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Armenian: A language with a unique writing system

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10 facts about the Armenian language

01

Approximately 6.7 million people worldwide speak the Armenian language; this is a relatively small number of speakers.

02

Armenian has its own alphabet system which has 36 original letters to which three letters were later added.

03

The Armenian language has a unique writing system with 31 consonants and 7 vowels.

04

Armenian uses punctuation marks differently; the period, or full-stop (.), looks like a colon (:) in Armenian.

05

Ancient Armenian used letters in place of numbers. There are calendars with letters instead of numbers!

06

The Armenian language has two main dialects: Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian language.

07

Interestingly, Armenia is the only country in the world where Armenian is the official language.

08

Even though Armenian is not officially recognized elsewhere, it is spoken in many countries around the world.

09

Native speakers of Armenian live in Russia, Germany, the United States, Georgia, Ukraine, and Canada.

10

Armenian belongs to the Indo-European branch of languages, along with Hellenic and Germanic languages.

Armenian

Origin of the language

Armenian emerged in Anatolia.

Armenian

History of the language

It is thought that Armenian originated during the second millennium.

Armenian

Learning the language

It is estimated that an English speaker will need about 1,100 hours to learn Armenian.

Armenian language for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Armenian:
Hello: dzez
Thanks: shnorhakalutyun
Goodbye: Tstesutyun
Rain: andzrev
Happy: urakh
Sad: tkhur
Stars: astgher
Sky: yerkink
Flower: tsaghik
Sun: arev

Quotes

All over the world, and quite independently of each other, there is a growing wish for peace.

Zabel Yesayan

Novelist, Professor, Translator

Wisdom, wisdom, and patience prevail over everything.

Hovhannaes Tumanyan

Poet, Writer, Activist

Our language is flexible and barbaric, masculine and rough.

Yegishe Charents

Social Activist, Poet, Author

Fun facts about the Armenian language

Ancient alphabet

The Armenian alphabet is ancient; it was created in 405 BC and predates many other languages.

Truly unique

Armenian is truly unique. It has its own root language and is not similar to any other language.

Mesrop Mashtots

Mesrop Mashtots created the Armenian alphabet. Most of the its letters do not exist in any other language.

Genderless language

Armenian does not have gendered words. Only a few words have consonants attached to indicate femininity.

No exclamation mark!

The Armenian language does not use the exclamation mark (!). Instead, stress is placed on the syllables to express emphasis.

Word order

Unlike the English language, Armenian does not have a strict word order. It is much freer!

Longest word

The longest word in Armenian has 29 letters and refers to the rays of the sun, arevajajanchaerkrapaylatakutyun.

Easy to learn

Generally, Armenian is fairly easy to learn. The words are pronounced as they are written with stress on the last syllable.

Unique punctuation

In addition to a period that looks like a colon (:), a question mark (?) in Armenian looks like a quotation mark (“).

Ancient manuscripts

The Armenian language dates back to ancient times and includes many ancient manuscripts from the Yerevan region.

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