8 Interesting Facts About the Armenian Alphabet

Monument of Armenian Alphabet
Monument of Armenian Alphabet | © Nina Stössinger /Flickr

One of the prominent characteristics of the Armenian identity is its language. The precise origins of the language are a little obscure, as it’s considered one of the world’s ancient languages. However, we’ve compiled 11 interesting facts you need to know about it before you visit the country.

The Armenian alphabet was created in 405 AD

The alphabet was created by Mesrop Mashtots 100 years after Christianity had been adopted as the national religion in Armenia. However, the Bible was not available in the local language. The primary reason for creating their own written language was to translate the holy book and make it available for local people.

It is among the family of Indo-European languages

Even though the language is part of Indo-European languages, it forms its own separate division within the group. Therefore, similar to the Georgian language, it doesn’t have any close relations to any other languages, not in this particular group or any other.

The Armenian Alphabet at the Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus

The language has a unique writing system

The alphabet consists of 36 original letters, and three more were added in the 12th centuries to accommodate foreign words. Those letters were “և; օ; ֆ”, however it should be noted that in reality two letters were added, as “և” stands for “and” in English. Therefore, there are 31 consonants and 7 vowels. Locals call their language “Hayots Grer” – before its creation, the nation used the languages of those countries which ruled Armenia in the past.

Its structure laid out the Christian religion

Mashtots was a church servant, who wanted to promote the role of Christianity with the Armenian alphabet. His religious inclinations were clearly reflected in the scrip, as the first letter “Ա” stands for God, or “Astvats” in the local language, “Ս” stands for “Holy Spirit”, and the last letter of the script “Ք” stands for “Kristos”, or “Christ” in English.

The Armenian language has different punctuation

The language has completely different punctuation marks than Western languages. The full stop, or period, in Armenian looks like a colon in English “:”, and the question mark is a curvy line placed not at the end of the sentence, but above the word in question. For example: How are you? would be Inčʿpe?s es. The semicolon in Armenian is the full stop we use in English, and it also has a special punctuation mark “՟” to identify abbreviated words.

Armenian Alphabet Memorial in Oshakan, Armenia

Letters used instead of numbers

In ancient calculations, you can see Armenian letters instead of numbers, as each letter had a corresponding number. The most fascinating thing is the Armenian calendar made with Armenian letters.

The Armenian alphabet serves as a decorative piece in many homes

Locals are so proud of their script that they consider it as a cultural treasure and have it framed and hang it in the living room. They are decorated with jeweled images made of trchnakir (letters made out of drawn bird shapes) or gold and celebrate the legacy of Mashtots.

The script has its own monument not far from Yerevan

Located 40 minutes ride from Yerevan, Artashavan is home to the monument dedicated to the Armenian language. When the country celebrated its 1,600th birthday of the alphabet in 2005, Armenian architect J. Torosyan created these giant, stone carved 39 letters to commemorate the work of Mashtots.

Armenian Alphabet Monument
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.