Beginning Kurmanji Kurdish

by Deniz Ekici, PhD.

Kurmanji Kurdish Cover
Using Beginning Kurmanji Kurdish, you can follow an American student’s experiences around Dihok, one of the three provinces of Southern Kurdistan (Iraqi-Kurdistan), in dialogues that explore the richness of traditional Kurdish culture. Watch video and learn about greetings, shopping, food, dining out, weather, education, literature, holiday traditions, and more.  With our specially designed video player for language learning you can pause the video at any point and scroll the transcription. Read annotations about culture and grammar. Click on almost any word or sentence to hear it spoken, along with translations.   This course can be used either by independent learners or by students in a traditional or self-instructional classroom setting, and is the equivalent of the material covered in a one-year college course.  

Classroom-Tested and Peer-Reviewed

Beginning Kurdish Lesson Image
Beginning Kurmanji Kurdish was peer-reviewed by Kurdish language experts Michael Chyet, PhD. and Polus Goriel. It was originally published as part of the highly reviewed University of Arizona Critical Languages Series.  We’ve added many new mobile-friendly features. The course contains 20 lessons featuring 25 videos of native speakers with transcriptions, translations, and hundreds of annotations. It includes 9000 native speaker word and sentence audio recordings. Here is an index of all 1800 words and the lessons they occur in. Here is a demonstration video showing how our searchable audio glossary works.

Just $9.99/month! (3 month minimum).

Multiple Choice, Fill in the blank, and Listening Dictation exercises are provided for each lesson. A searchable audio glossary with thousands of words and translations helps you find every occurrence of a word or part of a word in all of the lessons. Downloadable podcasts (MP3 files) of all Kurmanji Kurdish sentence recordings for all lessons. A custom on-screen keyboard is provided for Kurmanji Kurdish. Record your own voice and compare it to a native speaker!  

Our Interactive Video Player for Language Learning:


Table of Contents and Free Sample Lessons with Video, Transcriptions, Annotations

  1. Tu bi xêr hatî Kurdistanê (Welcome to Kurdistan) Try a Listening Dictation Exercise or Audio Flashcards or Drag the Words or Fill in the blanks
  2. Tu çi karî dikî? (What do you do?) Try a Listening Dictation Exercise
  3. Li Mêvanxaneya Zanîngehê (At the University Guesthouse)
  4. Li nêzîk dikan hene? (Are there stores nearby?)
  5. Şîv hazir e (Dinner is ready)
  6. Ew bi çendê ye? (How much is it?)
  7. Ev pirtûkxaneya me ye (This is our library)
  8. Dilê te diçe çi? (What would you like to eat?)
  9. Ka em herin qawexaneyê (Let’s go to the cafeteria)
  10. Şîler diçe postexaneyê (Şîler goes to the post office)
  11. Ez xwe baş nabînim (I don’t feel well)
  12. Em ê herin Seyranê (We will go on a picnic
  13. Te îro çi kir? (What did you do today?)
  14. Dîroka Dihokê (The History of Dihok)
  15. Newroz Pîroz! (Happy Newroz!)
  16. Di derbarê jîyana li Silêmanîyê de (About life in Suleimania)
  17. Li Zanîngeha Silêmanîyê (At the University of Suleimania)
  18. Wêjeya kurdî (Kurdish Literature)
  19. Baran dibare (It is raining)
  20. Li Sekingeha Basê (At the bus depot)

Grammar Topics

  1. Nominative Case of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns
  2. Present Tense Copulas (am, is, are)
  3. Oblique Case of Personal Pronouns
  4. Ezafeh (Noun Connector)
  5. Indefinite Nouns
  6. Indefinite Nouns with Ezafeh (Noun Connector)
  7. The Existential Verb “Hebûn” (to exist/to have/there is/there are)
  8. Cardinal Numbers
  9. The Imperative
  10. Kurmanji Prepositions and Circumpositions(Ambipositions)
  11. Oblique Case of Demonstrative Pronouns
  12. Present Tense
  13. Compound Verbs
  14. The Negative Form of the Verb “bûn” (to be)
  15. Interrogative Sentences with Interrogative Determiners
  16. The Comparative and Superlative Degrees of Adjectives
  17. The Reflexive Pronoun “Xwe”
  18. Ordinal Numbers
  19. The Negative Form of the Present Tense
  20. Polite Commands
  21. Relative Clause
  22. Nationalities, Languages, Countries, Cities
  23. Where are you from?
  24. What language do you speak?
  25. The Present Tense of the Subjunctive Mood
  26. The Negative Form of the Present Tense Subjunctive Mood
  27. Future Tense
  28. Cardinal Numbers
  29. A Few Kurmanji Expressions
  30. Diminutive
  31. The Simple Past Tense with Intransitive Verbs
  32. The Negative Form of the Simple Past Tense
  33. Different Uses of the Preposition “Bi”
  34. The Secondary Ezafeh Construction
  35. The Simple Past Tense with Transitive Verbs
  36. The Negative Form of the Simple Past Tense with Transitive Verbs
  37. The Numbers in the Oblique Case
  38. The Existential Verb “Hebûn” in the Past Tense
  39. The Past Continuous Tense
  40. The Negative Form of the Past Continuous Tense
  41. The Seasons, Months, Days, and the Periods of the Day
  42. The Adverbial Use of the Seasons, Months, Days, and the Periods of the Day
  43. Subordinating Clauses
  44. Passive Voice
  45. Telling the Time
  46. Some Kurdish Expressions
  47. The Present Tense to Convey the Present Progressive Meaning
  48. Weather Conditions
  49. Vocative Case
  50. Using Infinitives as Nouns

What our Subscribers are Saying:

“I love that in your lessons, I can click on each word individually for both pronunciation and meaning in English. I really need the pronunciation aspect in my language learning, and this is so helpful…”

About the Author

Deniz Ekici is a linguist and a language instructor. He holds a Ph.D. in Kurdish Studies from the University of Exeter. He has been teaching Kurdish language courses at various academic institutes such as Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Exeter. He is currently a lecturer at UC Berkeley where he teaches Kurmanji-Kurdish courses. His professional experience has been in educational and learning technologies. He has developed and taught Kurmanji-Kurdish courses at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.  His Kurmanji-Kurdish Reader, a multi-level reference tool with an extensive grammar section, was published by Dunwoody Press in 2007. He also led two large projects to compile and edit a Kurmanji bilingual lexicon to be used in machine translation software. His research interests include language variation and the role of language in the nation-building process; language acquisition, cultural studies; technology in teaching and learning; sociolinguistics; discourse, identity and nationalism and Linguistics/Linguistic Human Rights

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Beginning Kurmanji Kurdish materials © 1995-2024 Arizona Board Of Regents on behalf of the University Of Arizona. Used under license.