Armen Chakmakjian

Armenian Speaking Chinese Student

In Random on January 21, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Armenian Speaking Chinese Student

I thought this was pretty impressive. I also thought the Armenian guy speaking Chinese was impressive too.

In a similar way, years ago, I had another incident like this portrays. I was taking evening Armenian language classes (mostly to learn how to read but also to get practice speaking again). At one point we had a student from BU sit in who was Chinese. Of course we were curious about why he was doing this. So he spoke to us in perfect english. Then the instructor walked in. She started to speak to us in Armenian, and then did an introduction with great flourish about our new student. She asked him to talk about himself, and he responded in perfect Western Armenian and explained that he was doing research on ancient biblical era texts and was writing a piece of OCR software to read and then translate those documents.

Of course the shock of him speaking Armenian better than us native speakers took a while to get over. The amazement to us (let’s say rather than a Frenchman or an Englishman who are used to someone else learning and speaking their language) is that with our small numbers, we assume nobody knows what we are saying or cares to learn our language. But I guess we continue to be proven wrong.


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