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In the late 4th century AD, King Vramshapuh (Վռամշապուհ) of Armenia asked Mesrop Mashtots (Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց), one of the officials in his chancellery and a prominent scholar, to create a new alphabet for Armenian.
Before then, Armenian had been written with 'cuneiform' scripts, which was deemed unsuitable for religious works by the Armenian Church.
In 2010 Russian language education was reintroduced in Armenia [source].
Not much is known about the Armenian language before it was first written in the 5th century AD, though the Armenians are mentioned in inscriptions dating back to the 6th century BC.
There are also about 660,000 speakers of Eastern Armenian in the Dagestan Republic of the Russian Federation, 120,000 in Azerbaijan, and 100,000 in Iran.
The total number of speakers is about 3.8 million [source].
To educated speakers of either variety the other is more or less mutually intelligible.
Eastern Armenian has 2.9 million speakers in Armenia, where it is the official and most commonly-spoken language.
It contains numerous loanwords from Parthian, and also from Greek, Syriac, Latin and other languages such as Uratian.Armenian is the offical language of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and has official status as a minority language in Cyprus, Hungary, Iraq, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.Until the the early 1990s schools in Armenian taught in either Armenian or Russian, however after the collapse of the USSR, Armenian became the main medium of instruction and the Russian-medium schools were closed.There are also Armenian speakers in many other countries, including Russia, Lebanon, the USA, Georgia, Iran, France, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Armenian belongs to its own independent branch of the Indo-European language family. There are two main varieties of Armenian: Eastern Armenian (արևելահայերեն) and Western Armenian (արեւմտահայերէն).
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