5.1.9 Language laws
Under the Constitution, Armenian is confirmed as the state language of the Republic of Armenia. Regulation of language use is carried out by the state Language Inspectorate of the Ministry of Education and Science. Language issues are also regulated by the Law on Language, accepted on 17.04.1993. The law states, that the Armenian language is a language of teaching and education, however, the Law also affirms the right of national minorities to organise education in their native languages (Article 2).
The Law on Language does not specifically address TV and radio broadcasting, cinema and theatre; however, it demands that simultaneous translation into Armenian be ensured during all official and public events if they are held in foreign languages. The language used in broadcasting radio and television programmes in Armenia depends on the status of the broadcaster (state or private) and the nature of the programme, although programme language is mainly Armenian. TV programmes in foreign languages, foreign language episodes of Armenian programmes, as well as the films of the Public TV Company are broadcasted in simultaneous Armenian translation. This does not include the TV programmes that are broadcasted for foreign countries and for national minorities. Since there are no state cinemas in Armenia, films are mainly shown in Russian, because the majority of the Armenian population speaks Russian and the films are distributed mainly through Russian companies, which avoid extra costs on dubbing. This practice is not in line with the requirements of the legislation on the state language. The exceptions are only the films shown during Yerevan international film fest "Golden Apricot" and within the frameworks of different cultural days, when films are presented with Armenian oral or written translation.
There is a Russian Dramatic Theatre in Yerevan and its performances are in Russian. The performances during the "Hayfest" international annual festival of theatrical troupes are performed in the languages of participating countries.
Books in foreign languages are published in Armenia under state patronage including books in the languages of national minorities.