Sunday, May 27, 2012

Western Armenian at Harvard

The class in Western Armenian taught by Prof. Avedis Sanjian at Harvard Univesity, a class which Marash Girl took in her sophomore year while attending a college that no longer exists (Radcliffe College) was probably the most valuable class that she took there.  Raised in a church that was multilingual (Armenian, Turkish, and English), and an extended family where the folks on the first floor spoke English and Turkish, the folks on the second floor spoke English and Armenian (and Turkish only if they had to) and the folks on the third floor spoke Armenian (and only Turkish or English if they had to), she grew up speaking English, understanding Turkish (though not being allowed to speak it), and hearing Armenian (though not really understanding it).  After one year of studying Armenian with Prof. Sanjian (who, she later learned, was a distant relative whose ancestors hailed from Marash), she could read, write and speak the language . . . it came in really handy when she married into a family (Marashtsi, of course) that spoke Armenian, Turkish and English!


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