This article is for those who desire to learn the Old Testament in the original languages, especially studying the book of Daniel in its original language. I want to give some helpful resources for learning Biblical Aramaic and Hebrew.
Studying the original biblical languages—Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek—is not for the fainthearted. But for those who are ambitious and in it for the long run, the exegetical payoffs are invaluable. And in our case, studying the apocalyptic book of Daniel in the original will reap exegetical rewards.
In the book of Daniel, biblical Aramaic is found in 2:4b–7:28 (in other parts of the Old Testament, Aramaic is found in Gen 31:47; Jer 10:11; and Ezra 4:8–6:18; 7:12–26).
At the time I began my Aramaic studies back in graduate school at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, my professor Douglas Stuart used the grammar A Short Grammar of Biblical Aramaic by Alger F. Johns. So it is one I recommend. There is a supplemental workbook to this grammar, A Short Grammar of Biblical Aramaic: An Annotated Answer Key by James Jumper.
Other Aramaic grammars I recommend are:
Basics of Biblical Aramaic: Complete Grammar, Lexicon, and Annotated Text by Miles Van Pelt.
An Introduction to Aramaic Second Edition (corrected edition!) by Frederick E. Greenspahn.
Grammar of Biblical Aramaic by F. Rosenthal.
Having said that, I recommend learning Hebrew first, since the Aramaic will come easier. But that is up to you. There are many first year Hebrew grammars out there that I will not begin to list here. But the one I recommend is by my former professor, Gary D. Pratico, The Basics of Biblical Hebrew.
In a later article, I will give recommendations and advice for learning Greek. If you have questions for me on language resources, you can contact me.