Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dear Eric Bogosian,

In this week's Newsweek magazine, there is an article asking a bunch of celebrity baby boomers what is next on their To-Do lists. One of them was Eric Bogosian, and the first thing on his list was "Learn Armenian."

Well, for Mr. Bogosian and anyone else out there who would like to learn Armenian, let me point you towards some resources. My resources are almost all for Western Armenian, because that is what I am trying to learn.

Language Tapes

I think the best one out there is Pimsleur's Western Armenian. Pimsleur has a an Eastern Armenian version as well. I actually wrote the lone user review, so I won't repeat it here.

Another option, not as good, is the VocabuLearn series. I haven't listened to Level 2. The lone review of this product is also mine. I should note that I wrote it before the Pimsleur was available. If you have to pick one, go with Pimsleur; it is much better. I think the VocabuLearn is only 3 stars in comparison. I may see if I can go back and edit it.

Books

One of my favorite resources, Armenian Dictionary in Transliteration by Armenian language guru and fellow Penn grad Thomas Samuelian, is no longer in print. I am not sure that it is worth the $100 for a used copy through amazon.com, but you may be able to find it through a church bookstore or other Armenian resource. I found mine through Hye Family, although it looks like they are no longer selling books. For people who cannot read the Armenian alphabet, this is an invaluable resource. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I wrote one of the reviews on the amazon.com page; mine doesn't stand alone, this time!

Another great resource is Modern Western Armenian for the English Speaking World by Dora Sakayan. This is worth every penny of the $60-$70 you will pay for it. There is enough transliteration to enable you to use it if you don't know the alphabet, but it will help you learn the alphabet and get better at reading. You can't buy it new from amazon.com anymore, but you can buy it from St. Vartan's bookstore (the official bookstore of St. Vartan's Cathedral in NYC). I bought mine from Abril bookstore in Glendale, CA, along with a set of children's flashcards to learn the alphabet, which help a little, but really aren't as helpful as just doing a lot of transliteration.

Sometimes your local Armenian church will offer adult Armenian classes; I advice checking with them, if you have one.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eric Bogosian here. Thanks for the feedback. One thing that is also of interest to me and my kids (and perhaps your readers) is where classes in Armenian are given in the NYC area. I guess I can call the AGBU.

Anoushig Aghchig said...

I would check with St. Vartan's Cathedral in NYC.

Looks like the Eastern Diocese is starting up an adult Armenian class tomorrow!

http://www.armenianchurch.net/heritage/culture/language.html