Learn Classical Armenian!

Learn Classical Armenian! started in June, 2021 with daily Grabar (Classical Armenian) exercises. The exercises are designed to take about 5-10 minutes to work through, with most of the material sourced or modified from the 5th century Classical Armenian translation of the Bible (of which, you can find an invaluable Grabar-English concordance at Arak29). I am not a linguist*, and did not approach the material as such; I simply provided the material I wished I had when I started learning Grabar, and that I sometimes still wish to have accessible. My hope is to help others learn our beautiful, ancient language.

Soon after I started, Robert Bedrosian gave me the idea of developing some exercises that focus on "Spoken" Grabar, along with some initial materials to start with. Thereafter, most of the exercises take this approach, based on short, "spoken" phrases that help the reader think in Grabar and, hopefully, parse longer sentences later on.

To whet the appetite, here are some famous literary lines that I recently translated to 5th century Grabar, as well as "The Disciple" by Oscar Wilde, and the opening lines of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

*If you are looking for “official” material, here are some resources: i) The University of Texas has free Classical Armenian lessons here, ii) Robert Thomson has a textbook that you can access freely here (or pay >$1,000 for here, along with another >$800 intro textbook here), iii) The Armenite has compiled a selection of helpful materials that are freely available here, and iv) Robert Bedrosian has also compiled various materials, including Gems from the Bible, verses from the Classical Armenian translation of the Bible (selected for their aesthetic value and vocabulary) presented side-by-side with translations into almost any language of your choice. For those who are  interested in lessons with a teacher, the Armenian Institute offers online classes that you can learn more about here, and if you are an academic, you can also check out the Dumbarton Oaks/HMML Summer School Introduction to Classical Armenian here. There is also a monthly reading group, “Krapar & Kini”, organized by Jesse Arlen at the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center and open to all, that focuses on Classical Armenian texts and excerpts of exceptional literary interest for a broad audience.

There is nothing wrong with any of these materials and courses; in fact, they are all excellent (except for that $800 textbook; not sure about that one). But there were no classes that I knew of when I started learning Grabar, and I did not have the patience to work with textbooks or materials that make heavy and critical use of linguistic terms. I generally find textbooks to be boring and I wanted to learn the language practically, by reading, translating and practicing on my own terms, on my own time and out of my own interest, with certainty in the most necessary knowledge and plenty of feedback. I still believe the Bible is the best resource that meets these criteria. My objective was to learn Classical Armenian well enough to be able to read, understand and effectively translate the key texts from the language, so that’s how I did it, and that’s the idea behind these materials. But I think you will find that you can take a similar approach to work on composition, too.

If you have any questions, I invite you to comment on the posts or reach out to me at any time, and if you find any of this material helpful, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help spread the word and share it with others.


1. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Եմ

2. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Եղ

3. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Լինել


4. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Սիրել 

5. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Տալ

6. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Դնել

7. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Արկանել

8. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Գալ

9. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Երթալ

10. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Գնալ

11. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Կեալ

12. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Ուտել

13. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Ունել

14. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Ասել

15. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Առնել

16. Grabar Verb Conjugations: Առնուլ


1. Grabar Noun Declensions: Ա

2. Grabar Noun Declensions: Ի

3. Grabar Noun Declensions: Ո

4. Grabar Noun Declensions: ՈՒ


5. Grabar Noun Declensions: Օր

6. Grabar Noun Declensions: Ժամանակ

7. Grabar Noun Declensions: Ամ

8. Grabar Noun Declensions: Գիւղ

9. Grabar Noun Declensions: Այր

10. Grabar Noun Declensions: Կին

11. Grabar Noun Declensions: Հոգի

12. Grabar Noun Declensions: Դեւ

13. Grabar Noun Declensions: Ձեռն

14. Grabar Noun Declensions: Բան

15. Grabar Noun Declensions: Սիրտ


1. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Ես

2. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Դու

3. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Նա (սա, դա)

4. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Ոմն

5. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Ինքն

6. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Որ

7. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Ո

8. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Իմն, իք

9. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Միմեանց

10. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Ամենեքեան

11. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Ամենայն

12. Grabar Pronoun Declensions: Այլ


13. Grabar Adjective Pronoun Declensions: Այն (այդ, այս)

14. Grabar Adjective Pronoun Declensions: Նոյն (սոյն, դոյն)

15. Grabar Adjective Pronoun Declensions: Իմ

16. Grabar Adjective Pronoun Declensions: Մեր

17. Grabar Adjective Pronoun Declensions: Քո

18. Grabar Adjective Pronoun Declensions: Ձեր


1. Grabar Prepositions: Ընդ

2. Grabar Prepositions: Առ

3. Grabar Prepositions: Ըստ

4. Grabar Prepositions: Ի, յ

5. Grabar Prepositions: Ց

6. Grabar Prepositions: Չ

7. Grabar Prepositions: զ


1. Grabar Conjunctions: Եթէ

2. Grabar Conjunctions: Կամ

3. Grabar Conjunctions: Եւ

4. Grabar Conjunctions: Բայց

5. The Many Faces of "Եւ Կամ"

6. Grabar Conjunctions: Ապա

7. Grabar Conjunctions: Քան

8. Grabar Conjunctions: Թէ


1. Grabar Adverbs: Դեռ

2. Grabar Adverbs: Միշտ

3. Grabar Adverbs: Հազիւ

4. Grabar Adverbs: Գրեթէ

5. Grabar Adverbs: Երբեք

6. Grabar Adverbs: Արդեւք

7. Grabar Adverbs: Երբեմն

8. Grabar Adverbs: Պէսպէս

9. Grabar Adverbs: Միասին


Armenian Numerals


Classical Armenian Abbreviations

Հայոց լեզուն

The following exercises are based on the so-called "natural method" of language learning, the idea being that these require the reader to learn to think in Classical Armenian. These exercises assume only a knowledge of the Armenian script, and are suitable for learners of all levels.

1. Հայոց լեզուն. Աշխարհն հայոց

2. Հայոց լեզուն. Նշանագիրք եւ թիւք

3. Հայոց լեզուն. Հայերէն քերականութիւն

4. Հայոց լեզուն. Հայ ընտանիք

5. Հայոց լեզուն. Հեքիաթ Պետրոս Նապաստակի

6. Հայոց լեզուն. Արեգակն

7. Հայոց լեզուն. Երկիրն

8. Հայոց լեզուն. Նռնենի եւ թզենի

9. Հայոց լեզուն. Ծերքն

10. Հայոց լեզուն. Կուղբն

11. Հայոց լեզուն. Մրջիւնն

12. Հայոց լեզուն. Արարածքն

13. Հայոց լեզուն. զԵրկին

14. Հայոց լեզուն. Լուսինն

15. Հայոց լեզուն. Տունկքն

16. Հայոց լեզուն. Մորենին

17. Հայոց լեզուն. Խնձորն եւ տանձն

18. Հայոց լեզուն. Թզենին

19. Հայոց լեզուն. Յաջորդաց բարիք մտածել

20. Հայոց լեզուն. Խրատք պիտանիք եւ բարոյական հին առածք

Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ

The following exercises were compiled in 1880 by Yeghishe Tourian (younger brother of Bedros Tourian, himself a student of Hagop Baronian). Yeghishe would later become Archbishop of Jerusalem. The exercises, based largely on Biblical verses, are designed to be read in Grabar and then translated into a different language. Tourian suggested that two years of continuous and dedicated study were needed for the mastery of modern Armenian, and that mastery of Grabar would require as many more than that as needed.

1. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Թզենին անպտուղ

2. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Նախանձ տան տեառն

3. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Առաջին ի պատուիրանս

4. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Պատանին պատուիրանապահ

5. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Փարիսեցին եւ մաքսաւոր

6. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Երկու լումայք կնոջն այրւոյ

7. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Բժշկել ի շաբաթու

8. Ընթացք ՚ի գրոց բարբառ. Կուսանքն իմաստուն եւ յիմարք


Popular posts from this blog

A selection of famous literary lines, translated to 5th century Grabar

Աշխարհաբառ լեզուի վրայ