Armenian is an old and unique language. With 39 letters in the alphabet it is a very rich language. Originally invented by Mesrop Mashtots back in the 5th century (known as the Golden Century for this same purpose), it was not only intended as an alphabet for language use, but cleverly also a numerical system as well as a prayer!
Ok, so the language is not the easiest but to help our guests travel around Armenia with a bit more confidence we have a very short selection of phrases to help.
Note that in Yerevan you will find most people can speak English (and sometimes other languages). Outside of Yerevan apart from Armenian, Russian is also acceptable. If you know Russian, even if its only a few words – use it! Even some of the common everyday words, the Russian is more commonly used rather than the pure Armenian word. Even some French and even Farsi words are used in conversation as well. So be brave and throw them into conversation it might help.
|How are you?||Vonts es?|
|Thank you||Shnorhakal (often “merci” is acceptable)|
|Yes||Ayo (colloquially “ha”)|
|No||Voch (colloquially “che”)|
|What is the time?||Djame kanisen eh?|
|How much is this?||Es inch arje?|
|What is your name?||Anooned inch eh?|
|Where is?||Oor eh?|
|Good Morning||Bari looys|
|Good Night||Bari Gisher|
Of Interest to Tourists:
|Currency Exchange||Drami phokhanakoom|
|Pharmacy||Apteka (Russian) or deghatoon|
|Market||Bazar or shuka|
|Camera||Aparat (Russian word)|
Days of the Week
Holidays & Festivals in Armenia
Plan your trip around the holidays and national events to make your experience even richer.
The table below summarises all significant dates for Armenia.
|Dec.31, Jan. 1&2||New Year||Major National public holiday|
|January 6||Soorb Tsnund (Christmas equivalent)||As per the Armenian Apostolic Church|
|March 8||Women’s Day||All females get a mention!|
|April 7||Mother’s & Beauty Day||What can we say females like the attention!|
|April 24||Genocide Memorial Day||Entire Day is dedicated to paying respect and laying flowers at the Genocide memorial at Tzitzernakaberd in Yerevan.|
|May 1||Labour Day||Public holiday across many European countries|
|May 9||Victory and Peace Day||Soviet era memorial for war veterans|
|May 28||Restoration of Armenian Statehood Day||Dating back to 1918|
|July 5||Constitution Day||Public holiday|
|A Sunday in July(varies by year)||Vardavar Festival||Fun, fun, fun! Don’t leave home without your wet weather gear! It’s a water splashing day. Everyone is guaranteed to get wet! Great way to cool down on a hot summers day 🙂|
|September 21||Independence Day||Dating back to 1991|
|December 7||Earthquake Victims Memorial Day||Dating back to 1988|
Quick History Lesson on Armenia
A short point form run down on some of the key events in Armenian history.
- Noah’s Ark landed on Mt Ararat, then part of Armenia. See Genesis 8:4.
- Hayk, one of the great- great grandsons of Noah defeated the Babylonian King’ Bell and established his nation around the Ararat valley around 2429 BC
- 782 B.C. Yerevan city was established (making Yerevan one of the oldest Capital cities in the world today).
- In 301 A.D. Armenia became the first Christian Nation.
- In 405 A.D. Mesrop Mashtots created the unique Armenian Alphabet (also a numerical system, poem and prayer) hence the fifth century is also known as the Golden Century (‘Voske Dar’).
- Series of kingdoms followed for centuries as well as wars with neighbouring non Christian countries invading the only Christian country in the region.
- First major exit of Armenians from Armenia occurred in the 1600’s during the reign of Shah Abass to Iran.
- Armenia was divided between Turkey (Western Armenia) and Persia (Eastern Armenia) in 1639.
- Eastern Armenia joins Russia in 1828.
- The Armenian Genocide took place in 1915 by the Ottoman Turk empire where over 1.5 million Armenians were killed. Many Armenians fled the country and set up new lives in many different countries including, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran etc. One of the reasons you will bump into an Armenian today in all four corners of the world!
- Armenia declared independence in 1918 where the government lasted for 2 years before joining the Soviet Regime.
- In the 1940’s the first major influx of Armenians occurred from the diaspora.
- A major earthquake hit Armenia in 1988 devastating the cities of Spitak, Gyumri, and other surrounding cities.
- In 1991 Armenia declared independence after the Soviet collapse.
- 2005 Envoy was established (Well its significant history for us 🙂 )
Facts you need to know about Armenia
What language is spoken in Armenia? Have you ever heard an Armenian speech? What does the national flag look like? What is the capital city? Here’s a few facts to give you a little background on the ancient and beautiful country of Armenia.
Facts to start with
|Official Name:||Republic of Armenia|
|Currency:||Armenian Dram (AMD)|
|Head of State:||President of RA|
|Area:||29,800 sq km|
|Population:||approximately 3.2 million|
|States/Province||11 States (Marz) including Yerevan|
For more general information visit: Armenia (Wiki)
The state religion is Christianity, adopted in 301 AD becoming the first officially Christian state. Armenian alphabet was developed around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader. It originally had 36 letters, but now has 39. Seems quite a lot? Mer Hayrenik which is translated as “Our Fatherland’, is the national anthem of the Republic of Armenia.