Harvard University to offer Kurdish language courses
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department of Harvard University has recently announced that it is offering a course for its students to learn the Sorani dialect of the Kurdish language.
"I am pleased to announce that Harvard University has offered the first Kurdish Language Course to doctoral students interested in learning the Kurdish language," Ahmed Mohammadpur, an assistant professor of anthropology and sociology from Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat) who has given guidance on the course to Harvard, wrote on his Facebook account.
The Elementary Kurdish language course is currently being taught during this Fall 2023 semester at Harvard.
Moreover, Mohammadpur expressed his gratitude to Dr. Haidar Khezri, Dr. Muhammed Salih, and Dr. Hashem Ahmadzadeh for sharing their syllabus and sources.
He also said that he had chosen a book by Dr. Khezri from the University of Central Florida as the primary source for the course.
In addition to Harvard, several other universities in the United States such as the University of Central Florida, Indiana University, the University of Washington, the University of Arizona, and the University of Texas at Austin also offer Kurdish courses. In addition to learning the language, these courses allow students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of Kurdish culture.
The Kurdish language (Kurdî) has several different dialects, the most spoken variants being Sorani, Badini, and Kurmanci. Other lesser spoken variants include Hawrami, Zazaki, Gorani, Laki, and Feyli. The language is primarily spoken in the countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey, and is also spoken in various other countries with Kurdish diasporas, particularly in Western European and Nordic countries. Its various dialects are written in a variety of scripts, including Latin, Cyrillic, and Arabic, yet phonetically the language is part of the Indo-European language family.
Kurdish has often been censored throughout modern history, specifically by the former Baathist regime in Iraq and in present-day Turkey. Although the language is spoken by millions of people in Turkey, it is not officially recognized and is generally not taught in schools. Turkish authorities often impose fines on people who speak Kurdish in public, albeit as of 2011, the language was permitted to be broadcasted on television and radio networks in a limited capacity.