Armenian Language Corner

New Armenian Words Not in Your Dictionary

  • Password: Any person with some reasonable knowledge of the Armenian language may invent a word, especially compound words. The old “watchword,” related to military issues, has found its equivalent in the twenty-first century as “password.” How should we say it in Armenian? If you get into the business of literal translation, you may put together ants-nil(անցնիլ) “to pass” and par (բառ) “word” to obtain antsapar “password.” However, there is not always the need to translate literally. A password is a secret (encrypted) word or text used to “pass” the obstacle; for instance, to enter a computer. People came up with a better solution that has become most used: kaghdnapar (գաղտնաբառ). This word combines kaghdni (գաղտնի “secret”) and par, the same as we have kaghdnakir (գաղտնագիր) to say…  “cryptogram.”
  • Upload and download: Anyone may get a load of something or, otherwise, load something (for instance, on a vehicle). The Armenian word for “load” is perr (բեռ) and the verb, perrtsnel (բեռցնել). How do you deal with “upload” and “download” in Armenian?

    You may hear, here and there, partzratsnel (բարձրացնել) and ichetsnel (իջեցնել). However, these words are standard Armenian for “to raise” and “to lower.” They give the “up” and “down” idea of the English term, but not the concept of “loading.” Since “to load” has a clear meaning of putting up something, but not putting down, you cannot use perrtsnel 

    Someone went to the roots and found the solution: to turn perr (“load”) into a new verb, perrnel, to give the idea of putting up something. The new verb perrnel (բեռնել) became the Armenian word for “upload,” and, combined with the prefix ner (ներ), which means “under, intro, down,” helped create the Armenian word for “download”: nerpernel (ներբեռնել).

  • Audiobook: The world of books has gone through unprecedented transformation in the past ten years. Readers of paper books are now sharing their world with other media, like e-books and audiobooks.

    We do not have many audiobooks in Armenian yet, but what do we call the ones we have?The problem is with “audio.” As the reader knows, the word is related to hearing. The immediate answer would be something related to lsel (լսել “to hear”). Since we have lsaran (լսարան “audience”), Why not lsakirk (լսագիրք), with l(i)s“audio” and kirk “book”?

    Again, it is a matter of being creative. More than hearing, an audiobook is about the voice (tzayn) as the means to transmit the information. Doesn’t tzaynakirk (ձայնագիրք) sound better? We already have tzaynakrutiun (ձայնագրութիւն) for “audio recording.” Let’s continue the word family.