It's My Family, It's My Language 02/20/2016

For Victor Moquist, enrolling in AVC's online courses to learn the Armenian language was an act of love. Having begun dating his Armenia-born girlfriend Tatevik in Denmark in 2011, Victor decided, a year later, to commit to learning the language.

"At Tatevik's house the family mainly speaks Armenian, and I really want to be able to take part in the conversations", says Victor. "Tatevik has also mentioned that she would want her children to speak Armenian, and since I want to be the father of her children, it was important for me to learn the language." Luckily, Tatevik had already heard about the Armenian Virtual College, and while she did not find a course suitable for her, Victor did, and completed 5 courses in Eastern Armenian. Victor said it was the flexibility of AVC that interested him as he would often have busy weeks and worried about being able to keep up with deadlines. "I really enjoyed the mix of teaching and exercises and being able to do the courses anywhere. I had a great instructor, Marina, who helped me keep up with the deadlines, while acknowledging my busy life".

Although Victor says that since Armenian is a unique language that is not similar to Danish or the three other languages he speaks, he still becomes very excited when he can apply something he learned from his courses into a conversation.

Dating an Armenian woman and learning the language also introduced Victor to the Armenian community in Denmark. Although he is often the only non-Armenian, he feels very welcomed and included, and enjoys going to Armenian events. When asked about cultural similarities, Victor states that it is actually the differences that are interesting. "Armenians can learn things from Danes, but Danes can definitely learn a lot from Armenians as well. I am extremely fascinated by the Armenian family values and in general their social values".

Victor is also busy bringing AVC to Denmark. In 2013, Victor, Tatevik and 7 others created an organization that creates ties with Armenia called Amstream ( Amstream hosted an exhibition in Copenhagen of Armenian technology during the European Technological Forum (ESOF 2014), which is Europe's largest science fair. "We presented the new chess courses from AVC. We allowed children and adults to come and test the online chess course, which was received with great interest! People were intrigued by the interesting exercises and brain teasers that are included in the course".

Victor first traveled to Armenia in August of 2011, and has been there once a year since then. He makes sure to visit the AVC office and to meet his online instructor, Marina, who has become a dear friend of his! He reflects on his time in Armenia and Artsakh and remarks on how beautiful the forests and mountains are and of how respectful and friendly the people are.

When asked about future courses he intends to take, Victor mentioned that he needed to take a pause as the more advanced courses are full of new material, and he needs more repetition in order to keep up.

At times it can be difficult to learn from your loved ones, but Tatevik, as a native speaker,strongly wishes to help Victor learn Armenian. Victor has many "fantastic Armenian friends" in Copenhagen he can speak with, and Tatevik is always proud of him when he does! When asked how he learned Armenian, Victor is always happy to talk about AVC, and recommend it to anyone who even shows the smallest interest in learning the language!

By Lena Tashjian