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The Kurdish Reader by Khanna Omarkhali comprises an exciting collection of texts in Kurmanji, the northern dialect of the Kurdish language. It is designed to help students with a basic knowledge of the Kurdish language to enhance their fluency by studying a variety of texts ranging from literary and folklore to non-narrative prose works.
The first part of the book focuses on the literary works, both prose and verse, from all parts of the Kurmanji speaking countries. Many of the texts were produced in Armenia where the dialect evolved its written tradition. This is the first collection incorporating material from this important literary and cultural heritage. As the first part of the book presents the development of written tradition, part two introduces the reader to a range of variants of Kurmanji from Turkey, Armenia, Russia, Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenia, and Khorasan, each conveying the richness of their forms. This part of the Reader is of interest for Kurdish Oral History Studies too for it consists of various recordings of historical information, based on the personal experience of the speakers. The Reader contains two Kurdish–English glossaries and a grammar section. This constitutes a comprehensive outline of the subjects under study along with a fundamental description of the cornerstones of Kurmanji grammatical categories, and explanations of the main discrepancies between the local Kurmanji variants and the literary language with examples taken from the selections. Additionally, the book offers English translations of selected texts with an English–Kurdish dictionary of linguistic terms.