Is Armenian difficult? With the use of modern means of communication it becomes a plaything, available even to children, meaning the young generation for whom the rush of digital information is simply a playground. Four years ago already Collège Dictionnaires Machtotz France (CDMF) had published a novelty of international standards for computers: e-Lexique Machtotz. On a CD weighing just a few grams, tens of thousands terms were included in a French-Armenian Armenian-French dictionary. These data came from the dictionaries by Krikor Shahinian and Harutiun Kiurkjian, printed by the SHIRAK Press of Beirut, Lebanon. Continuing its tireless activity, the same association prepared an English-French-Armenian vocabulary containing thousands of electronic terms. This achievement, the result of years of diligent and voluntary labor, earned the “Golden Word” (Mot d’Or) prize in March, 2011, from the International Organization of Francophony. But the computer is an antiquity already… The youth “soar” with the Ethernet and the novelties of touchtone “Haypad” and “Hayphone,” I mean Steve Jobs’ iPad and iPhone, of course.

To serve the Armenian language, Collège Dictionnaires Machtotz France has developed two applications.

  • The first is an Internet site,, where numerous materials can be found: dictionaries, vocabularies, articles related to the Armenian language and linguists, digitized volumes, bibliographies, and several important links, etc.
  • The second, dico Machtotz, is a French-Armenian Armenian-French dictionary, to be used on iPad and iPhone specifically, with their Armenian AZERTY and QWERTY keyboards. These latter are novelties which can be downloaded freely.

Is it necessary to note what gigantic, scrupulous, and patient labor these two required from a dozen professionals, be they in the fields of Armenology or computers, gratis and humbly, even declining the mention of their names? Especially the chief Entrepreneur, to whom we owe the success of these projects, after three years of ceaseless diligent and professional toil, overcoming technical, legal and financial hurdles, and staying always modest, as a lowly peon of the heritage hallowed by St. Mesrop, to be transferred to the new and later generations. As a witness and colleague attestant, I feel obligated to emphasize this point.

In conclusion, we wouldn’t suggest that you buy a iPad or a iPhone for your children, since they’re most probably equipped with those instruments already. We would only urge you to remind them that such a possibility exists, and that the use of Armenian is not only a pleasant amusement, but also a source for new knowledge and new achievement, and beneficial in their professional life. And all this, to immortalize the legacy of Mashtots. Good enjoyment and delightful entertainment!

Simon Babigian (translated by Y.K.)

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