This is an isolate within the Indo-European language family, spoken by c. 3 million people in the Republic of Armenia, where it is the official language. There are as many as 6 million Armenian speakers internationally. Other countries where the language is spoken include Turkey, Georgia, Iran and the Lebanon. Immigrant Armenian populations live in many parts of Europe, the USA and the Middle East.
Written documents in Classical Armenian, also known as grabar, or 'book language', date from the 5th century. It is still in use as the language of the Armenian Church. Modern Armenian started emerging in the 19th century and today it is spoken in two main varieties: Eastern (based on the dialect of the Yerevan region) and Western (based on the dialect of the Istanbul area).
The language is spelt in the Armenian alphabet devised by Mesrop Mashtots in the 5th century. It has survived almost intact to the present day.
CLASSIFICATION = Indo-European family , SCRIPT = Armenian