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UCI Armenian Studies

Did you know that UNESCO listed Western Armenian as an endangered language? The language was nearly wiped out by the Armenian Genocide. Here at UCI, we’re committed to preserving the language that matters by offering students courses in Western Armenian. These courses are crucial in contributing to the survival and flourishing of the Armenian language in the diaspora, as linguistic knowledge profoundly impacts cultural awareness and understanding.


  • Elementary Armenian Language course teaches written and conversational Armenian for students with no knowledge of the language. Students learn the Armenian alphabet, read and comprehend simple texts, and learn to carry a basic conversation. The course emphasizes reading and comprehension, grammar rules, and basic composition.
  • Intermediate Armenian Language course develops students’ ability to communicate further orally and in writing in Armenian by consolidating knowledge of grammar, increasing vocabulary, and developing reading, comprehension, and writing.


Supporting Armenian language instruction means preserving an endangered language, valuing cultural awareness, and ensuring students can meet the core requirements of the new minor in Armenian Studies. We are seeking support to secure the future of our Armenian language courses at UCI both for next year and in perpetuity.


Testimonial Statements:

  • "It is crucial that we teach Western Armenian because, otherwise, it will die off. This is the language of most of the diaspora - descendants of survivors of the Armenian genocide. It is the language that the genocide attempted to eliminate by annihilating its speakers. So, it’s crucial historically for us to contribute to the survival and flourishing of Western Armenian." - Houri Berberian, Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair in Armenian Studies
  • “I’m happy that the UCI Program for Armenian Studies has a marked focus on Western Armenian and I’m proud to be its instructor. I think it’s crucial that a stateless language finds representation within the academic curriculum of a research university. I am humbled by the opportunity every day that I enter one of the Armenian language classrooms and get to teach, practice, and cultivate Armenian with students, who in turn, are acquiring this language-system congruent with their higher education explorations. As such, the Armenian language becomes part and parcel of their critical thinking process.” - Talar Chahinian, Ph.D., Lecturer, Armenian Studies Program and Research Associate, Department of Comparative Literature
  • “The Armenian language courses have provided me with the opportunity to truly connect with my identity in a way I never have before. It’s remarkable to learn the language of my ancestors in an academic setting and to be represented at my school.” - Nara Alice Avakian, UCI Student of Armenian Language Course.


Make a gift today to preserve the Western Armenian language for the future generation!

Armenian Language Fund Matching Challenge
Thanks to a generous grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation, all gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to the first $6,000 raised toward the Armenian Language Instruction Fund!
$3,700 MATCHED
Donor Map
Rank State Gifts
1 CA 23
2 FL 1
2 MA 1
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Or you can contact us at gagnonj@uci.edu.