Is English a threat to the Armenian Language?

Armenian millionaire, Ruben Vardanyan, proposed changing the law to allow English to be the primary language of instruction in Armenian schools. This is because he wanted to build a financial establishment in Dilijan, one of Armenia’s towns. For this to happen, he will need to hire Armenian employees who can speak English proficiently. However, this may not be possible given that the primary language of instruction in most Armenian schools is either Armenian or Russian. Nationalists, opposition groups and writers have greatly debated on the issue, with most of them being of the opinion that the introduction of English into the school system will result in Armenia language and culture being overshadowed by the English culture and language. But they also recognize that English is of importance given the fact that the country is surrounded by Asian and European countries. For now, the government has allowed the establishment of non-Armenian language schools, with Armenian being a compulsory subject.

There are about 11 million people who speak Armenian worldwide. Out of this, only about 3 million Armenians actually live in Armenia, the rest live in other countries such as Ukraine, Lebanon, Turkey, Russia, Poland, USA, France, Iran, Georgia, Cyprus and Romania. Armenia is the official language in Armenia and is also recognized as a minority official language in Romania, Cyprus and Poland. Most Armenians can also speak Russian. Armenia is a pluricentric language, meaning that it has two standardized forms: Eastern and Western Armenia. These are considered to be different dialects of the same language. If you can speak one dialect, then it would be easy to pick up the other dialect if you are exposed to it. With 38 letters, Armenia has the richest alphabet in the world.

Armenians are known to be very talkative people. They are also very religious as Armenia was the first kingdom to adopt Christianity as a state religion in the 4th century. Up to 95% of the population are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is believed to have been started by the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew. The highest mountain in Armenia is known as Ararat. In the bible, this is where Noah’s ark came to rest after the flood receded.

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