By: Erik Khzmalyan
Armenian language: a language that has a history of couple thousand of years. Armenian language: a language that survived and became even richer and more unique. We all have the right to be proud that we speak a language that is recognized as one of the oldest languages known to humanity. Armenian is the language that gave the world such a luxurious and rich literature. George Byron, one of the leading English poets was so fascinated with Armenian, that he began studying our language at the Mkhitarist monastery on the island of San Lazzaro. Once Byron stated, “Armenian is the language to speak with God.”
Yet, many Armenian scholars are concerned that Armenian language is under the danger. It is one of the most discussed topics among scholars, professors, and linguists. What are we doing to our beautiful language? Unfortunately, we ALL are subjects for blame. Most of the Armenian youth living abroad, refuse to speak Armenian among each other. Armenians living in Armenia use at least couple of Russian words in one sentence. I sometimes, catch myself doing the same. It is really shameful. People preserved this beautiful language, made great sacrifices in order to guarantee its existence, yet we dare to violate the basic rules of the Armenian language. I strongly believe that every Armenian should be fluent in Armenian or at least try to.
French people can be great example for us. Have you ever noticed how sensitive they are when it comes to French? Recently my brother was in Paris to take part in international conference. While he was in café, he was made by the receptionist to learn how to order coffee in French. People had to wait in the line for 15 minutes. This may seem too radical, but this is a simple example how French appreciate their language. I have friends who are not Armenian, but speak fluent Armenian, as they fell in love with it while being in Armenia. Yet we Armenians, who inherited this beautiful, rich, and complex language, fail to use the advantage of speaking ARMENIAN, our NATIVE language. I have several tips for my fellow Armenians who have difficulties of speaking Armenian. Many of them are simply embarrassed by the fact that their Armenian is not very fluent and may sound funny for the native speaker. My advice to you: DON’T be ashamed. Go ahead and speak Armenian as much as it’s possible. Watch Armenian classic movies in your spare time. READ our beautiful literature. Speak Armenian as much as it’s possible and ask people to correct your mistakes. Believe me it’s doable. Nowadays the major thing that unites most Armenians is the language we speak: Armenian. It defines our identity, heritage, and culture. Let’s speak Armenian, it’s beautiful.