The Armenian language is spoken by some 4 million residents of Armenia (formerly a republic in the Soviet Union), as well as in diaspora communities in the region and farther abroad. The language was put into writing early, in the 5th century. The term Armenian can be used to refer to at two major varieties of the language, each with its own dialects. Armenian has two standard varieties: Eastern and Western. Modern Eastern Armenian is spoken in present-day Armenia and in Armenian communities in Azerbaijan and Iran. Modern Western Armenian was spoken by Armenians in Anatolia, Turkey, prior to the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916. Today, it is used by Armenian communities in the United States, Europe, Middle East, Australia, and South America.
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