Aramaist Edward Cook has fun with recent pop-culture uses of Aramaic in his post “You Won’t Believe These Unbelievable Aramaic Expressions!!” (Great title, as is the name of his blog, Ralph the Sacred River.) He gives a noogie to Lev Grossman’s The Magician King, which purports to quote an actual sentence:
I’m not sure if Quentin recited the text from right-to-left, in which case the sentence runs backward (although the words are not backwards), or left-to-right (in which case the words are backwards, but the sentence gives the correct word order). Maybe it’s a Unicode thing, or just a magic thing.
Then he gets into the series Spartacus on the Starz network:
I’ve not found out who did the Aramaic, but I infer from the scripts (which are available here) that the language consultant employed mainly Talmudic Aramaic…
Also interesting are the “four-letter words” (obscene language). We don’t have any obscene language from ancient Aramaic — as far as I know — and it therefore presents a vexing problem in back-translation. I’m not going to go through all of them, lest I arouse distaste in some of my readers. However, the four-letter word par excellence, the F-word, gets a thorough workout in the scripts, and the back-translation is interesting, if not historically valid.
The whole thing is well worth it just for the philological exegesis of “Hare mezayyne. [Fucking shits.]” (Thanks, Paul!)