Rendahl: Top Three Ways to Learn Armenian

I’m doing it. I’m doing that thing bloggers do to get people’s attention: creating a top-three list.

The list is about learning Armenian. You could apply the list to any language, really, but I’ve been lazy about using Armenian in recent months, so this is mostly a self-serving attempt to get myself back on track.

It’s not unlike the countless personal development notes I’ve scrawled in the notebook I carry, written neatly on a sticky note and posted on my wall, or meticulously scheduled in my calendar from day to day and week to week.

As an adolescent, my list often included “get a tan,” but I’ve long since abandoned that objective. Learning Armenian, as it turns out, is easier than negotiating with the genetics of skin color.

I’m starting to sound a little obsessive about things, but I’m really just trying to continue learning and living without forgetting what I’ve learned and lived. They say you become an expert at something once you’ve done it for 10,000 hours. That’s 416 full days. Or 1,250 typical work days.

While I consider myself a real expert in nothing, I’ve put in a lot of days and I don’t want them to go to waste. I spent my childhood playing piano, for example. In adulthood, I’ve turned my attention toward things like studying languages and writing, if only for the purpose of getting better at them.

The challenge with languages, of course, is that once you’re out of an environment of complete immersion, skills may wither. And while I am firmly convinced that the knowledge rests passively enmeshed within some cellular bundle in my brain, I try to avoid even a temporary loss, and so I keep chipping away.

It’s kind of like retirement planning. Even $25 a month adds up when added to an already sizeable investment.

But I’ve become distracted from what was to be a pithy list of advice for learning Armenian. Antsnenq arach.

***

1. Make a Decision.

I can’t tell you how many people have told me they want to learn Armenian. Some even think that I may be especially gifted because I learned it, but I can assure you that I am not special. The difference between those who have and those who haven’t? It’s simple: Those who have learned it made a decision. And they made the same decision the next day and the one after that and the one after that until one day they no longer spoke of learning Armenian, but of improving their Armenian.

I have an Armenian friend whose name is Gahmk. It means “will” in Armenian. And that’s what you need to learn Armenian.

2. Forget Shame.

Shame is over-rated. It may have some place in the world, but not in this case. Your only chance for success is to release any hope of being immediately conversant in philosophy or veterinary medicine or whatever your field may be. Intelligence is often visible in the eyes and behavior of a person, so trust that most people will not assume you’re a moron because you can’t speak Armenian like a grown-up right away.

Learn a few phrases that illustrate your competence when functioning in your native language. Or, as I’ve said in this column space before, tell them you’re much funnier in your own language. My dad told me to learn that sentence first and I think he’d tell you to do the same.

3. Build on What You Know.

Like a lot of things, learning a language requires discipline, so build on the discipline you developed learning those other things. For some, it may be sports or reading. For me, it’s music.

Many of us recall our childhood piano lessons and how long we were supposed to practice each day and how many times we were to practice each assigned piece.

As I progressed through my piano studies, I was required to practice hands separately so that one hand didn’t become reliant on muscle memory or the other hand’s performance. Later yet I was asked to dissect the chord structures and progression throughout a piece. I chose specific spots in the music from which I could resume playing if I ever lost my place when playing a piece from memory.

The lessons are the same: consistency, repetition, and strategic thinking. Add a dose of creativity and you just might have an interesting conversation.

***

Learning new things can be challenging. They require us to re-examine our time and interests, our commitment to changing and being changed by what we learn. But I believe it’s always worth it because it brings us closer to who we really are.

In the meantime, say what you can. When it comes to learning a language, “small talk” is not the sign of a deficient mind, but the vulnerable embrace of someone willing to take a chance, to understand and be understood.

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Originally from a family farm in North Dakota, Kristi Rendahl lived and worked in Armenia from 1997-2002 and visits the country regularly. She works with the Center for Victims of Torture as the organizational development advisor to 10 torture treatment centers around the world, and is pursuing a doctorate in public administration. Rendahl writes a monthly column for The Armenian Weekly. She resides in St. Paul, Minn.
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30 Comments

  1. thank you. It looked very scary to learn. But after your article I am looking forward to it. I am on wonderful site called “Waves Aleppo to Philadelphia”. It was started by Vahe’ Ashodian a Artist residing in Philadelphia who posted this for English speaking people like myself. Thank you so much, Dorothy A. Moore Grinde

  2. Kristi Rendahl, Parev , I red your article crossing the borders a year ago almost, but lost your name and the contact, not to many Armenians were in North Dakota, Minot,(freezen the reason)(Mainot why not) I had the blessing to witness the blessed fields of north Dakota, and the wonderful people.
    What a wonderful world, once again I have the opportunity that I’m taking advantage and express my Admiration to your dedication and devotion to your work, Kevork Der Alexanian

  3. If you live in the Diaspora, you want to learn Western Armenian. not Eastern. We are, by and large, descendants of Genocide survivors who spoke Western Armenian. It’s what our parents and grandparents spoke. Click onto Arak 29. Make a donation. This is Samuelian’s great gift to the Armenian people and to our culture. It’s publication is the one thing the Church does that no one can criticize.
    If you live in the Diaspora and you plan to travel frequently to Armenia, a brief overview of Eastern Armenian will get you by if you already have the Western.
    There is an important reason for learning Western Armenian. It is an endangered language. It is not the language of any country. Since this is the language our parents and grandparents spoke in Historical Armenia, the Turks would love to see it erased along with all other traces of our existance. Language is the root of a culture.
    For those of us who live in places in the Diaspora where we seldom hear Armenian spoken, Arak 29 is an unsurpassed gift. Click on it every day and hear correct pronunciation, learn grammar and spelling.
    then buy a couple of cds to click in your car.

  4. Great advice from both you and your dad. And your closing paragraph goes well beyond simple words of encouragement. Thank you.

  5. Good observation on the endangered nature of Western Armenian, Perouz. I believe we need to preserve the beautiful Western Armenian, as well as our local dialects. One of the major flaws that find in the “constitution” of Armenia is the mandate that Armenian be the official language of the state. The Armenian law on language mandates that “literary” Armenian be spoken in all spheres in the republic, and that public comments be done with “literary” Armenian with correct pronunciation! In practice, this means the Russified Eastern Armenian. This is a feature of a totalitarian state, not the kind of democratic Armenia that we want. What if someone wants to speak Armenian the way his locality has spoken for centuries? This law ensures the universal imposition of the Russified Eastern Armenian in the country (of course with the “Karabakh” flavor of the ruling elite) and the smothering of all the dialects.

    And now, this Russified Eastern Armenian is being imposed on the Diaspora through the ROA-affiliated television channels such as USArmenia and those horrible “TV-series.” Given the endangered nature of Western Armenian, and the dictatorial nature of the Armenian state, we Diasporans need to resist this cultural and ideological invasion by the state of Armenia, where we ourselves have no voice.

    • Was language studies your second major, Vahagn, the first being—obviously and monotonously—democracy studies? Apparently, your education in democracy studies, however flawed, is nonetheless more impressive that in language studies. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be shocked to know from your post in “A Wake-Up Call for Armenia and the Diaspora” that Western Armenian language is an accent.

    • [we Diasporans need to resist this cultural and ideological invasion by the state of Armenia, where we ourselves have no voice.]

      But, Vahagn, if you’re an Armenian, even though you may live outside RoA and technically consider yourself a Diasporan, the language you seem to speak, or are instructed to make use of probably with outside help, is Eastern Armenian, as testified in your phrase “Վայ մեռնեմ էն արևմտահայ ակցենտիդ”. I guess my question is: why on earth are you grunting in behalf of Diasporan, i.e. predominantly Western, Armenians? Are you in our enemy’s business of driving a wedge between RoA/NK and Diaspora Armenians?

    • Vahagn— Every country has an official language (sometimes two or maybe more), i.e. a language that is given a legal status in it. Why should it be different in case of Armenia? If someone wants to speak Western Armenian in the Republic, he or she is free to do so, but the language that’s being used in Armenia’s parliament, courts, council of ministers, etc. to run their operations and conduct their business, is Eastern Armenian. Are you sure you’re not off the mark when you say it is “cultural and ideological invasion by the state of Armenia”? Invasion of what? It just historically so happened that, unfortunately, in addition to geographical and administrative division of Armenia to Eastern and Western, our language, too, was artificially divided. I’m sure if Diasporans grow in numbers in the Republic and have stronger voice, changes allowing equal use of both forms of the language will be made. But with mostly Eastern Armenians living in the country, why do you expect Western Armenian to be given the special legal status and just how is this “a feature of a totalitarian state”?

    • Սիրելի հայրենակից ջոն, pretty impressive, huh, that I might be an Eastern-Armenian speaker and still be objective enough to say what I believe is right, even if my opinion does not favor Eastern Armenian? You seem quite surprised that someone can express opinions irrespective of one’s origin or group membership. Then perhaps this should be yet another lesson for you to learn: we intelligent, non-narrow-minded Armenians are capable of forming opinions based on what is right and just, even if it means criticizing our country of origin, our culture, or our group, whatever that may be. An Armenian is Diasporan if he or she lives outside of Armenia, regardless of whether he speaks Western, Eastern, or South-Eastern (Iranian) Armenian. We free-minded Armenians do not drive a wedge between anyone, we merely point out the wedge (i.e. the problem) that already exists, thus contributing to the removal of the wedge.

    • {“Are you in our enemy’s business of driving a wedge between RoA/NK and Diaspora Armenians?”}

      John: is that a question ?

    • No, Sveta, not every country has an official language. For example, my country, the United States has no official language. Some states have English as the official language, but there is no official language at the national level:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States
      And even in the states (such as my state of California) where English is the official language, it doesn’t go as far as the Armenian law on language. If we had the equivalent of RoA’s law, it would be considered a violation of our free speech rights and would cause an outrage.

      I don’t mind for Armenia to mandate Armenian in the government business. I have no problem with everyone in Armenia speaking Armenian, if that is what they choose. I have a problem with the government forcing the use of language, and a specific form of the language, and that is where the totalitarian aspect comes into play.

      Here is what Article 1 of the “Law on Language” says: “Հայաստանի Հանրապետության պետական լեզուն հայերենն է, որը սպասարկում է հանրապետության կյանքի բոլոր ոլորտները:” Translation: “The state language of the Republic of Armenia is Armenian, which serves all spheres of the life of the republic.”
      http://www.parliament.am/legislation.php?sel=show&ID=1793&lang=arm
      “Serves all spheres of life?” What business does the government have to enforce the use of the language in “all spheres of life” in the country?

      Here is Article 3, in current revised form: “Պաշտոնական խոսքում Հայաստանի Հանրապետության քաղաքացիները պարտավոր են ապահովել գրական հայոց լեզվի անաղարտությունը.”
      http://www.parliament.am/legislation.php?sel=show&ID=4246&lang=arm
      http://www.parliament.am/legislation.php?sel=show&ID=1793&lang=arm

      Translation, “In official speech, the citizens of the Republic of Armenia must ensure the purity of the literary Armenian language.” What the hell! And what is “official speech?” Here it is: “պաշտոնական խոսք՝ Հայաստանի Հանրապետության քաղաքացիների (անկախ կարգավիճակից) ի պաշտոնե հրապարակային խոսք.” (public speech irrespective of a citizen’s status). And how is official language defined? “պաշտոնական լեզու` հայոց լեզվի քերականության, բառապաշարի, արտասանության կանոններին ենթարկվող, պաշտոնական գործառույթներին եւ հասարակության գրական ու գիտական պահանջներին ծառայող լեզու.” (“…obeying the laws of pronunciation!…”).

      So apparently, if an Armenian citizen speaks publicly, say, on TV or at a public gathering, he must guarantee the “purity” (!) of the “literary Armenian language” and obey the “laws of pronunciation”!
      http://www.parliament.am/legislation.php?sel=show&ID=4246&lang=arm

      Talk about fascism meeting a totalitarian state. Does someone publicly speaking Western Armenian obeys the laws of pronunciation of the literary Armenian? I suppose the decision is left to whatever the regime decides. Oh, and what happens when you “violate” this language law? Article 5: “The legislation of the Republic of Armenia shall establish responsibility for violation of the requirements of the present Law.” An English version of the law is here:
      http://www.parliament.am/legislation.php?sel=show&ID=1793&lang=eng

      Now, we all know that the current “president” of the “Republic” (and his predecessor) cannot even come close to following this law, especially when it comes to proper pronunciation. Clearly, the law is not enforced against them for not maintaining the “purity” of the literary language. However, in an undemocratic country such as Armenia, the regime will have no problem of applying the law against dissidents, which likely will include Diasporans. In fact, that is what “language policemen” in Armenia do. The following is a segment from a very interesting televised debate involving Robert Saakyants, a respectable outspoken animator and a critic of the government, who passed away recently, and Armen Ayvazyan, a “political scientist” and a regime ideologue notorious for his fascist views. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj7mnaAFmiA. At 2:20, Ayvazyan accuses Saakyants for breaking the “Law on Language” for speaking Russian. That is what you get when you have this kind of totalitarian law in an undemocratic state.

      I highly recommend watching the entire 9 segments of the program. Just type “Bleyan Ayvazyan”

    • {“Armen Ayvazyan, a “political scientist” and a regime ideologue notorious for his fascist views.”}

      You finding Dr Armen Ayvazyan’s views, quote, “fascist” is quite understandable, buddy boy
      He is an Armenian patriot whose historical research and strategic thinking is quite unpopular in your homeland of Turkbeijan.
      An Azerbaijani nomad posting under an Armenian name finds Dr. Ayvazyan’s patriotism, quote, “fascist” ? What a surprise.

      And, buddy boy, he has a Doctorate in History _and_ Political Science: so you can take the quotes from “political science” and mail them to your nomad Sultan living in Baku Khanate.

    • Vahagn– The United States is a country of immigrants and a very young country, therefore, that it has no official language tells me only that it is one the few exceptions to the general rule of the much older nation-states. Even if English is not de jure an official language on federal level, it is de facto national language of the United States with some 80 to 90 percent of the population claiming it as a mother tongue. Even if English is not de jure an official language on federal level, the language the government uses to run its operations and conduct its business is English. When you prepare your taxes, you must use English. When you go to the court you must either use English or have an interpreter to English. Even if it’s doesn’t figure in the Constitution, in real life the U.S. government is “forcing” (your word) the use of English. Your point about Armenian is just senseless. Whether one likes them or not, the current and past president of Armenia do much better when it comes to proper pronunciation compared to George Bush Jr.

    • Not at all, Avery. Just felt the need to retort to the “intelligent”, “non-narrow-minded” “compatriot” as he seems to broaden the area of his mind-tilting and disinformation, this time – the language.

    • [“You finding Dr Armen Ayvazyan’s views, quote, “fascist” is quite understandable”]

      First, learn to spell the name of the country whose people have ruled your ilk for centuries, gyavur, and who will likely resume to do so, given current demographic trends. Second, if you pretend to love your “homeland” so much, quit hiding in my country, the USA, like a nomad and go back there to defend it.

      As to your beloved John-Lennon-caricature boy hero (Ayvazyan), apparently due to his facsist views he has fallen out of favor even with RoA’s regime. Here is the director of the Genocide Museum calling him a mentally ill criminal (at minute 13:00): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSgoNGA9zBk. Pretty interesting stuff to educate you, buddy boy.

  6. Dear john, language is a new area for me? Did you forget not long ago when I single-handedly ignited a debate on the Turkish origin of the word “ojakh” that broke all AW records? And in the end proved that I was right? Allow me to remind you the page where you learned a great deal from yours truly: https://www.armenianweekly.com/2013/06/20/rendahl-vay-vay-vay. I have a great deal of knowledge in a wide variety of areas and am always ready to enlighten you and other less informed individuals.

    • I remember the page. And I remember how miserably you failed to prove you were right when you were so unprofessionally basing your arguments on the most dubious sources of information, and apparently the only ones which your low intellectual capabilities allow you to copy-paste from: Wikipedia and Wiktionary. You are a cero absolute, as far as serious academic disciplines are concerned. You are here to spew out cheap disinformation representing either white or black horde of a known nomadic tribe, as attested in: “learn to spell the name of the country whose people have ruled your ilk for centuries, gyavur, and who will likely resume to do so”. You’ll be handled accordingly, as you always were. The horde subjects of your ilk seem to be incredibly proud with the only set of national features the world has come to know of them: nomadic invasion, capture of foreign lands, destruction of cultural edifices, murders of civilians, colonial subjugation, barbarity and genocide. All brawn and no brains, indeed.

    • My misguided brother john, so much hatred, anger, and rambling. Like it or not, you and me belong to the same ilk. Now, for someone who regularly quotes the bible to support his arguments, it’s amusing to see you call Wikipedia dubious. Let me refresh your memory again. Yes, I cited Wikipedia, as have many on this and other sites. My sources were corroborated by other reliable sources by other posters. You, on the other hand, failed to present a single reliable source to refute our conclusions on the origin of “ojakh.” In fact, what was one of your golden statements there? Oh yes, that “Thrace is in Asia Minor.” What was your source, the bible?

  7. Sveta, as you acknowledge, even though the U.S. does not have an official language, still the reality forces the people to learn it. Then why does Armenia need laws to force the use of the language. The Armenian language has not died in the absence of a state, it certainly does not need the force of law to survive. Armenians love their language and will speak it even without this unnecessary and totalitarian “law on language.” What the law does is put power in the hands of bureaucrats (who serve the regime) to intimidate those who may threaten the regime (such as Western-Armenian speaking former Diasporans).

    The founders of the United States all spoke English. They could have easily made English the official language in the Constitution. They chose not to do so, and for a good reason. The country that they created is much stronger than many “older” nation-states, because it attracts people instead of intimidating them away with artificial laws.

    And by the way, Armenia is a country of immigrants too. In 1828, the modern territory of ROA was overwhelmingly Muslim. All three presidents of Armenia were born outside of ROA (which in a sense makes Armenia even more of a country of immigrants than the U.S.). Almost every Armenian living in ROA was either born outside or descends from Armenians who moved from elsewhere. They all brought and still bring their rich diversity, including language variations. There is no need for artificial ‘language laws” to smother these differences.

    Your comment on Bush is completely irrelevant. The point is that the last two morons who called themselves “president of Armenia” easily violate the language law, making it meaningless.

  8. I have a completely different take on the language issue. I strongly believe that language, in any society and among Armenians in particular, is a unifying force. I have no problem pockets of Armenians worldwide speaking their own slightly different little versions of the rich Armenian dialects because I view these little differences as sources of wealth and consider them as assets rather than liabilities. However, I think it is also extremely important that our nation as a whole adopt a common language. The commonality in language brings us much closer together. The fact that our nation is spread to four corners of the world, because of our recent history, makes this commonality even more important.

    Let’s face it people, everyone rather speak Armenian in his mother tongue and hear it spoken in his familiar sounding Armenian. It is much more wholesome, reassuring and closer to one’s heart but the problem is that it can also be a dividing factor. It can be so because often time a lot of culture is embedded in the language and if you don’t fully understand the language spoken and meanings associated with it, you tend to feel alienated. Consequently, you get discouraged and naturally you start to look for the language that’s familiar to your ears thus avoiding interaction with other fellow Armenians. This is where division begins to take root. Of course, such divisions have no effect whatsoever on our collective political thinking but by eliminating such “artificial” divisions the Armenian society becomes much more homogenous and I strongly believe homogeneity is a source of strength. The United States is a multicultural society and many among them are bilingual, trilingual and so on. Despite these differences, the US in a few hundred years of its existence, has become one of the most advanced and strongest countries in the world and I believe that is so because its vast human wealth and intellect come together and communicate in the same language.

    I want to make a few remarks on posted comments, to whom they may concern that is, so feel free to correct me or disagree with me. I don’t mind constructive criticism, I welcome it.

    To me “Russified Eastern Armenian” implies a degree of impurity, like substituting or planting Russian words in the Eastern Armenian dialect spoken in Armenia. I don’t mean the “street” language but the literary language. It might even mean the Eastern Armenian revised by Khachatur Abovyan in the 19th century. Other than a few words here and there which is common to all languages, like some French or German words used in English, I fail to see any impurity in the literary Eastern Armenian dialect. It sounds very rich, proper and elegant to me. The Western Armenian dialect in its own way sounds very sweet and folksy.

    Furthermore, I watched the video clip on the discussion between Dr. Armen Ayvazyan, Sahakyantz and others. I did not hear one word of Russian mixed in Ayvazyan’s entire conversation and other than a few Armenian words I heard all Russian spoken by Sahakyantz. I make this point because other than this clip, I have seen numerous other clips, mostly political, in which Dr. Armen Ayvazyan speaks with such depth about the Armenian issues that I am rather surprised he is not holding a much higher office. He speaks in pure and simple yet elegant language what’s in the hearts of just about each and every Armenian. He does an excellent analysis of the Armenian political affairs and very meticulously connects the dots between the past and the present and projecting the future. To me, someone like Armen Ayvazyan who speaks the reality, as bitter sounding as it may be to some, is trying to wake us up to get our acts together to unite as one in various aspects of our lives as a nation in order to become stronger rather than spreading so-called fascism. He is a true nationalist. As a diasporan, I found nothing offensive stated by Dr. Avyazyan. We need more intellectuals like him.

    On a lighter note, any fluent Armenian speaker, more or less, should have no problem understanding either of the two, not languages, but Armenian dialects. I can speak and understand Western Armenian even though my native language is Eastern Armenian. The only thing I feel I need to improve upon in Western is to learn commonly used words, as opposed to the ones I use in Eastern, and add to my vocabulary. I may be simplifying this a bit but as far as I am concerned, there are only two key differences between the Western and the Eastern Armenian dialects: 1. The way the letters in the Armenian Alphabet are sounded, even though they are written the same in both, and 2. The way sentences are put together. For example, the letter “B” in Eastern dialect is sounded as the letter “P” and the letter “G” is sounded as the letter “K” in Western dialect and so on. Therefore, the word “Hello” or “Barev” in Eastern becomes “Parev” in Western and the name “Garo” becomes “Karo”. To learn the sentence structure in Western, all you have to do is to rearrange a few things in its Eastern equivalent.

    Let’s neither politicize nor make a mountain out of a mow hill folks!

  9. @Vahagn, No Armenian would ever make the statement and I quote “In 1828, the modern territory of ROA was overwhelmingly Muslim” that you have made. This is the myth spread around by the genocidal Turkish gyavurs and pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani kafirs. I seriously question your Armenian identity.

    The only response that can be given to your statement is to give the following analogy: Imagine millions of diaspora Armenians, the descendants of the remnants of the Armenian Genocide, return to their ancestral homeland in Western Armenia tomorrow and then make the statement that in 1923 the modern territory of Turkey was, other than a handful of hidden Armenians, not just overwhelmingly but exclusivley Muslim leaving out the fact that a few years prior to that there were several million Armenians living there for thousands of years and were subjected to mass extermination and genocide. Your statement is truly shameful.

    • Brother Ararat, my statement was taken from a textbook of Armenian history from Armenia, written and printed by Armenians (I do not have it with me now). The textbook said that prior to Eastern Armenia’s unification in 1828, Armenians had decreased to 10-15% of the population in Eastern Armenia. That makes your statement (“No Armenian would say it”) wrong right there. And yes, in 1923 (as well as now), Western Armenia is overwhelmingly Muslim. It may have been overwhelmingly Armenian in the years past, but we are not talking about years past. I caution you against making statements that start with “No Armenian would,” as neither you nor I nor anybody knows every single Armenian out there, and generalizations, as usual, are wrong. As was the case here with your generalization.

    • Ararat,

      Increasing number of AW posters seriously question the Armenian identity of a commenter posting under the name “Vahagn”. Some of us suspect he or they are just petty Armenian-speaking Azeris. His most recent gem “In 1828, the modern territory of ROA was overwhelmingly Muslim” adds to this suspicion. How many real Armenians don’t know that before 1828, in the 17th century, most Eastern Armenians were deported by Shah Abbas I to Persia? Yet, the Karabakh Armenian meliks and their fiefdoms remained and fought the Turks (David Bek rebellion, etc.). This is a yarn that Azeris formed in their melon-shaped heads and spin around to prove that Armenians populated Eastern Armenia and Karabakh only in 1828 when Russia annexed the territories. Indeed, it’s like to take a post-genocidal year 1923 and say that Eastern Turkish provinces at the time were “overwhelmingly Muslim” without regard for the fact that for millennia before 1915 they were indigenously Armenian. On the other hand, what else can you expect from Turks and their extension Azeris?

      Western and Eastern Armenian are not dialects; they are two forms or modalities of one language. BTW, “Armenian” Vahagn stated that Western Armenian was an accent. I can understand when an Armenian mistakes a language for a dialect, but to mistake a language for an accent…

  10. I am very busy putting finishing touches to my PROCLAMATIONS,shall I say? rather ¨Projections on a New Statute for the Armenian Diaspora¨.
    I only have praise for the author Kristi Rendahl for her this post.
    However,since many have diverted from the subject matter(not really though ,since it still is langiuage ,that am to write on:-Thus.-
    The TWO main modalities of the Armenian Language,the Eastern and Western are not dialects,they are MODALITIES.Both brushed up during the centuries past to represent us Armenians with both .A wealth.These in turn are divided up in Dialects, as to provinces in each of them.In Western Armenian , we come across the Vanetsi,Kaysertsi,Erzroumtsi and Bolsahay,etc. which differ from ea other quite a bit.Latter,that of Constantinople(I hate to use istanbulla)let the Turks use that name…,is the most advanced and brushed up, worthy to be denominated as our classic Western armenian.
    In RA, at present an Armneian is spoken that is sadly retrograded,thanks to soviet pressure to make it as much different from EVEN classical eastern aRmenian as possible not only in writing but also in speaking it.have employed man a Russian and some Euro-latin expressions.The first , in order to please the Russians.Pity, as the Gevorkian Djemaran(Lycee) graduates of yuesteryear(like my teacher was graduate from there..)is the CORRECT ONE, not only in script but also in everyday talk.
    Anyhow,the dialects even in Iran differ from ea other.Up north closser to RA, they speak a brushed up Armenian (Gevorkian Dhemaran),in South it is quite different and has a dialect that is appropriate of its own and not onlyu a dialcet but also a special intonation…in Middle Armenian is a bit close to the Northern Provinces Aterpatakan…
    Anyhow.we should treasure both of our main modalities of the brushed up language encourage all to speak correctly and write correctly these two.in Armenia hopefully a committee will be elected from the Academy of Sci.to attend to the language issue,soon.

  11. քոչվորoğlu buddy boy:

    You keep slipping up, sonny.
    Yous making this job too easy for me: I am already working with ¼ my brain tied behind my back, just to give a Turkbeijani nomad a sporting chance.
    But even then, you keep making amateurish blunders: don’t know what more I can do for you, son.

    Let us proceed then with our next installment of “How to recognize an ‘Armenian’ when you see one”.

    {“ First, learn to spell the name of the country whose people have ruled your ilk for centuries, gyavur, and who will likely resume to do so, given current demographic trends”} (Vahagn // November 29, 2013 at 8:08 am // @AW)

    {“learn to spell the name of the county”}

    Obviously a nerve was touched here: love it when my plan works as planned. The ‘Armenian’ is besides himself with rage at my use of the very appropriate name “Turkbeijan”.
    Q: what Armenian poster would take umbrage at the very descriptive names that we Armenians frequently use here @AW to describe the fascist, terrorist, illegitimate ‘county’ using the stolen name of the Northern Iranian provinces of Azarbaijan (….those South of the Arax river).
    So once again let us repeat these beautiful names and use them liberally: Axerbaijan (coined by Sella); Turkbeijan (I think fist use by me, but not 100% sure); Aliyevistan; Axeristan, Axeterroristan….

    {“whose people have ruled your ilk for centuries, gyavur”}

    Ouch: that one hurt քոչվորoğlu buddy boy.
    No not really.
    But seriously, so much Anti-Armenian venom in so few words: “ruled your ilk”, “gyavur”.
    My, my, my: such bad manners.

    Q: what Armenian poster would write a sentence like that ?
    A: Is that a question ?

    Regarding Dr. Ayvazyan and the Director of Genocide Museum: you can watch as many YouTube videos as you like, buddy boy.
    I know what the issue between Dr. Ayvazyan and Dr. Demoyan is: you are getting massively desperate buddy boy trying to use that as a wedge.
    Your desperation is amusing and pitiful at the same time.
    Pitiful.

    And finally:

    We remember the thread where you maliciously introduced the false claim that “ojakh” is a Turkish origin word.
    However, your memory is a little off, buddy boy: in the end you were convincingly proven wrong.
    Even the out-of-nowhere appearance of another ‘Armenian’ poster posting under an Armenian name, and who was quite knowledgeable about the Armenian language, did not help you nomads: in the end it was proven that “ojakh” could be either of Armenian origin or Persian.
    More likely Persian.

    All that effort of yous and the other ‘Armenian’ ‘compatriot’ was for naught. (is that why he was recalled to Baku or Ankara ?)
    Quite interesting that the linguist ‘compatriot’ has not posted since then, isn’t it ?

    ([John] thanks for appropriately retorting to our dear ‘Armenian’ ‘compatriot’ on that vile “…gyavur…” outburst with utmost alacrity: I was a little busy gorging myself on fine Thanksgiving meals. God bless America)

    • I am making your job easy, buddy boy? What is your job, whining for two pages after a few well-delivered lessons by me? Then keep up your job and continue to entertain us. Now, let’s again educate our gyavurածին buddy boy, this time with an impromptu poem in “his” native language (“his” being a big assumption).

      Միանգամայն հայտնի է
      որ «գյավուր» բառը կա-
      րող է բնութագրել ցանկացած
      դավանանքի և ազգի պատկանող անձի.

      քանի որ բառն ինքնին նշանակում է «անհավատ»,
      ու մենք, իսկապես ազգասեր հայորդի-
      ներս հավատում ենք, որ մենք հիանալի ազգ
      ենք, ապա այդ բառը լիովին բնութագրում է
      մեր այս ինքնատյաց «հային», ով «իր» ազգին «ոչխար» է կոչում:

      Read very carefully, buddy boy, and you might learn a few more things.

  12. Kristi: Your decision (recently or not) to learn Armenian iscertainly complimentary! Knowing Armenian (with its 38 letters &
    a host of sounds) played a key role in my learning fluent Korean in 6-7 months while stationed there. And, it gets better yet! As I was
    travelling in Portugal, my wallet was stolen while walking in a large
    crowd to a soccer stadium. With no credit card, I resorted to Armenian names or businesses in Lisbon and came across an oriental
    rug dealer; I called him & he invited me to dinner and lent me $100
    gladly! Of course, I returned the money with interest soon after my
    return! Remember the term “ubiquitous” most probably coined to describe Armenians Worldwide!

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