The Endangered Armenian
In the latest news from Baregentan Planet, about the endangered Armenian who was diagnosed with cancer called Xenomania. A new type of cancer, when organs start producing exotic fluids while performing their routine tasks; like the heart producing pepsin, the pancreas producing oxytocin, the stomach insulin… to prove to one another that they are superior and capable of performing other organs’ tasks.
Doctors said my beloved was dying because of malnutrition, malfunctioning, and ignorance… some causes were external because of the lack of confidence in the local nutritional market especially after the brutal execution of a local nutritional producer, who took care of a great number of consumers for decades.
In some other cases, doctors say, the cure was available spiritually but patients refused also taking the spiritual prescribed doses from the divine book of nutrition based on some prior battered experiences with leadership.
We have Endangered Armenian language
In other words, in plain English, as perfectionists, when it comes to the Armenian Language, we are so in love with our language that we are afraid to lose it or damage it. Living in the diaspora and having different dialects, we keep criticizing each other instead of embracing our differences, helping each other grow and shining together.
Some prestigious Armenian schools, teaching high-level Armenian language and providing students jobs in Armenian institutions while underestimating other schools, is just not enough to keep the torch burning if we do not inspire individuals from different locations and environments to rise and enlighten their surroundings.
A decade ago, google offered western and eastern versions of Armenian, but it was removed, that is why it is better to think that it is a conspiracy to rate Western Armenian as an Endangered Armenian.
A few years back Aram I, Catholicos and head of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, urged us to write Armenian no matter what, where, or when. He who has closely accompanied many generations, and has seen them graduate the Armenian National Schools, while he was a Prelate of the Lebanese Diocese.
In an interview with Mr. Boghos Snabian, he recounts how he had given the chance to some young students to write under his supervision, which that time helped establish a circle of writers from different backgrounds, and nowadays these writers are well-known masters in Journalism.
Is Western Armenian Endangered?
According to UNESCO, the Western Armenian Language is listed as A DYING LANGUAGE. “Definitely endangered”, they say putting it on a map of the world’s dead and threatened languages.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, when languages die, they take with them legends, proverbs, stories, traditions, memories … The map reveals that only 200,000 people speak Western Armenian in Turkey and in the Diaspora.
Armenian flexibility VS Global Racism??
In France, Greece, America, China, etc…. people insist on speaking their mother language with tourists, patients, customers and so on, just to give them a taste of their own culture. In some of our diaspora societies, some people refuse to read Armenian, unless it is a “lighter” language, preferring and boasting their good knowledge of “exotic” languages.
Xenomania, and CataGelophobia: the extreme fear and complex of being mocked or laughed at as a community for ages…. simply for not being able to speak the local language, all this ignoring Lord Byron’s famous quote: Armenian is the language to speak with God…
According to Dr. Arda Jebedjian (Ph.D. in linguistics and teaches at universities in Lebanon and Cyprus): “After 97 years of diasporic existence, some Armenian communities seem to have developed a defeatist, pessimistic stance towards the preservation of their ethnic language, with a stubborn conviction that I am French. Why should I speak Armenian? What good will it do to me in France? I am an American. I feel American. The fact that my ancestors were Armenian 100 years ago has no significance to me. Why do we always have to make it hard on ourselves?” … “Life is already hard. Don’t make it any harder. I wasn’t born in Armenia. Why should I speak Armenian? How is Armenian going to help my children find a job? There is no future in Armenian.”
Some Homemade Remedy
Back in 2015 scholars from Lebanon gathered in Aghveran Armenia, for the “Western Armenian Wikipedia” Convention. With the cooperation of Eastern Armenian Wikipedia editors, who shared experiences and methods to strengthen the usage, preserve and prevent the loss of our beloved Endangered Armenian western Language.
Training scholars and teachers who continue their work in Lebanon, and later on, organized training camps for students and coordinators in Armenia, under the patronage of Caloust Gulbenkian Foundation.
Hoping that Armenians all around the world stand willingly united around the schools and churches, to cure a bleeding attitude, towards a language that needs some little extra attention and effort to survive for centuries to come.
Speaking, reading, writing Armenian, attending Church, and cultural events with our family and friends could help.
We have survived in the diaspora because of our difference, our Language, The Armenian Language, let’s pay some back.
The solution is building the Armenian Firewall: The Great Wall that Could Make Armenian Great Again.
Although the following video is an appreciated attempt, you will notice the eastern Armenian accent and when you reach “Hi” you will notice number seven 7 written with “Hi” that we write with “Yetch!!”
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2015, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.