It uses a dot above mark to express the aspirates, t῾, ch῾, č῾, p῾, k῾. However, the correct support of this diacritic has been poor for long in the past and was not very common on many usual applications and computer fonts or rendering systems. Some documents were published using the ASCII backquote ` U+0060 as a fallback (or even the ASCII apostrophe ' U+0027 when there was no confusion possible), but the preferred character today is the left half-ring modifier letter (see below).
And some ambiguities were not solved to work with modern vernacular Armenian, that has two dialects, both using two possible orthographies (in addition the modern orthography will be used for Classical Armenian in modern publications).
This romanization was taken up by ISO (1996), and considered obsolete. This system is a loose transcription and is not reversible (without using dictionnary lookup), notably for single Armenian letters romanized into digraphs (these non reversible, or ambiguous romanizations are shown in a red cell in the table below).
Some Armenian letters have several romanizations, depending on their context:
This system is reversible because it avoids the use of digraphs and returns to the Hübschmann-Meillet (however some diacritics for vowels are also modified).
Note that in this scheme, č (signifying չ) collides with the Hübschmann-Meillet transliteration (where it signifies ճ). This system is recommanded for international bibliographic text interchange (it is also the base of simplified romanizations found to localize the Armenian toponomy ofr for transliterating human names), where it works very well with the common ISO 8859-2 Latin encoding used in Central Europe.
This standard changes the transliteration scheme used between Classical/Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian for the Armenian consonnants represented by swapping the pairs b vs. p, g vs. k, d vs. t, dz vs. ts and ch vs. j.
In all cases, and to make this romanizatrion less ambiguous and reversible,
Despite these input methods are commonly used, they are not obeying to any approved international or Armenian standard, so they are not recommanded for the romanization of Armenian. Note that the input methods recognize the Latin digraphs zh, dz, gh, tw, sh, vo, ch, rr for Classic or Eastern Armenian, and zh, dz, tz, gh, vo, ch, rr for Western Armenian, but offer no way to disambiguate words where the digraphs should not be recognized.
Some Armenian letters are entered as Latin digraphs, and may also be followed by the input of an ASCII single quote (which acts as the only letter modifier recognized) but this quote does not always mean that the intended Armenian letter should be aspirated (this may be the reverse for the input ch'), it is also used as a vowel modifier. Due to ambiguities, texts must be corrected by entering an intermediate dummy character before entering the second Latin letter or quote, then removing the dummy character, so that the automatic input converter keeps the Armenian letters distinct.
This is made visible in the table below by coloring transliterations specific to Classical or Eastern Armenian on green background, and those for Western Armenian on blue background. Other letters are transliterated independently of the language branch. However, cells with red background contain transliterations that are context dependent.
|Romanization of Classical or Eastern Armenian||ASCII input||a||b||g||d||e||z||e'||y'||t'||zh||i||l||x||c'||k||h||dz||gh||tw||m|
|Romanization of Western Armenian||ALA-LC||p||k||t||dz||g||ts||j|
|Romanization of Classical or Eastern Armenian||ASCII input||y||n||sh||vo||ch||p||j||rr||s||v||t||r||c||w||p'||k', q||o||f||u||ev|
|BGN/PCGN||sh||o, vo||ch’||j||rr||ts’||o||u||ev, yev|
|ALA-LC||y, h||o||chʿ||ṛ||tsʿ||pʿ||kʿ||ō||ew, ev|
|Romanization of Western Armenian||ALA-LC||b||ch||d|
|ASCII input||h'||vo||ch||ch'||rr||c||p'||k', q||o||ev|
Note that in the table above, the last two columns are referring to digraphs, not isolated letters. However the last one displays the ligature that is used only as an isolated symbol for the short Armenian word ew (meaning and) in a way similar to the ampersand (&) in the Latin script (the ligature should not be used within other Armenian words so it is not really ambiguous); the same transliteration to ew (classical Armenian) or ev (reformed orthography) will be used for the letters this ligature represents, when they are used as digraphs: it used to refer to the w consonnant, now it refers to the v consonnant.
The Armenian script also uses some other digraphs that are often written as optional ligatures, in lowercase only (five of them are encoded in Unicode only for full roundtrip compatibility with some legacy encodings); when present, these ligatures (which are purely typographic and carry no semantic distinction in normal Armenian texts) must be romanized by decomposing their component letters.