The Aramaic alphabet was originally adapted from the Phoenician alphabet about the 8th century BC. It was first used to write the Aramaic language. It was also used to write several other languages and alphabets including the Hebrew square script. It was also developed into the Nabataean, Syriac and Mongolian writing systems, among others. The modern Arabic alphabet is also descended from the Aramaic alphabet.
The Aramaic alphabet contains 22 characters used mainly to indicate consonants. However, some symbols can be used to indicate long vowels. By comparison the later Hebrew and Arabic scripts use only consonants. Hebrew uses 22; Arabic 28.
- "Aramaic (ܐܪܡܝܐ, ארמית, Arāmît)". Omniglot. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- The Book: A Global History, eds. Michael F Suarez; H R Woudhuysen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 13
- Languages from the World of the Bible, ed. Holger Gzella (Berlin; Boston: Walter de De Gruyter, Inc., 2011), p. 131