Two-Week Immersive Armenian Course Big Success with German Students

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach – Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BERLIN — Young people engaged in Armenian studies who want to learn about the country first-hand can take advantage of one of the many programs offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (
The DAAD, founded in 1925, is the largest German organization providing support in the field of academic cooperation. This year they are again offering an Armenian Summer School for two weeks, with language study, lectures on the country and field trips to significant sites. The program came into being some years ago as a col- laborative effort among scholars in the fields of German and Armenian language studies, in both Germany and Armenia, with the participation of the Yerevan State W. Brusov University for Languages and Social Sciences.
By staying with guest families in Yerevan, the students will enjoy full immersion in the language. In addition, they will have Armenian classes every morning, followed by lectures presented by experts. As detailed in the program, these talks deal with Armenia, its history, culture and politics, as well as the language. For example, subjects range from Armenian History, the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Media Landscape, to A Comparison of Armenian and German Grammar, the Comparative Use of Personal Names, Courtesy in Armenian and German, etc.
Prof. Stefan Rabanus treats comparative grammar as a fascinating theme that allows one to gain insights not only into the second language, with its unique solutions for conceptual tasks, but also, by reflection, into one’s own language. Eliza Ghazaryan’s subject is Courtesy, which has become a favorite theme in scientific discus- sion recently, especially in the context of intercultural communication. Anahit Avagyan will present an overview of the Armenian Apostolic Church, not only historically, but also its role in the 21st century.
Lectures will also deal with current events: Armenia between Russia and Europe, Armenia and the European Union, the economic situation in the country, its biodiversity, and the most explosive recent developments, Armenia’s Experience in Democracy in Spring 2018. Richard Giragosian, who is founder and director of the Regional Studies Center, will discuss Armenia’s relations with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union, and the EU, as well as Armenia‘s role in the Southern Caucasus. The Regional Studies Center is a leading Armenian thinktank involved in political and economic reforms as well as conflict resolution.
Lectures on the church and Armenian literature will be enhanced by visits to Echmiadzin and the Matenadaran. Field trips are also planned to the Genocide museum, Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni and Dilijan national park.
The program runs for two weeks but promises to provide young academics a unique learning experience in Armenia.