|Usage time||since about 405 AD|
→ Phoenician script
→ Greek alphabet
→ Armenian alphabet
|Unicode block||U + 0530 – U + 058F
U + FB13 – U + FB17
|ISO 15924||Armn, 230|
The Armenian alphabet (Armenian: Հայոց գրեր Hajoz grer or Հայոց այբուբեն Hajoz ajbuben ) is the script used to write the Armenian language .
According to tradition, the Armenian alphabet was created by Saint Mesrop Mashtots between around 403 and 406 AD. It is unclear whether the script was a new development or whether the Armenians previously used a different script of their own, of which no written documents exist.
Until the 5th century, the Armenians used the Greek , Syriac, or Aramaic script to document business and official affairs. There are certain similarities with their characters. The order of the letters suggests Greek influence, but the shape of the letters suggests Semitic models.
The similarities with the Ethiopian script are even greater . A cultural exchange between Armenians and members of the Aksumite Empire in the Horn of Africa in the 4th century in Jerusalem is considered likely. According to one thesis, the development of writing could have benefited from this.
The oldest form of the Armenian alphabet, which was used until the 11th century, is known as 'iron writing ' ( երկաթագիր jerkatagir , Erkat'agir ). Lower case letters originated in the 11th century. The letters O ( օ ) and Feh ( ֆ ) did not emerge until the 13th century. The O arose because of a sound shift in the Armenian language from / av / to / o /, the Feh was introduced to write loan words.
Between 1922 and 1924, two spelling reforms were carried out in the then Armenian SSR , which are still valid in today's independent Armenia . The 34th letter Wjun ( ւ ) was deleted from the alphabet, and the U ( ու ) was moved as a letter in its place . Because the Wjun no longer existed as an independent letter, the very common ligature Jew ( և ), consisting of a small Jetsch ( ե ) and Wjun ( ւ ), was added to the alphabet as a 37th, now independent letter.
The western Armenians, especially the Armenian diaspora in Europe and the USA, as well as the eastern Armenians in Iran have not adopted these changes.
The correct display of the tables on this page requires a Unicode font that covers the Armenian alphabet.
|N °||Surname||Capital letter||Lowercase letter||Transliteration||Eastern Armenian||Western Armenian||Numerical
||English transcription BGN / PCGN 1981||Transcription (German)||Pronunciation Notes (IPA)||Transcription (German)||Pronunciation Notes (IPA)|
|The 36 original letters at introduction|
|1||այբ||[ayb]||Ա||ա||a||a||a||( [a] )||1|
|2||բէն||[bên]||Բ||բ||b||b||b||( [b] )||p||like high German p ( [pʰ] )||2|
|3||գիմ||[gim]||Գ||գ||G||G||G||( [g] )||k||like high German k ( [kʰ] )||3|
|4th||դա||[there]||Դ||դ||d||d||d||( [d] )||t||with aspiration ( [tʰ] )||4th|
|5||եչ||[eč̕]||Ե||ե||e||(y) e||(j) e||([jɛ], [ɛ])||5|
|6th||զա||[za]||Զ||զ||z||z||s||as in S onne ( [z] )||6th|
|7th||է||[ê]||Է||է||ē||ê||e||e||( [ɛ] )||7th|
|8th||ըթ||[ẹt̕]||Ը||ը||ě||ẹ||y||e||Schwa , as in ess e n ( [ə] )||8th|
|9||թո||[t̕o]||Թ||թ||t '||t̕||t '||t||with aspiration ( [tʰ] )||9|
|10||ժէ||[žê]||Ժ||ժ||ž||zh||sch||as in Gara g e ( [ʒ] )||10|
|12||լիւն||[liwn]||Լ||լ||l||l||l||( [l] )||30th|
|13||խէ||[xê]||Խ||խ||x||kh||ch||as in Tu ch ( [x] )||40|
|14th||ծա||[ca]||Ծ||ծ||c||ts||z||without aspiration ( [t͡s] )||ds||like ds ( [d͡z] )||50|
|15th||կէն||[kên]||Կ||կ||k||k||k||how Franconian, d. H. not aspirated ( [k] )||G||( [g] )||60|
|16||հո||[ho]||Հ||հ||H||H||H||( [h] )||70|
|17th||ձա||[Yes]||Ձ||ձ||j||dz||ds||( [d͡z] )||z||like high german ( ds )||80|
|18th||ղատ||[ġat]||Ղ||ղ||ł||G||gh||gh||like French r ( [ʀ] )||90|
|19th||ճէ||[čê]||Ճ||ճ||č||ch||ch||without aspiration ( [t͡ʃ] )||dsch||as described in J eans ( [dʒ] )||100|
|20th||մէն||[mên]||Մ||մ||m||m||m||( [m] )||200|
|21st||յի||[yi]||Յ||յ||y||y||j||( [j] )||300|
|22nd||նու||[now]||Ն||ն||n||n||n||like German ( [n] , [ŋ] )||400|
|23||շա||[ša]||Շ||շ||š||sh||sch||( [ʃ] )||500|
|24||ո||[O]||Ո||ո||O||(v) o||(Where||([vo], [o])||600|
|25th||չա||[č̕a]||Չ||չ||č '||č̕||ch '||ch||like German ( [t͡ʃʰ] )||700|
|26th||պէ||[pê]||Պ||պ||p||p||p||how Franconian, d. H. not aspirated [p]||b||( [b] )||800|
|27||ջէ||[ǰê]||Ջ||ջ||ǰ||j||dsch||as described in J eans ( [dʒ] )||ch||like German (jungle)||900|
|28||ռա||[ṙa]||Ռ||ռ||ṙ||rr||r||rolled ( [r] )||1000|
|29||սէ||[sê]||Ս||ս||s||s||s (ss)||like in fun / ass ( [s] )||2000|
|30th||վէվ||[vêv]||Վ||վ||v||v||w||like English v ( [v] )||3000|
|31||տիւն||[tiwn]||Տ||տ||t||t||t||not aspirated ( [t] )||d||( [d] )||4000|
|32||րէ||[re]||Ր||ր||r||r||r||like English r ( [ɹ] )||5000|
|33||ցո||[c̕o]||Ց||ց||c '||c̕||ts'||z||like German z ( [t͡sʰ] )||ds||( [d͡z] )||6000|
|34||հիւն||[hiwn]||Ւ||ւ||w||u||w, u||( [v] , [u] )||7000|
|35||փիւր||[p̕iwr]||Փ||փ||p '||p̕||p '||p||like high German p ( [pʰ] )||8000|
|36||քէ||[k̕ê]||Ք||ք||k '||k̕||k '||k||like high German k ( [kʰ] )||9000|
|Letters added in the 13th century|
|37 (38)||օ||[O]||Օ||օ||O||O||O||O||( [o] )||-|
|38 (39)||ֆէ||[fê]||Ֆ||ֆ||f||f||f||( [f] )||-|
|Replaced or added by the new Armenian spelling|
|34||Digraph instead of hiwn||Ու||ու||ow||u||u||( [u] )||-|
|37||Ligature from Eč̕ and Hiwn||և||e͡w||ev, yev||(j) ew||([jɛv], [ɛv])||-|
- What is meant is not the numerical value (see below), but the place in the alphabet
- only if different.
- Adopts Appendix 5, Table 7 of the RAK-WB (1983) = rules of practice for § 110.4 of the RSWK .
- Initially ever [jɛ], otherwise e [ɛ]. The purpose of this rule is that the j is omitted for compound words, e.g. B. եղբայր ełbayr [ jɛʀ'bajɹ ], German 'brother' , but մորեղբայր morełbayr [ moɹɛʀ'bajɹ ], German 'brother of the mother' .
- Alternatively also th, but this is less common than before. It is now only common for words of Greek origin such as կաթոլիկոս (transliterated kat'olikos, transcribed Katholikos ).
1. i (based on the example of the English transcription, e.g. Petrosian instead of Petrosjan, but this notation is misleading with regard to the pronunciation);
2. y (in rare cases also misleading, e.g. many German native speakers should read hyut ( հյութ hyowt ' [ hjutʰ ], German ' Saft ' ) intuitively as [hyutʰ] - as with hyena - but hjut is unambiguous);
3. h (e.g. in Hakob ( Յակոբ Yakob [ ha'kob ]), the classic Armenian spelling of Jakob).
- in initial position where , otherwise o (exceptions: ով and ովքեր ). The point of this rule is that the w is omitted in compound words, e.g. B. որդի ordi [ voɹ'tʰi ], German 'son' , but քեռորդի k'eṙordi [ kʰeroɹ'tʰi ], German 'son of the maternal uncle' .
- Between two vowels ss , otherwise s .
- The pronunciation of the letter w in German is usually slightly different ( voiced labiodental approximant [ ʋ ] ).
- In closed syllables after i as u, as long as the syllable is not closed by composition (this only applies to classical spelling).
- Above all (in the Reformed spelling only) at the beginning of the word and in compound words, e.g. B. այսօր aysōr [ aj'soɹ ], German 'today' , literally 'this day', composed of այս ays [ ajs ], German 'this / this / this' and օր ōr [ oɹ ], German 'day' .
Western Armenian digraphs
In addition to the Pan-Armenian ու, there are two typical Western Armenian digraphs .
- At the time of the Crusades, the Cilician western Armenians were allies of the Crusaders and came into contact in particular with French knights. The western Armenians adopted some French words and the digraph օէ ōē was introduced to reproduce the "ö-sounds" [ø], [œ] and [œ̃] . This digraph is the only purely orthographic feature that can be used to distinguish Western Armenian from classically written Eastern Armenian texts.
իւ iw is pronounced in closed syllables [y] (read like a German “ü”), while in Old Armenian it was probably pronounced [iw]. In Eastern Armenian իւ iw is pronounced [jɯ], only as a transcription of foreign words in the context of classical spelling can it be pronounced as [y] - provided the speaker can and wants to pronounce it that way. Example: Բիւզանդ 'Byzantium' can be pronounced both [bjɯ'zand] and [by'zand].
- Exceptions: If the closure of the syllable is caused by compounding, the original pronunciation is retained, e.g. B. պատիւ patiw , German 'honor' , [ba'div] (westarm.), [Pa'tiv] (ostarm.); պատիւս patiws , German 'my honor' , [ba'divǝs] (westarm.), [pa'tivǝs] (ostarm.).
|Ligature ե + ւ (also used as & )||և|
|Ligature մ + ն||ﬓ|
|Ligature մ + ե||ﬔ|
|Ligature մ + ի||ﬕ|
|Ligature վ + ն||ﬖ|
|Ligature մ + խ||ﬗ|
Names of the letters
There are traditional names of the letters. However, they were not taught in the schools of the Armenian SSR and are therefore unknown to many Armenians. The traditional spelling is given first and then the Reformed spelling, which is of a more theoretical nature for the reason mentioned above.
- այբ, բէն, գիմ, դա, եչ, զա, է, ըթ, թո, ժէ, ինի, լիւն, խէ, ծա, կէն, հո, ձա, ղատ, ճէ, մէն, յի 1 , նու, շա, ո, չա , պէ, ջէ, ռա, սէ, վէվ, տիւն, րէ, ցո, վիւն 2 , փիւր, քէ; օ, ֆէ
- այբ, բեն, գիմ, դա, եչ, զա, է, ըթ, թո, ժե, ինի, լյուն, խե, ծա, կեն, հո, ձա, ղատ, ճե, մեն, հի, նու, շա, ո, չա, պե, ջե, ռա, սե, վեվ, տյուն, րե, ցո, ու ( sic! ) , փյուր, քե; օ, ֆե; և
As in the Latin and Greek alphabet, there is an Armenian number system in which the letters are used as numerals. In both cases there was no sign for the zero . Occasionally they are still used to indicate years or chapter numbers.
( տրոհության նշաններ )
|End of sentence character ( վերջակետ )||։|
|Semicolon, abbreviation point ( միջակետ )||.|
|Comma ( ստորակետ )||,|
|But ( բութ ) 1||՝|
( առոգանության նշաններ )
|Stress symbol ( շեշտ ) 2||՛|
|Question mark ( հարցական նշան ) 3||՞|
|Exclamation mark ( բացականչական նշան ) 3||՜|
|Left half ring||ՙ|
|Apostrophe = right half ring||՚|
|Abbreviation symbol ( պատիվ )||՟|
|Hyphen ( ենթամնա )||-|
Armenian alphabet in Unicode
The Armenian alphabet occupies the positions from U + 0531 to U + 058A in the Armenian Unicode block . Some ligatures are in the Unicode block Alphabetical Presentation Forms from U + FB13 to U + FB17.
- Margret Eggenstein-Harutunian: Introduction to the Armenian script . Buske, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-87548-639-1 .
- Andreas G. Buda: Advanced course on the Armenian alphabet . Armenian Association, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-033-00962-2 .
- Armenian Transliteration Supports East Armenian and West Armenian language forms.
- Armenian, Georgian, Greek and Hebrew alphabet in comparison
- Evolution of the Armenian Alphabet A tablet that relates the Armenian alphabet to prehistoric and early historical writings
- Armenotype.com Site about Armenian typography and type design.
- aybuben.com - animated display of spelling and pronunciation of letters.
- Margret Eggenstein-Harutunian: Introduction to the Armenian script. P. 10.
- Ayele Bekerie: Historical Overview of Ethiopic Writing System's Possible Influence on the Development of the Armenian alphabet. In: International Journal of Ethiopian Studies. Volume 1, No. 1 Summer / Autumn 2003, pp. 33-58.
- George L. Campbell: Handbook of scripts and alphabets . Routledge, London 1997, ISBN 0-415-18344-8 , pp. 6 (English).
- Revue des Études Arméniennes (English)
- UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems, March 4, 2016
- Armenian Language Lessons Chapter 9b in the Armeniapedia