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Armenian Language

The Armenian language is a unique and fascinating language with a rich history and culture. As one of the oldest languages in the world, Armenian holds a special place not only as a means of communication but also as a vital aspect of Armenia's identity.

Armenian belongs to the Indo-European language family; moreover, it is an independent branch. In the second half of the 19th century, the German linguist Heinrich Hübschmann, in his article "The position of Armenian among the Indo-European languages" published in 1875, proved that Armenian is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages. The commonalities it shares with Persian and other ancient languages (mainly lexical) are not due to origin but are conditioned by loans of a later period.

 


The statue of Mesrop Mashtoc and Koriun in front of Matenadaran


The first stage of Armenian is Old Armenian or, as it is commonly called, Grabar. Grabar is the name of the developed literary version of Armenian in the old period. It was used in notebooks, during church ceremonies, and in everyday life. However, over time, the spoken language became so far removed from the written language that the common citizen could not understand it. Nevertheless, grabar was widely used before the 11th century.

Middle Armenian or Cilician Armenian was used from the 11th to the 16th century. Of course, it was inferior to Grabar in complexity, but the changes introduced were not enough to make it a language accessible to the public. Frick, Nahapet Kuchak, Grigor Narekatsi, and others created works in this period.



Armenian Alphabet Alley in winter. The monument includes sculptures of the 39 letters of the Armenian alphabet and monuments of Armenian greats

 

Ashkharbaar or New Armenian was used from the 17th century and was finally formed in the 19th century. The founder of Ashkharbaar is the great Armenian writer and enlightener Khachatur Abovyan. Today, the Armenian language is considered the main means of communication for the Armenian people worldwide.

Modern Armenian is presented to the public in two branches: Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian.

Eastern Armenian is widespread in Armenia, Artsakh, Iran, and post-Soviet countries, while Western Armenian was used in historical Western Armenia and is now spoken in settlements created as a result of the genocide. Despite regional variations, both dialects share a common linguistic core, reinforcing the unity among Armenians globally.




Armenian Alphabet


The Armenian alphabet was created by Mesrop Mashtots in 405. The creation of the Armenian alphabet, known as the "Mesropian script," was a groundbreaking achievement, providing Armenians with a written language that allowed for the preservation of their cultural and religious heritage.

The Armenian language has a long literary history, with a 5th-century Bible translation as its oldest surviving text. Despite historical challenges, the language has survived and continues to be a vital part of Armenian identity. Whether through the melodic rhythm of its spoken form or the elegant curves of its unique script, the Armenian language continues to enchant scholars and linguists worldwide.

Галерея​

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