Aramaic – The Lord’s Own Language

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED by the  various translations of the Lord’s Prayer into other languages, having discovered at an early age that the King James’ English one was a late comer to the Lord’s Table, as it were.

It was only in January 1997 that I learned of the existence over many centuries of other notable versions. Thereafter, I took time off every now and then to add to my collection. Ultimately, I came down to the King James’ translation and the Urdu one as the two I felt most comfortable with, in and out of church. Nevertheless, the Latin version was always hovering at the back of my tongue due to the time I had spent at the Catholic church alongside the Irish Christian Brothers’ parochial school where I originally learned my ABC’s as a child.

For starters, here’s the Pater Noster in English (broken down into ten Petitions and ending in a Doxology, followed by its translation into my mother tongue, Urdu – in its original script – followed by one in Roman script:

1662 Anglican BCP (Book of Common Prayer)
1.   Our Father which art in heaven,
2.   hallowed be thy name.
3.   Thy kingdom come,
4.   Thy will be done,
5.   on earth, as it is in heaven.
6.   Give us this day our daily bread,
7.   and forgive us our trespasses,
8.   as we forgive those that trespass against us.
9.   And lead us not into temptation,
10. but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

The Lord’s Prayer in Urdu and alongside in Roman Urdu sans the doxology:

اے ہمارے باپ, تو جو آسمان پر ہے
تیرا نام پاک مانا جاۓ
اور تیری بادشاہت آئے
تیری مرضی جیسی آسمان میں پوری ہوتی ہے

زمین پر بھی ہو
ہماری روز کی روٹی آج ہمیں دے
جس طرح ہم اپنے قرضداروں کو بخشتے ہیں
تو ہمارے قرض ہمیں بخش
اور ہمیں آزمائش میں نہ لا
بلکہ ہمیں برائی سے بچا

Ae hamāre bāp, tu jo āsamān par hai
Terā nām pāk mānā jā'e
Aur terī bādśāhat ā'e
Terī marzī jaisī āsamān meṃ pūrī hotī 
zamīn par bhī ho
Hamāri roz kī roṭī āj hameṃ de
Jis tar'h ham apne qarzdāroṃ ko baxśte 
Tu hamāre qarz hameṃ baxś
Aur hameṃ āzmā'iś meṃ nah lā
Balkih hameṃ burā'ī se bacā

And now, the Lord’s Prayer – Petitions only with a literal translation below each of them – in Aramaic, which Jesus spoke:

Aboon dabashmaya
Our father who is in heaven,
Nethkadash shamak
holy is your name,
Tetha malkoothak
your Kingdom is coming,
Newe tzevyanak
your will is being done
Aykan dabashmaya af bara
on earth as it is in heaven,
Hav lan lakma dsoonkanan yamanawashbook lan
give us our bread day by day
Kavine aykana daf hanan shabookan lhayavine oolow talahn lanesyana
as we forgive those who trespass and sin against us
Ela fatsan men beesha
deliver us from evil

Finally, the Pater Noster sung here in Latin by the Netherlands Chamber Choir In 1995. Click on the hotlink above in red and read the text pictured below:


Albert de Klerk (1917-1998), whose music for the Pater Noster I’ve featured above because of its sheer beauty, was internationally famous. The Dutch organist left a compositional oeuvre of music for organ, masses and other liturgical music, chamber music and a small repertoire for the carillon.

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Copyright © 2016 Azim Lewis Mayadas


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