About Armenia

Come Home Again, to Armenia

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Language

Armenian Language

Armenian is a complex and beautiful language. Except for a transition into middle Armenian during the 10th-12th centuries and into a modern form in the 19th century, it has been continuously used for more than 1500 years as it was first created, borrowing traces of words and expressions from Hindu, Persian, Arabic, Greek and Latin along the way. In its current form in the Republic, it uses a lively and vibrant incorporation of words from Russian, French, English and other countries. It is a language alive.

Armenian has its own unique alphabet, devised between 401-406 c.e. by Mesrop Mashtots (361-440 c.e.) under the patronage of King Vramshapuh and Catolicos Sahak Partev. Until that time, most written versions of Armenian were in Greek. During the turbulent years of the 4th century c.e., the new alphabet was treated as a divine gift from God, a weapon of intellect over the dark forces of fanaticism. The first sentence written in Armenian was "To know wisdom and gain instruction; to discern the words of understanding…"

Armenians were quick to use the new alphabet, translating Greek, Roman, Persian, Arabic, Egyptian, even Chinese treatises into Armenian. The Matenadaran in Yerevan contains more than 25,000 manuscripts dating to the 5th century. Many of these are Armenian translations of philosophical, scientific, historical and religious writings going back as far as the Hellenistic Greece. Some are the only existing versions of the originals.

It has been said that no more important tool was given to Armenians then their alphabet, for it has preserved their identity during invasions, and allowed them to avoid assimilation. If Russian was the international tongue of the Soviet Union, then Armenian is the International tongue that binds almost 9 million Armenians around the world.


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Implementation of the BSSRC project in Armenia and development of the BSSRC web portal and mobile applications were co-funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) project. The contents of the web portal and mobile applications are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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