Armenian Alphabet

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Ayb Ben Gim… every child knows and sings this song. The Armenian alphabet is a proud subject for any Armenian. The alphabet is unique and unlike any other. Armenian alphabet is unique: Mesrop Mashtoc has created it in 405 A.D. It is unlike any alphabet in the word.

In 405 AD, a century after Armenia officially adopted Christianity, the Bible needed to be translated into Armenian. For over 1600 years Armenians had used various symbols of writing, which were not appropriate for religious use. For this purpose, the then kin of Armenia Vramshapuh asked high ranked officials to try to adjust the old system of writing or create a new one. Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian leader of those times, together with Sahak Partev, the bishop of Armenia, set off to create the alphabet. They traveled to Alexandria, studied various alphabets, and concluded that the Greek alphabet was the most advanced. This is the main reason why the Armenian alphabet is close to the Greek alphabet, both visually and in terms of pronunciation. It is also said that a Greek professional helped Mashtots and Partev create it.

The creation of the alphabet opened a new page in Armenian history. It played a crucial role in preserving the cultural heritage for Armenians. The people of Armenia faced harsh times, and even in the toughest of those times, they never forgot the bible and the alphabet. They taught the letters to their children. Now, most of the world-spread Armenians are fluent in their native language: Armenian.

Today, the ancient Armenian manuscripts are kept in Matenadaran, in Armenia. When you visit Armenia, it is likely your hosts will take you there. There you will see a lot of interesting manuscripts become familiar with Armenian history and the Alphabet.