Armenian is the language used by the 8-9 million Armenians. Armenian belongs to the satem group, classified as an independent branch within the family of Indo-European languages.
Interesting Facts About Armenia
- The capital of Armenia is Yerevan which was founded 2800 years ago and is one of the oldest cities in the world. The official name is the “Republic of Armenia.”
- Armenia became independent in 1991 with the dissolution of USSR and joined the Commonwealth of Independent States.
- Armenian apricots are considered to taste better than anywhere else in the world.
- Armenia is small, about the size of Maryland in the USA. And there are no coastlines there.
- There are approximately 11 million Armenians (or of Armenian descent) worldwide. And only 3 million reside in Armenia. In the United States alone, there are over 500,000, settling primarily in Detroit and Los Angeles. There is even a “Little Armenia” in Los Angeles.
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Countries Where Armenian Is Spoken
It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. While most Armenian is spoken within Armenia, there are also Armenian speakers in many other countries, including Russia, Georgia, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Egypt and the USA.
History of The Armenian Langauge
Early in the fifth century, Classical Armenian, or Grabar, was one of the great languages of the Near East and Asia Minor. Although an autonomous branch within the Indo-European family of languages, it had some affinities to Middle Iranian, Greek and the Balto-Slavic languages but belonged to none of them.
Middle Armenian (11th–15th centuries AD) incorporated further loans from Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Latin, and the modern dialects took in hundreds of additional words from Modern Turkish and Persian. Therefore, determining the historical evolution of Armenian is particularly difficult because Armenian borrowed many words from Parthian and Persian (both Iranian languages) as well as from Greek.
Armenian has its own unique script, the Armenian alphabet, invented in 405–406 AD by the ancient linguist and cleric Mesrop Mashtots. With its 38 letters, the Armenian alphabet is one of the richest in the world. It is composed of 7 vowels and 31 consonants.