It’s back by popular demand! The Depi Hayk Language Tutorial has successfully undergone a thorough technological upgrade to ensure usability across all desktop platforms and browsers. Registration is simple, and within a minute you’re ready for your first Armenian lesson or to brush up on what you already know.
With 12-unit multimedia lessons in all, this free online course is a great tool if you or someone you know has been interested in learning basic conversational Eastern Armenian. The course includes a pre-test to assess your starting level, access to a built-in online dictionary, practical vocabulary and dialogues, grammar sections including written Armenian, its English transliteration and translation, exercises, songs and poems, and a post-test to measure one’s progress in basic level proficiency. A short introduction to the alphabet is also provided, followed by a click and drag reading/comprehension game.
Originally created more than 10 years ago, the program’s primary intended use is the same now as it was back then: to serve as a learning tool for Birthright Armenia and Armenian Volunteer Corps volunteers to get them acclimated to the Armenian language prior to their arrival to Armenia. However, by making it free and available to everyone via the Birthright Armenia website, members of the general public in need of a top-quality Armenian tutorial for work, recreation, or necessity also find the program beneficial. Over the last decade the tutorial has enjoyed quite a following of language takers: More than 2,850 have benefitted to date, the majority of whom were not Birthright volunteers. The upgrade to keep pace with ever-changing technology was a must in order to continue serving the growing interest in Eastern Armenian.
Timothy Deets, a registered tutorial user from Chicago, Ill., now living and teaching English in Armenia at the American University of Armenia, is an ideal example of the diverse non-volunteer demographic. “While trying to learn Armenian, I’ve acquired dictionaries and other books, and tried Mango as well as Pimsleur language programs. But the main reason I use Birthright Armenia’s online language tutorial is because it’s so interactive and has a nice, succinct summary of Eastern Armenian grammar,” he explained.
“Presently, I am using the tutorial with the goal of learning Armenian grammar, to improve my pronunciation, and to increase my vocabulary. This practical knowledge assists me with getting around town via public transportation and ordering food and drinks in restaurants with ease,” he added.
Using a method similar to Rosetta Stone, the language tutorial utilizes the concept of dynamic immersion to introduce English-speaking learners to the cultural intricacies of the target language. Users of the program have all commented on the efficacy of this method in learning a language not practiced in their daily lives. Organized vis-à-vis the format of the Armenian map, each of the tutorial’s lessons is named after a region in Armenia. As a result, not only are users broadening their skills, they are becoming more familiar with the geography of the Armenian Republic, its monasteries, history, and culture.
To use the Depi Hayk Language Tutorial, visit www.birthrightarmenia.org/depihayk/login.php?content=login or click on the button for the language tutorial from the main menu of the Birthright Armenia site to get started. Hajoghutiun!