The division of Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Turkish, and Islamic Studies (AAPTIS) offers instruction at the introductory to the advanced levels in medieval and modern Arabic, Armenian, Persian, and Turkish languages and literatures. Courses in the histories and cultures of select regions represented by these language groups are also offered as are a wide range of topics in Islamic studies.
The Department of Near Eastern Studies offers an impressive range of Arabic courses at all levels including Arabic for Academic, Communication, Business, and Islamic purposes.
AAPTIS 101 is open to all students with no prior knowledge of Arabic. Students with 1) an Arabic-speaking parent or 2) who have had schooling in an Arabic-speaking country or 3) who have undertaken any formal study of Arabic must take the Arabic proficiency test in order to determine their placement. Students can sign up for the test at the Arabic Testing Registration Site: https://sitemaker.umich.edu/arabicplacement/home
Classical Armenian is taught for research purposes. Classical Armenian must be acquired in order to read Middle or Cilician Armenian texts. In classes in Modern Eastern Armenian (the state language of the Republic of Armenia) and Modern Western Armenian (the language spoken in the Diaspora where, however, Eastern Armenian is also spoken by a very large number of immigrants from Armenia) reading, writing, speaking and listening are emphasized along with exposure to certain aspects of Armenian culture, old and new.
The Department of Near Eastern Studies offers Persian language courses on all levels. At every level of our language program, we teach to enhance the cognitive abilities and intellectual curiosity of our students. Our language courses focus on the development of all four basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Through Persian language acquisition we aim to provide contexts and meanings as we challenge students to explore other world-views and learn to think about cultures critically. The advanced level Persian courses introduce students to Persian poetry and prose from the medieval to the modern era. These advanced level courses aim to provide a deeper and more textured knowledge of Iranian culture, history and society. They are part of a well-developed program on Persian language, literature, and culture designed to develop linguistic, literary, and methodological skills for scholarly research.
Though housed in NES, the courses and programming for Persian language and literature draw on resources, faculty and students from across the university, who cross the disciplinary boundaries of archaeology (Henry Wright), history of art (Christiane Gruber, Margaret Root), history (Kathryn Babayan, Juan Cole), and linguistics and language (Behrad Aghaei). Few universities in the United States enjoy such a large and distinguished concentration of scholars working on Iran.
Turkish is perhaps one of the easiest languages in the Middle East to learn. This is partly because of its use of the Latin alphabet and partly because of its phonetic nature. It is the language of the culture that inherited the Ottoman Empire which survived over 600 years. Turkish, as an Altaic language, can easily open the path for other similar Altaic languages, some being specified as Turkic, spoken in some of the former Soviet States, today’s republics of Central Asia. The Turkish language can facilitate the outreach not only of the literature and history of the Ottomans but also the discovery of an actual big market of business partly due to its growing industry.