The Armenian Language

The Armenian Language

October 15, 2017

The Armenian language is the national language of Armenians and the official language of Republic of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. It is one of the oldest languages in the world and was originated in Armenian highland.  The Armenian belongs to the Indo-European language tree and occupies an independent branch.

After the adoption of Christianity, the creation of the alphabet was the main target of Armenians. The solution to this problem gave the one and only Mesrop Mashtots. In 405 AD he created first Armenian written Alphabet. Until the invention of it, our language was only oral speech.

The Mesropean Armenian had 36 letters in an Alphabet, later in the 12th century, the three important letters were added.

In its turn, this language has three stages:

  • Old Armenian- used until 11th century
  • Middle Armenian- from 11th century till 16th century
  • New Armenian- from 17th century till nowadays

The Old Armenian or Grabar (the Armenian word) is the first stage of our language. It was used in everyday life, in ancient manuscripts, and during church ceremonies.

The first translated sentence in ancient Armenian was “ճանաչել զիմաստութիւն եւ զխրատ, իմանալ զբանս հանճարոյ” which means “know wisdom and precept, know the words of the genius”. 

Most of the Armenian ancient manuscripts (more than 17,000) were written in ancient Armenian and now are kept in Matenadaran(Yerevan)In this period worked famous Historians Movses Khorenatsi, Koryun, Agantangeghos, Eghishe and many others.

The middle Armenian was used in 11th -16th centuries. In this period lived and worked Nahapet Quchak, Grigor Narekatsi, and Frik.

The New Armenian language was used from the 17th century; the founder of it was Great Poet and the Enlightener Khachatur Abovian. It has its own branches: western-Armenian is being used by the Armenians of Diaspora and eastern-Armenian is the state language of Armenia and Karabakh. Interested in the Armenian language? Here are some examples for you to try and will be useful for you when you will be in Armenia.

Barev (Բարև) -  [barev] - Hi / Hello

Shnorhakalutyun(Շնորհակալություն) - [shnorhakalutiun] - Thank you

Tstesutyun (Ցտեսություն) - [tsetesutiun] - Good Bye 

Khndrum em (Խնդրում եմ) - [khendroom em] - Please

Ayo(Այո) - [ayo] - Yes

Voch (Ոչ) - [voch] - No

Knereq (Կներեք) - [kenerek] - Sorry

Duq xosum eq angleren (Դուք խոսում ե՞ք  անգլերեն) - [dook khosoom ek angleren] - Do you speek English

Inch arje (Ինչ արժե՞) - [eench arzhe ] - How much is it?

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