Personalized Akkadian classes on your schedule, face-to-face, with a university instructor!

Why Akkadian?

Nearly 5,500 years ago, the Mesopotamian “cradle of civilization” birthed what may be considered mankind’s greatest invention: writing. The Sumerians developed a form of written communication based on images impressed in clay called cuneiform, which refers to the wedge-shaped design of the characters. About a millennium later, the Akkadian Empire (established by Sargon of Akkad) adopted the cuneiform writing system to express their Semitic language. Akkadian then became the dominant language in Mesopotamia and was used for recording everything from mundane record-keeping to great works of ancient literature like the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Code of Hammurabi.  

The great empires of Mesopotamia, especially Babylon and Assyria, have yielded to us hundreds of thousands of clay tablets (a large portion of which are still untranslated). Learning the Akkadian language opens up the ancient world and offers a clearer understanding of ancient thought. In addition, Akkadian provides a glimpse at the earliest written form of the Semitic family of languages (which includes Hebrew, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Arabic). 

Learn Akkadian to read ancient texts like this one.
Image: Courtesy of The MET Museum

Who can take Online Akkadian Classes?

Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Akkadian Language Learners!

Dr. Walt’s online Akkadian courses have helped: 

  1. Those who love Akkadian literature and desire to read in the original language. 
  2. Language enthusiasts who want to understand how one of the oldest languages in the world works.
  3. Students of the Hebrew Bible with an interest in the Ancient Near Eastern contextual world and comparative Semitic languages.
  4. Homeschooled students seeking high school credit for a foreign language or elective homeschool course.
  5. University students currently taking an Akkadian course who need additional, customized tutoring.

Dr. Walt’s Akkadian Language Courses in a Nutshell

For all levels, Dr. Walt supplies students with supplemental resources.
These include language charts, diagrams, and illustrations to enhance the learning process further. 

Beginner Akkadian Classes:

Beginner classes cover nouns, adjectives, basic Akkadian verbs and introduce students to the writing system along with several key Akkadian genres. For the Akkadian textbook, Dr. Walt uses John Huehnergard’s A Grammar of Akkadian (3rd edition) and the supplemental material he creates. Using this as the primary textbook provides students with detailed discussions of grammar, the option to work from the transliterated text without needing to learn cuneiform, and a wealth of exercises that cover the primary genres of the Akkadian text. A necessary companion to the textbook is Huehnergard’s A Key to a Grammar of Akkadian (3rd edition), which provides the answers to the exercises in the primary Grammar. More information is available on the Resources page.

Huehnergard’s A Grammar of Akkadian is often completed in universities over two semesters, such as “Akkadian I” and “Akkadian II.”’s “beginner” designation correlates with “Akkadian I” and thus the first half of Huehnergard’s Grammar.

Intermediate Akkadian Classes:

Intermediate classes cover advanced verbal forms and grammatical constructions, in addition to many additional genres in Huehnergard’s A Grammar of Akkadian. For students already using Huehnergard’s Grammar, Dr. Walt can pick up with you where you left off. Moreover, for new intermediate students using a different textbook, there is no need to switch, as Dr. Walt can tailor the lessons to your level. When you register, please include your current level, textbook, and goals on the student questionnaire so that Dr. Walt can work with you to develop an individualized learning plan.

Huehnergard’s A Grammar of Akkadian is generally completed in universities over two semesters, such as “Akkadian I” and “Akkadian II.”’s “intermediate” course correlates with “Akkadian 2” and thus the second half of Huehnergard’s Grammar.

Advanced Akkadian Classes:

Advanced classes allow students to work through additional key texts with Dr. Walt. Students will read Akkadian literature and address important grammatical, textual, and historical issues as they arise. In this context, advanced students learn to analyze Akkadian texts and gain a more robust understanding of Akkadian culture while immersing themselves in the texts as well as Akkadian artifacts and Akkadian history. Please let Dr. Walt know your areas of interest and specific goals so you can devise a customized plan together.

Homework and Course Lengths:

Students spend 2-4 hours per week in self-study, on average. Of course, the process can be expanded or condensed to fit an individual student’s preference. However, using the average, students can complete the beginner and Intermediate levels within a year. This includes Huehnergard’s entire A Grammar of Akkadian, when taking weekly (non-holiday) classes and consistently completing homework. Homework and length of time at the advanced level depend on each student and their specific goals.

Discuss Akkadian artifacts like this wall relief.
Read ancient texts like this stone fragment.
Study Akkadian literature, history, and culture through ancient letters like this one.
Images: Courtesy of The MET Museum

Dr. Walt’s Akkadian Classes in His Own Words…

Without a doubt, Akkadian can be a difficult language to learn. The writing system is intricate, with hundreds of cuneiform signs that each have the potential for multiple meanings. The consonant loss, vowel changes, multiple conjugations across the verbal stems, and suffixes make for a complex verbal system.  And perhaps what can be just as challenging is that the language rules provided in Akkadian textbooks can be hard to follow.  

However, with persistence and dedication, learning Akkadian is absolutely achievable. In fact, one can find a real sense of accomplishment and enrichment in gaining the ability to read some of the most ancient texts in the world. For many, the decisive factor that gets students to the point of being able to read and understand Akkadian literature is having someone to explain the language step by step. It is my goal to do this effectively for my students.   

To this end, I tend to focus on two things in my beginner and intermediate classes: instruction and application. The former is where I walk the student through the lesson topic based on material I have prepared to supplement the textbook. The application component of my online Akkadian courses is where the student has the chance to exercise an understanding of the lesson through guided reading and the recitation and analysis of their work.

Ultimately, my goal is to help you achieve the level and goals that you have set. Consequently, no two classes are identical. This personalized, multi-faceted approach should help you progress with clear understanding and confidence, just as it has for many other students.  

Akkadian Classes with Dr. Walt are Not Limited to:

  • Customized instruction with answers to your specific questions
  • Reading and speaking exercises with Dr. Walt  
  • Dr. Walt’s invaluable supplementary handouts
  • Flashcards for broadening your vocabulary 
  • Increased comprehension through cultural, geographical, and archeological discussions
  • Insights on the development of Akkadian and cognate Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Ugaritic 
  • Someone to motivate and encourage you through the difficult passages

Registering and Attending Classes Is Simple:

  • First, select “Akkadian” as your language of choice on the booking form.
  • Second, decide between private or group classes and single or package prices (see available discounts below).
  • Third, select a convenient time from the booking calendar and pay via the checkout page.
  • Last, begin learning with Dr. Walt by logging in to the classroom at the specified time!

Class prices are based on the number of students participating and single versus package payments:

Private Classes

55-minute Live Classes for 1 Student

Single Class: $40

Package of 10 Classes: $35 per class

Group Classes

55-minute Live Classes for 2-5 Students

Single Class: $25 per student

Package of 10 Classes: $20 per student, per class

To Go with Private Classes or Not…

Learn Akkadian with Private Classes

The 1-on-1 time with Dr. Walt provides an opportunity to progress through the language learning process at your own speed. This benefits those who want to move through the material quickly. Likewise, for those who want to go more slowly, private lessons provide the most flexibility and are the best choice for many students.

Learn Akkadian with Group Classes

Small groups are capped at five students, which means Dr. Walt can still provide answers to individual questions. Moreover, having two or more students allows peer interaction with other motivated learners, which many find incredibly beneficial.

Please note that does not currently assemble groups. Interested students must find language learners at a similar level and form a group themselves. Beginner students, homeschool families, and university students needing collaborative tutoring are just a few examples of those who benefit from the group option. Please see the FAQs page for more information on group class policies.

This bilingual text shows two languages together.
Image: Courtesy of The MET Museum

Scheduling Online Akkadian Lessons:

Students may select a class time from any available time slots on the booking calendar. Generally, Dr. Walt’s classes are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and he works hard to maintain consistent availability. Similarly, students are asked to choose a consistent day and time for weekly classes. Many students have found that with online classes, this is easy. Students can log in to classes from anywhere. This may include the home, the office, a coffee shop, or anywhere else conducive to learning Akkadian. Please see the FAQs page for information on booking, canceling, and more.

Please complete the questionnaire on the Class Interest page if there is no convenient time for you to learn Akkadian. Your name can be added to a waiting list for future availability.

About Dr. Walt

Dr. Walt is a university instructor with a passion for ancient languages such as Akkadian, Biblical Hebrew, and Middle Egyptian. He holds two Master’s Degrees (M.A.s), a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), and a Ph.D. in Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern history, archaeology, and languages. Through, Dr. Walt hopes to make personalized ancient language learning accessible and affordable. You can read more about Dr. Walt on the About page.

Dr. Walt making a discovery on an archaeological dig.
Image: Property of Dr. Walt

Ready to Learn Akkadian Online?

Book a FREE 30-minute consultation to discuss your Akkadian goals with Dr. Walt. Or, schedule a full class to get started right away and see why Dr. Walt’s classes have helped many students gain confidence with Akkadian texts!

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