Alternative name(s): arménien (fr), Armeens (nl), armeniska (sv)
Language family: Indo-European
Language Group: Armenian
Geographical use: Armenia, on Cyprus, in Greece, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria
Information: For a long time Armenian was believed to be an Iranian dialect because of the large amount of borrowed Iranian words. As spoken language Armenian presumably dates back to the 10th century BC. When christianity arrived, the language also became written. Theory says the language arrived in Armenia via invaders from the northern Balcan region. By the 7th century BC Armenian was the principal language in the area. In 410 a monk, St. Mesrob, constructed an alphabet of 38 letters for Armenian. Armenian is featured by rough consonant combinations and a lot of affricatif sounds (like f, h, th). Depending on the dialect one uses, there are six to seven cases, but no gender. In the older Armenian (before World War II) difficult verb conjunctions were used. Those conjunctions were replaced by auxiliary verbs. Also the subjunctive was omitted. Grammatically spoken the old Armenian resembled Greek, but in the course of centuries it was influenced by Turkish grammar, e.g. suffixes are now used, rather than prefixes.