Because of Armenia’s ethnic homogeneity, Article 12 of the Constitution of Armenia notes that Armenian is the official state language as well as the first language for the majority of the people although a good percentage of the population speak Russian. Armenian is an Indo-European language written using Mesrop Mashtots’ 405 AD Armenian Alphabet. There are two standard forms of Armenian, Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian, both of which differ in phonology, vocabulary, orthography, and morphology. Standard Armenian has 39 letters written horizontally from left to right and the letters have some Greek, Pahlavi, and Syriac influences.

Over 97.8% of the people in Armenia are ethnic Armenians and therefore speak fluent Armenian. The remaining percentage are from other ethnic backgrounds but a majority speak Armenian since this is the language that the constitution acknowledges for use in schools, public institutions, and businesses within the territory of Armenia.

Some useful phrases to know in Armenian include "barev", meaning hello, and "vonts es?" meaning "how are you?".

Yazidi constitutes the largest minority language followed by Kurdish. Other minority languages are Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Ukrainian, and Greek. This fact makes Russian a minority language and also the most spoken foreign language followed by English and French. The foreign languages are more common in Yerevan than other parts of the country.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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