Armenian Studies

People often say that languages are the key to the world, highlighting the representative authority of a language. For Armenians, who have cultivated their cultural identity through language for centuries, this is certainly true!

Here at UCI, we're committed to language maintenance and language education.  Our Armenian language series offers beginner and intermediate level courses designed to welcome both total beginners and heritage speakers. Our Western Armenian courses contribute to language vitality efforts 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 continue to teach Armenian at UCI. Learning Armenian opens a rare window into Armenian culture, making it possible for students – through connection, both personal and literary – to glimpse and even share in the pains and sorrows, joys and aspirations of its speakers and readers. Ultimately, UCI’s Armenian language classes are vital in contributing to the survival and flourishing of the Armenian language in the diaspora." 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
  • Growing up in an Armenian household, I was told to always learn about my culture; enough is never enough. Having discovered the Armenian program at UCI, I didn’t even hesitate in the slightest when enrolling in the language course. Although I was taught the Eastern dialect, I knew taking this class would allow me to explore more about my roots and history, while learning it all in the Western Armenian standard. I am beyond happy and satisfied with the decision I’ve made because I’ve acquired new knowledge about myself and my heritage in a different light that I couldn’t have done on my own."  Monica Nazarian, Political Science, Class of 2024
  • "Without a doubt, taking Armenian courses at the University of California, Irvine was one of the best decisions I made in my life. As a Hispanic woman with no prior knowledge of the Armenian language, I am shocked to say I learned to read Armenian within weeks! The courses are so well-designed and could not work better for learning a new language."  Stephanie Ramirez, Criminology, Law and Society, Class of 2021
  • "The Western Armenian language series has truly felt like a special experience in my time at UC Irvine. As a PhD student, I have learned alongside undergraduates and community members alike in a community-oriented learning environment. I have felt honored to participate in this series of courses truly open to all types of students and learners, and particularly in one whose mission is as critically important as this." Mehra Gharibian, PhD Candidate, Culture and Theory


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

Donor Map
Rank State Gifts
1 CA 25
2 NY 2
3 NV 1
Armenian Language Fund Matching Challenge
Thanks to a generous gift from Professor V. Ara Apkarian and Dr. Alice Apkarian, all gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to the first $10,000 raised toward the Armenian Language Fund!
$10,000 MATCHED
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Questions? See our FAQ.

Or you can contact us at james.yokelle@uci.edu.