Armenian is an Indo-European language spoken in the Republic of Armenia. Although the difference between Armenian and English presents certain hurdles for English-language speakers, the challenge of learning Armenian is self-enriching and can provide you with a new set of communication skills. To gain vocabulary and listening skills, you need to find a good resource for lessons. Practicing oral communication, preferably with a native speaker, will take you even further.
Even though Armenian is not a commonly studied language such as Spanish or French, there are numerous sources for Armenian lessons. You can find online lessons or lessons in book and audio form, such as Simon and Schuster's Pimsleur Armenian course, Rosetta Stone or Random House's Living Language sets. Language websites, such as Learn Armenian, provide lessons and can be accessed for free. (See Resources below.) Book and audio compilations help guide the learner with writing skills. Hearing native Armenian speakers as they would speak naturally hones in listening skills.
Vocabulary and Listening Skills
Begin memorizing vocabulary and gaining listening skills. Book and audio compilations provide a comprehensive way of building basic vocabulary through reading and writing exercises. Courses such as Pimsleur Armenian, Rosetta Stone and Living Language also come with audio CDs that have conversations between native speakers. Listen to these conversations repeatedly until you can comprehend them naturally. Question and answer formats help you learn important scripts or predictable sets of expressions.
Since gaining oral communication skills in any foreign language is essential in developing fluency, find a native speaker who is willing to help you learn. Often, exchange students on college campuses offer to communicate with students who want to learn their native language. There are also online communities, such as My Language Exchange and italki, where you can connect with native Armenian speakers in a virtual environment. (See Resources below.) The more comfortable you are with speaking Armenian, the more likely you will continue to learn the language.
To truly immerse yourself in the language, consider enrolling in a language program at home or abroad. American Councils for International Education offers intensive instruction for studying Eurasian languages, as do several institutes and universities, such as the Boston Language Institute and Arizona State's Critical Language Institute.
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