Usage by Country
Home Speakers: Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Jordan, UAE. There are also around 1 million other Assyrians spread around the world.
Assyrians used the cuneiform system for writing which used syllabics signs, around 3000 BC, developed from forms of pictographic writing which orriginated in Mesopotamia (current day Iraq). Later they adapted the Aramaic language officially around 750 BC which was the language of a number of small kingdoms in northern Iraq and Syria. Because of the rise and spread of the Assyrian Empire, specially during the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Aramaic became the lingua franca of the entire Middle East, helped by the simplicity of the Aramaic language's alphabet.