Juliet Martirosyan: “Language is not a gown you can wear to a party one day and then carelessly make it dirty for the rest of the year”

Mother Language Day is not the only occasion on which the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia touches upon the two ramifications of the Armenian language and shows concern about the major issues of distortion of the language and the loss of Western Armenian, but Mother Language Day is celebrated with a number of events, as well as through the publication of interviews with well-known linguists, literary critics, writers and representatives of other newspapers and online presses in Hayern Aysor electronic newspaper. Despite her busy schedule, editor of Avant-Garde newspaper (one of Armenia’s longest running newspapers) and journalist Juliet Martirosyan answered my questions on the occasion of Mother Language Day with great pleasure and willingness.

Karine Avagyan: Dear Juliet, I know that you are one of the unwavering supporters of the Mother Language, and your Avant-Garde newspaper, which has been publishing for many years under your direction and now has a website, keeps the articles free from slip-ups in terms of language…How do you achieve such outcomes?

Juliet Martirosyan: First, I would like to emphasize the fact that your zealous and concerned efforts and the efforts of the Ministry of Diaspora for preserving the purity of the Armenian language are more than appreciated. As far as keeping the articles “free from slip-ups in terms of language” is concerned, you are tactfully very soft. All you need to do is to think like an Armenian and be literate in order to not distort the language, and first and foremost,   you need to respect yourself and have the morality to not maraud our flexible language barbarically. In this case, any “slip-up” will be impossible. However, the Armenian we hear on Armenian television stations and read on certain websites today is a serious challenge to the existence of the Armenian language.

Karine Avagyan: Every year, people talk about the distortion of the Armenian language, hold events and discussions on the occasion of Mother Language Day, but it seems as though everything remains the same…How can we protect our language from this widespread “massacre”?

Juliet Martirosyan: I appreciate your modesty, but my (and not only mine) impression is that the Ministry of Diaspora is the only one or perhaps more than the rest that is concerned about the preservation and distortion of the Armenian language, and not only in Armenia, but also in the Diaspora.

You won’t inspire anyone with the morality to protect what you have by making calls once every 365 days. Language is not a gown you can wear to a party one day and then carelessly make it dirty for the rest of the year.

Today, we need to not only preserve our language, but also save it. This might sound a little drastic, but we need language police, an institution with certain powers that will lead an unwavering struggle against ��?language pirates’ and ��?language piracy’. We need a state institution that will have specialists who know our ancient language the best and truly love our language, an institution that will protect the right to purity of the Armenian language and will preserve our mother language spanning millennia.

I definitely agree with all of Juliet Martirosyan’s concerns and share her thoughts on preservation of the language. The only thing left to do is to hope that our sacred and precious Mother Language (the state language of the Republic of Armenia), the history of which traces back to centuries and has undergone trials and tribulations, will definitely be in the center of attention of all Armenians.

Karine Avagyan

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