutky Yes, many people ignore the Mappik altogether, both in Hebrew and in Aramaic. I believe most people, whether they pronounce it or not, follow the same pattern in both languages. This could be out of ignorance, if that's the right word to use here, but if it effects the actual use of a language such that the "original" pronunciation is no longer identifiable, then that sort of becomes the de facto rule for the language. In other words, it may well be that the two languages differed at one time, but now that difference is extinct, so that's the way it is (sad, I know).
    – Seth J
    Sep 7, 2011 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


I've talked with one Talmid Chochom about this and here are the things he told me.

The nikkud was not part of original hebrew aleph-beth and was invented later when the generation were forgetting how to read the words correctly. Therefore, nikkud is not part of the grammar of the language that leads to different phonetic pronunciation. The opposite is correct. The pronunciation always existed and the nikkud was invented as set of rules that helps to pronounce the words correctly. In our case mappik was invented to distinguish a silent ה from non-silent ה in the end of the word. When we write Aramaic words with Hebrew letters we actually just show the pronunciation of the words. Therefore, the mappik should be read absolutely the same as in Hebrew, even if the grammatical rules of Aramaic are different.

This actually answers also this question about the pronunciation of mappik in the word יה.

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