Classical vs. Modern Armenian


Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello all! :)

I'd like to know if I study western/eastern modern Armenian, I will be able to understand Classical authors, like Մովսես Խորենացի or Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց.

Also, which variation (western or eastern) is closer to the Classical?

Thank you very much
  • YooHoo

    New Member
    Hi, I'm an Armenian from Armenia and speak Armenian (eastern form).

    Both forms are easily understood within the other form's speakers. Really, the main difference is pronunciation of certain words. Spelling of words is all consistent in both forms.

    That being said, I would highly recommend that you study the eastern form of Armenian. It is the form spoken in Armenia and it is what is the more popular form.

    Regardless of which form you choose, reading classical armenian books is going to be a little challenging, because as you know, word usage changes over time. However, that applies to all languages.

    Good luck with your studies!


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The pronunciation of Eastern Armenian is closer to Classical. For example, Western Armenian pronounces the letter "պ" like English "b", whereas Eastern and Classical pronounce it like "p".

    Also, Western Armenian no longer has a distinction between aspirated and un-aspirated consonants, which Classical and Eastern both still have.

    In terms of grammar, I'm not sure whether Western or Eastern is closer to the older language.
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