Armenian Alphabet -Hayeren-Edit This Page

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The Armenian Alphabet was completed in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, a prominent Armenian scholar. The Bible was translated into Armenian that same year. Prior to the creation of this alphabet, the primary written language of Armenia was Greek. Similar to Hebrew, each letter carries a numeric value, however, like English, Armenian is read left-to-right.

When reading Armenian, it is important to note that many of the letters look the same or sound the same. Overlooking a simple mark can completely change the sound. Note the open bottom on 'tah' Դ դ, and the closed bottom on 'kim' Գ գ. Except for that minor change, they appear to be the same letter.

There are three possibilities when transcribing a 'k' into Armenian, the 'kim,' 'kh,' and 'kay.' To complicate things, the 'k' sound is very close to the 'g' sound, for which there are two possible letters, the 'ghad,' and the 'ghen.' The 't' and 'd' sound are also similar, for which there are several options also, 'tah,' 'to,' and 'dune' minus those composite letter sounds such as the 'dzah,' 'tsah,' and 'tso,' also easily confused with 'zah.'

'Rrah' is a rolled 'r' while, 'ray' is a solid 'r' sound. Several variations exist for the 'sh,' 'ch,' and 's' sounds as well. Such letters include 'shah,' 'chah,' 'chay,' and 'say.' Finally, the 'p' and 'b' sounds may also be easily interchanged when transcribing, or looking for an ancestral name, utilizing the 'pen,' 'bay,' and 'pure' letters.

The last two letters of the alphabet were added many years later and have no numeric value. Like English, the Armenian alphabet is read left to right, in horizontal rows.

Armenian Letter:
Name of Letter:
Sounds Like:
Numeric Value:
Ա ա
aip
a in far
1
Բ բ
pen
p
2
Գ գ
kim
k
3
Դ դ
tah
t
4
Ե ե
yech
y in yet
5
Զ զ
zah
z
6
Է է
ah
e in bet
7
Ը ը
yet
u in up
8
Թ թ
to
t
9
Ժ ժ
zhay
s in measure
10
Ի ի
ini
i in win
20
Լ լ
lune
l
30
Խ խ
kh
gutteral kh
40
Ծ ծ
dzah
dz
50
Կ կ
ghen
g in good
60
Հ հ
ho
h
70
Ձ ձ
tsah
ts in lets
80
Ղ ղ
ghad
gutteral gh
90
Ճ ճ
jay
j in joy
100
Մ մ
men
m
200
Յ յ
he
h or y
300
Ն ն
noo
n
400
Շ շ
shah
sh
500
Ո ո
vo
vo or o
600
Չ չ
chah
ch in church
700
Պ պ
bay
b
800
Ջ ջ
chay
ch in church
900
Ռ ռ
rrah
r
1000
Ս ս
say
s
2000
Վ վ
vev
v
3000
Տ տ
dune
d
4000
Ր ր
ray
r
5000
Ց ց
tso
ts in lets
6000
Ւ ւ
hune
u or v
7000
Փ փ
pure
p
8000
Ք ք
kay
k
9000
Օ օ
o
o
-
Ֆ ֆ
fay
f
-

 

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