Posted 20 July 2011 - 05:36 PM
I see that in this thread people are using the words թրքահայերէն and ռուսահայերէն with mistaken meanings and as insults. I am not at all insulted when they tell me I speak Turkish Armenian, or someone else speaks Russian Armenian. Let me elaborate.
As someone explained at the beginning, there were innumerable dialects all over the territories populated by Armenians. In the West, the people of Istanbul gathered all the dialects from the Western areas and systematized them in what is known today as Western Armenian. In the East, the Leningrad School gathered and systematized all the dialects from the Eastern areas. Keep this in mind: Istanbul and Leningrad, and a little bit from Tbilisi; not Yerevan, not Bourj Hammoud, not Aleppo, not Teheran, not Paris, not Hollywood, not Glendale.
So because one comes from Istanbul, is called Turkish Armenian, and because the other comes from Leningrad is called Russian Armenian. Russian Armenian is not the slang of Yerevan or a mixture of Russian and Armenian; it is the Armenian language systematized in Leningrad. And Turkish Armenian is not the slang of Istanbul or Bourj Hammoud, nor is a mixture of Turkish and Armenian; it is the Armenian language systematized in Istanbul. Therefore the Armenians who speak Eastern Armenian, whether it is in Yerevan, Moscow, Teheran. Hollywood or Pasadena, are speaking Russian Armenian, and the people who speak Western Armenian, whether in Istanbul, Beirut, Aleppo, Glendale or Paris, are speaking Turkish Armenian.
So there are պարսկահայեր, but there is no պարսկահայերէն. The language is either թրքահայերէն or ռուսահայերէն, or, with the politically correct names, արեւմտահայերէն and արեւելահայերէն։
There is nothing wrong with either one. They are both the same language. As Arpa said earlier, if you really know Armenian, you understand both languages when you read our poets or even our newspapers. Even though I cannot understand the slang of some people here in Glendale or Pasadena, I have no problem reading any Armenian authors from Yerevan, or newspapers or websites. It is the same language.
The local slang and the mixing with local languages, be it Russian, Turkish, Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish or English, are totally different issues. Those “languages” don’t have names; they are not Persian Armenian, Arabic Armenian, or Spanish Armenian. They are just local hybridizations within the colloquial use of people who don’t have a formal education in the language. It is merely circumstantial. If they went to school and learned the proper Armenian words, they would not mix the local languages with Armenian.
Even though people often mean it as insults, I don’t feel insulted when someone accuses me of speaking Turkish Armenian. It is a perfectly valid variety of Armenian, as valid as Russian Armenian. Both varieties have outstanding literature. Both varieties are worth preserving and teaching to our children. To say that people who speak Turkish Armenian are lesser Armenians than the rest, or vice-versa, is not acceptable.