The Western Armenian Language

The Armenian Communities Department invests significant funds to ensure the vitality and long-term sustainability of the Western Armenian language and culture. UNESCO has declared Western Armenian an “endangered language.” The first pillar of the Department’s programming addresses this challenge, adopting a holistic approach on several levels. It supports the development of pioneering pedagogic and language-related tools, invests in teacher development programmes and in Armenian schools in the Diaspora, reinforces technological innovation pertaining to language, and encourages targeted publications and digitisation initiatives.

More specifically, as a grant-making unit, the Department supports projects that include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  1. In-person and online language acquisition programmes and courses in Western Armenian.
  2. Technology-related language initiatives and linguistic tools such as spellcheckers.
  3. The creation of pedagogic materials for children and teens.
  4. Teacher development programmes.
  5. Special education for Armenian children.
  6. Targeted aid to diasporan schools and school-related projects.
  7. Armenian-language books for children and young adults.
  8. Publications on various subjects, including literature, in Western Armenian, with an emphasis on contemporary topics and original works.
  9. Electronic libraries and digitisation of linguistic heritage.
  10. Media and websites in the Western Armenian language, including social media, podcasts and radio.
  11. Apps that focus on the language and its use in daily life.
  12. Research pertaining to Western Armenian.
  13. Institutional support to organisations working on language-related issues.

The Department’s strategy intends to generate more robust, engaged, and sustainable diasporan communities with a vibrant and unique culture and education system in which language – Western Armenian – is central. To achieve this, its programming casts a wide net in terms of age groups and types of projects supported. Revitalising a language is a multi-vectored process requiring intervention at various levels, in multiple domains, and with numerous partners around the world.

The Department’s intervention in this domain during the past several years is already bearing some fruit. During the next five years, the gains will be consolidated, expanded and communicated.

Updated on 24 february 2023

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