Frédéric-Armand FEYDIT (15 April 1908, Paris – 11 May 1991, Paris)
Ֆրէտէրիք-Արման ՖԷՅՏԻ (15 ապրիլ 1908, Փարիզ – 11 մայիս 1991, Փարիզ)

From even his teenage years, the sixteen-year-old Feydit had started getting interested in linguistics, when an Armenian family that had evaded the Genocide came to live in his ancestral home. He attended Macler’s Armenian classes at the Paris École des langues orientales, and Meillet’s lectures at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes (School of Higher Studies), while at the same time teaching French at the Murad-Rafaelian school. 1933-1926 he was at the Venice Mkhitarist monastery, where he taught French while mastering Armenian.

In 1937 he married a Milanese Armenian lady.

In 1938 he published in article on Hetum the historian in Chobanian’s Anahid, which introduced him to the Armenian public. 1941-1949 he worked within the circles of CNRS, until he took charge of lecturer in Armenian position at the École des langues orientales. He contributed to numerous scientific journals, among them Բազմավէպ (Venice) and Հանդէս ամսօդեայ (Vienna).

Of his works, of note are Grammaire de la langue arménienne - dialecte occidental (Grammar of the Armenian Language – Western Dialect) [1935], Manuel de la langue arménienne (Textbook of the Armenian Language) [1948], Amulettes de l'Arménie chrétienne (Amulets of Christian Armenia) [1986], as well as translations of Baronian and Yervant Odian, specifically the latter’s Ընկեր Փանջունին (Comrade Panchuni).

However, his main labour is the translation of the epic David of Sasun, which was published in 1964, under the patronage of UNESCO.

Along his scientific endeavors he was a valiant defender of the Armenian Cause. On the 50th anniversary of the Genocide, he published a memorable article in the French newspaper Le Monde (The World), which has been reprinted many times and translated into numerous languages.

Feydit spoke a sound and refined, exquisite Armenian.

Translated by Y.K.

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