The idea to create Nayiri came out of the frustration of having to manually look up words in a dictionary while reading online Armenian newspapers. A similar problem existed when writing in Armenian: spell checking meant making several look ups in a traditional printed dictionary (sometimes searching all possible combinations). A better solution was needed: an electronic dictionary with spell checker and stemmer for Western Armenian.
In 2004, as part of a project for an Armenian language course at UC Berkeley, I began to implement this vision by creating Nayiri.com. Over the next year, I meticulously digitized a 500-page dictionary (Granian's «Բառգիրք Հայերէն Լեզուի») and created a web-based interface with integrated spell checker and stemmer.
All of these features were the first of their kind for the Armenian language, and Nayiri continues to be the only website that provides all of these features. Most of all, it is at no cost to the user.
In 2005, I developed a plugin for Internet Explorer which allows for quick lookups of any word on any Armenian language website. I also added an automatic Armenian keyboard to the user interface which is a convenience that saves users from having to install Armenian language keyboard layouts on their computer (a task that doesn't come easily to most users).
After intermittent downtimes for a year and a half, in mid-2007 I finally bought a dedicated server and leased a business DSL line to reliably host Nayiri. It has been running continuously since then.
Today Nayiri.com receives an average of 25,000 visitors per month from over 100 countries who cumulatively search 180,000 words.
With the help of its supporters (Yenovk Lazian, Antoinette Unanyan, and Philippe Philibossian) Nayiri was recently localized to 4 languages. Also, Nayiri recently received some cosmetic changes for a better user experience.
I hope you enjoy this site and I look forward to hearing your stories, comments, and suggestions.