(Or so it claims... Read on.)
Good morning fellow Aramaic Enthusiasts,
Today I was looking around eBay for a bit, and I came across a listing I had seen a number of times before, but since it never really interested me I always failed to take a closer look.
This time, however, I figured "what the heck?" and clicked through to the listing... and was unpleasantly surprised.
There is no Aramaic to be found on this ring.
Instead, in the very center, there is an Arabic phrase. Not too much of a surprise, actually. Aramaic is often confused with Arabic, and even more often Amharic, so this is an easy goof to make. However, the ring had something else in store that piqued my interest.
The inscription in Arabic read:
Now, I must admit that my Arabic is not very good, but even at my level of comprehension, I noticed something a little bit odd. I did not see عيسى
"Isa," the Arabic cognate for "Jesus" anywhere.
Instead I saw جيسوس: "JEE-SUS" spelled out phonetically.
I must admit that I've never come across such a transliteration before, so I Googled it, which returned with a mere 27,000 hits. This seems like a good chunk (perhaps it is used amongst some small Arabic circles), but this is also in juxtaposition with 8,000,000+ hits for عيسى "Isa".
The owner of the entry has been emailed, and I do hope that they update the listing.
UPDATE: As "bulbul" reminded me below, يسوع "Yasu`" is also another valid spelling of Jesus' name in Arabic, and is the form used most frequently among Arab Christians. Needless to say, that form isn't found on this ring either.
Labels: aramaic, bad aramaic, mistranslation, ring