ARMENIAN LANGUAGE PROGRAM
The Armenian language program offers four levels of instruction:
- Elementary Armenian I (MDES UN1301) and Elementary Armenian II (MDES UN1302)
- Intermediate Armenian I (MDES UN2301) and Intermediate Armenian II (MDES UN2302)
- Advanced Armenian I and Advanced Armenian II
- Readings in Armenian Texts (MDES GU4314).
For heritage speakers, or students with skills in Armenian, the program offers a level that combines the elementary and intermediate courses: Armenian for Heritage Speakers.
In Elementary Armenian I and II, students acquire skills to communicate about topics relating to themselves and their immediate surroundings. They read authentic materials such as signs, advertisements, timetables, and texts in the form of tales, fables, and songs in unaltered original language.
In Intermediate Armenian I and II, students acquire skills to communicate about a wide range of topics relating to the world beyond their immediate surroundings. Topics include biography, geography, travel, holidays, education, health, arts, etc. At this level, students deepen their knowledge of grammar and begin to read full-length authentic short stories, excerpts from plays, newspaper headlines, and selected passages in newspaper articles in unaltered original language.
In Advanced Armenian I and II, students develop competence to communicate with regard to topics relating to social, historical, political, and cultural issues of Armenian society and Armenian Diaspora. They perfect their knowledge of grammar and write short essays using complex forms of the language. They read longer literary works with the use of a dictionary.
In Readings in Armenia Texts, students are introduced to texts literary and historical texts. Emphasis is on analyzing context, syntax and grammatical structures as clues towards comprehension. In addition to grammar and vocabulary analysis, students produce translations, brief summaries and commentaries on the texts they read, both orally and in written form. The content of the course changes each term, allowing students to take the course more than once.
Western Armenian is the language spoken in the Armenian diaspora by multilingual communities living in various cities around the world. It is spoken in Armenian homes, in community centers and community schools, and used in written form in community publications, as well as in some literary and poetic works by a number of diaspora artists. As a diasporic language, it does not enjoy an official or national status anywhere. Eastern Armenian, on the other hand, is the official language of the Republic of Armenia, of Nagorno Karabakh, and is spoken by Armenian communities of Georgia, Iran, and Russia.
Although Western and Eastern Armenian are mutually intelligible, there exist marked differences in rhythm, pronunciation, orthography, grammar, and usage of words:
- Western Armenian is spoken at a slower pace in comparison to the quick rhythm of Eastern Armenian;
- Traditional orthography in Armenia was changed to a phonetic system in the 1920s, whereas Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian communities in Iran and Georgia retained the rules of the classical orthography;
- Eastern Armenian has distinct sounds for all the letters of the alphabet, whereas in Western Armenian, the sounds of some letters have shifted and have no distinction in pronunciation;
- Grammatical differences in conjugation and case endings, as well as differences in usage of vocabulary.
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship
Open to undergraduate and graduate students of Columbia University and Barnard College. Students can apply for study at the beginning, intermediate or advanced level of language. The AY FLAS grant amounts are:
- Graduate students tuition grant is $18,000 and the stipend is $15,000.
- Undergraduate students tuition grant is $10,000 and the stipend is $5,000.
Ph.D. fellowship in Armenian studies MESAAS (contact director of graduate studies)
Adrina Kayaian Scholarship for Studies in Nutrition and Food-related studies.