Odd Aramaic Floating About YouTube

Today, following one of my news feeds, I came across two very odd videos on YouTube. Here's the first one:



When I was reading the title and watching the verb forms it was going over, I began scratching my chin in puzzlement. In Imperial Aramaic, Pe'il and Pu'al forms are *extremely* rare (in fact they tend to only show up in participle forms if at all) and are not the direct passives of Pe'al and Pa'el.

The three forms this video *should* have been going over were Hithpa'al, Hithpe'el and Hoph'al.

Now here's the second one:



Among other things, notice how they use "merci" for "thanks." This immediately struck me as odd, as "merci" is distinctly French, not Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.

I would have expected "basima/basimta" or even "taude," and I was not the only one judging by the comments; however, one of the comments mentioned:

[...] One thing, though is like a little scratch to my ear."Merci' , which is used mainly by Lebanese and Iranian Assyrians. Other Assyrians, who went from Atra to different countries, like´╗┐ Russia, and were not subjected to Western influence, don't use it. It is French, [...]


The rest of the comments (especially on the 4th page) also reveal some interesting regional differences.

Curious. :-)

Peace,
-Steve

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