Preface This book is addressed to those, who want to master Armenian in a very short period of time, e.g. within 2-3 months. Anyone who knows English or Russian, can independently or with the help of a teacher learn 2000 words and acquire the basics of the Armenian language. This book will give them an opportunity to communicate on everyday topics, read texts of average difficulty with the help of a dictionary, and last but not least to obtain the basic Armenian language skills on their own. In the basis of our method of teaching Armenian lies a game, which is one of long-tried tricks. No grammar is explained here. All the grammatical rules are represented via speech examples. We did our best to create a natural communication atmosphere so that the learner, instead of doing grammar exercises, can solve everyday problems by himself. The book includes 34 lessons. The first nine are oral lessons. By doing this we consider the fact that a person first of all learns to speak and then read and write. In the articulation exercises the participants may confront difficulties while pronouncing the Armenian sounds. The thing is that the Armenian alphabet has more sounds than the Russian one or those of any other European language. The learner pronouncing the words "" (stone) and "ϳ" (sewing) might pronounce them identically. However, you should not worry and spend time on phonetics is useless. Everyone who speaks Armenian will understand the difference of the meanings of words in the context of sentences: "He is cutting a stone" and "She is sewing". In Lesson 10-12 you'll come across letters and spelling. So, if you already know the Armenian alphabet, you can start from Lesson 13. All other lessons, which have a thematic direction and the base of which is natural speech, make it easy for the leaner to deepen their speech and comprehension skills, to understand what they hear and develop their reading and writing skills. On the back of the book one could find a test of 100 points for checking text comprehension and the level of language knowledge. It is not compulsory to learn a lesson per day. So the first 9 lessons one can study in a very short period of time, for example within 3-4 days, as they mainly comprise pronunciation exercises. Two or three days should be spared to the other lessons. With the help of this method while studying a foreign language, and in this case Armenian, two important conditions should be taken into account: 1. speed; 2. there should be no breaks during the process of study. Each lesson consists of 3 parts. The first part is considered to be the purpose of the lesson within the frames of the thematic material. The exercises of this part are mainly relate to articulation. The second part is called a "Conversation Book". It consists of a series of dialogues, which include the speech and grammar of the first part. The basis of these exercises are again some kinds of word-combinations, that is to say, the learner listens to the dialogues and tries to understand the subject-matter and reproduce it. We've tried to make the dialogues more emotional and expressive to make the learning process easy. The English and Russian translations are also given. Beginning from Lesson 13, all the materials of the "Conversation Book" are reading ones. The 3rd part of the book is targeted at practicing the knowledge through oral and written exercises. The exercises, which have a thematic direction, are formed so that the reader feels like studying a language but being in a natural reality. All the examples and speech models of the book are also translated. And when there is no translation provided one should consult the Armenian - English - Russian dictionary attached to this book. We tried to to make the linguistic material plain and distinct. The topics accumulated in this book serve this purpose. The grammatical rules and the illustrations are given so that the reader gains a wide range of knowledge on Armenia, its people, culture, history, sights, habits and traditions. While working out this method of teaching Armenian and creating the book, we've used the works of Armenian, Russian and European linguists, which have been made use of in addition to the age-long experience. The author is thankful to Irma Safrazbekyan, a Doctor of Philology and Grigori Vahanyan, a Candidate of Technical Sciences and a Doctor of Economics for their advice and valuable ideas. He is thankful to the painters, photographs, whose pictures are used in this book. Finally, we should say that this book as a text-book can be used in Armenian schools and gymnasiums abroad and for all those Armenians, who don't know the Armenian language or know it badly. Good-luck to those, who decided to learn Armenian with the help of this book. Samvel Iscandaryan

S. Iskandarian

"Voronum-Hayknet", Ltd.
E-mail: hayknet@arminco.com