Eastern Armenian is the official language of the country and considered the native language by 96% of
the population. It is distinct within the Indo-European family of languages and has its own unique
script re-created in the fifth century AD by Mesrop Mashtots. Ancient Armenian is thought to have
originated from Sanskrit and Zend. English poet Byron was one of the few Westerns to master the
Armenian language and to compile an English-Armenian dictionary. Russian predominates as the second
language, although, as a consequence of Armenia’s integration into the world economy, the use of English,
French and German is on the rise. Western Armenian is also spoken. Russian and English are the most
widely spoken languages following Armenian.