|فارسی (fārsi), форсӣ (forsī)|
|Pronunciation|| [fɒːɾˈsiː] (|
|70 million |
(110 million total speakers)
Official language in
Areas with significant numbers of people whose first language is Persian (including dialects)
More than 1,000,000 speakers
Between 500,000 – 1,000,000 speakers
Between 100,000 – 500,000 speakers
Between 25,000 – 100,000 speakers
Fewer than 25,000 speakers / none
Persian ( /,- / ), also known by its endonym Farsi (فارسی, Fārsī, [fɒːɾˈsiː] (
The Persian language is a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of the Sasanian Empire (224–651 CE), itself a continuation of Old Persian, which was used in the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC).It originated in the region of Fars (Persia) in southwestern Iran. Its grammar is similar to that of many European languages.
Throughout history, Persian has been a prestigious cultural language used by various empires in Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia.Old Persian written works are attested in Old Persian cuneiform on several inscriptions from between the 6th and the 4th centuries BC, and Middle Persian literature is attested in Aramaic-derived scripts (Pahlavi and Manichaean) on inscriptions from the time of the Parthian Empire and in books centered in Zoroastrian and Manichaean scriptures from between the 3rd to the 10th century AD. New Persian literature began to flourish after the Arab invasion of Iran with its earliest records from the 9th century, since then adopting the Arabic script. Persian was the first language to break through the monopoly of Arabic on writing in the Muslim world, with the writing of Persian poetry developed as a court tradition in many eastern courts. Some of the famous works of medieval Persian literature are the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, the works of Rumi, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the Panj Ganj of Nizami Ganjavi, the Divān of Hafez, The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur, and the miscellanea of Gulistan and Bustan by Saadi Shirazi.
Persian has left a considerable influence on its neighboring languages, including other Iranian languages, the Turkic languages, Armenian, Georgian and the Indo-Aryan languages. It also exerted some influence on Arabic,while borrowing vocabulary from it under medieval Arab rule. The Persian language was the chosen official language for bureaucracy even among those who were not native speakers, for example the Turks in the Ottoman Empire, or the Pashtuns in Afghanistan who preferred it over their native tongue Pashto before the 20th century.
There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, including Persians, Afghans, Tajiks, Hazaras, Caucasian Tats and Aimaqs. The term Persophone might also be used to refer to a speaker of Persian.
Persian is a member of the Western Iranian group of the Iranian languages, which make up a branch of the Indo-European languages in their Indo-Iranian subdivision. The Western Iranian languages themselves are divided into two subgroups: Southwestern Iranian languages, of which Persian is the most widely spoken, and Northwestern Iranian languages, of which Kurdish is the most widely spoken.
The term Persian is an English derivation of Latin Persiānus, the adjectival form of Persia, itself deriving from Greek Persís (Περσίς), a Hellenized form of Old Persian Pārsa (𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿), which means "Persia" (a region in southwestern Iran, corresponding to modern-day Fars). According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the term Persian as a language name is first attested in English in the mid-16th century.
Farsi, which is the Persian word for the Persian language, has also been used widely in English in recent decades, more commonly to refer to the standard Persian of Iran. However, the name Persian is still more widely used. The Academy of Persian Language and Literature has called for avoiding the use of the endonym Farsi in foreign languages and has maintained that Persian is the appropriate designation of the language in English, as it has the longer tradition in western languages and better expresses the role of the language as a mark of cultural and national continuity.Eminent Iranian historian and linguist Ehsan Yarshater, founder of Encyclopædia Iranica and the Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University, mentions the same concern in an academic journal on Iranology, rejecting the use of Farsi in foreign languages.
Etymologically, the Persian term Fārsi derives from its earlier form Pārsi (Pārsik in Middle Persian), which in turn comes from the same root as the English term Persian. /p/ to /f/ is a result of the medieval Arabic influences that followed the Arab conquest of Iran, and is due to the lack of the phoneme /p/ in Standard Arabic.In the same process, the Middle Persian toponym Pārs ("Persia") evolved into the modern name Fars. The phonemic shift from
Iran's standard Persian has been called, apart from Persian and Farsi, by names such as Iranian Persian and Western Persian, exclusively. فارسی, fārsi).Officially, the official language of Iran is designated simply as Persian (
Dari Persian (فارسی دری, fārsi-ye dari), that is the standard Persian of Afghanistan, has been officially named Dari (دری, dari) since 1958. Also referred to as Afghan Persian in English, it is one of Afghanistan's two official languages together with Pashto. The term Dari, meaning "of the court", originally referred to the variety of Persian used in the court of the Sasanian Empire in capital Ctesiphon, which was spread to the northeast of the empire and gradually replaced the former Iranian dialects of Parthia (Parthian).
Tajik Persian (форси́и тоҷикӣ́, forsi-i tojikī), that is the standard Persian of Tajikistan, has been officially designated as Tajik (тоҷикӣ, tojikī) since the time of the Soviet Union. It is the name given to the varieties of Persian spoken in Central Asia, in general.
The international language-encoding standard ISO 639-1 uses the code
fa, as its coding system is mostly based on the native-language designations. The more detailed standard ISO 639-3 uses the name "Persian" (code
fas) for the dialect continuum spoken across Iran and Afghanistan. This consists of the individual languages Dari (Afghan Persian) and Iranian Persian.
In general, the Iranian languages are known from three periods, namely Old, Middle, and New (Modern). These correspond to three historical eras of Iranian history; Old era being sometime around the Achaemenid Empire (i.e., 400–300 BC), Middle era being the next period most officially around the Sasanian Empire, and New era being the period afterwards down to present day.
According to available documents, the Persian language is "the only Iranian language"for which close philological relationships between all of its three stages are established and so that Old, Middle, and New Persian represent one and the same language of Persian; that is, New Persian is a direct descendant of Middle and Old Persian.
The known history of the Persian language can be divided into the following three distinct periods:
As a written language, Old Persian is attested in royal Achaemenid inscriptions. The oldest known text written in Old Persian is from the Behistun Inscription, dating to the time of king Darius I (reigned 522–486 BC).Examples of Old Persian have been found in what is now Iran, Romania (Gherla), Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Old Persian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages which is attested in original texts.
According to certain historical assumptions about the early history and origin of ancient Persians in Southwestern Iran (where Achaemenids hailed from), Old Persian was originally spoken by a tribe called Parsuwash, who arrived in the Iranian Plateau early in the 1st millennium BCE and finally migrated down into the area of present-day Fārs province. Their language, Old Persian, became the official language of the Achaemenid kings.Assyrian records, which in fact appear to provide the earliest evidence for ancient Iranian (Persian and Median) presence on the Iranian Plateau, give a good chronology but only an approximate geographical indication of what seem to be ancient Persians. In these records of the 9th century BCE, Parsuwash (along with Matai, presumably Medians) are first mentioned in the area of Lake Urmia in the records of Shalmaneser III. The exact identity of the Parsuwash is not known for certain, but from a linguistic viewpoint the word matches Old Persian pārsa itself coming directly from the older word *pārćwa. Also, as Old Persian contains many words from another extinct Iranian language, Median, according to P. O. Skjærvø it is probable that Old Persian had already been spoken before the formation of the Achaemenid Empire and was spoken during most of the first half of the first millennium BCE. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BCE, which is when Old Persian was still spoken and extensively used. He relates that the Armenian people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians.
Related to Old Persian, but from a different branch of the Iranian language family, was Avestan, the language of the Zoroastrian liturgical texts.
The complex grammatical conjugation and declension of Old Persian yielded to the structure of Middle Persian in which the dual number disappeared, leaving only singular and plural, as did gender. Middle Persian developed the ezāfe construction, expressed through ī (modern ye), to indicate some of the relations between words that have been lost with the simplification of the earlier grammatical system.
Although the "middle period" of the Iranian languages formally begins with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, the transition from Old to Middle Persian had probably already begun before the 4th century BC. However, Middle Persian is not actually attested until 600 years later when it appears in the Sassanid era (224–651 AD) inscriptions, so any form of the language before this date cannot be described with any degree of certainty. Moreover, as a literary language, Middle Persian is not attested until much later, in the 6th or 7th century. From the 8th century onward, Middle Persian gradually began yielding to New Persian, with the middle-period form only continuing in the texts of Zoroastrianism.
Middle Persian is considered to be a later form of the same dialect as Old Persian.The native name of Middle Persian was Parsig or Parsik, after the name of the ethnic group of the southwest, that is, "of Pars", Old Persian Parsa, New Persian Fars . This is the origin of the name Farsi as it is today used to signify New Persian. Following the collapse of the Sassanid state, Parsik came to be applied exclusively to (either Middle or New) Persian that was written in the Arabic script. From about the 9th century onward, as Middle Persian was on the threshold of becoming New Persian, the older form of the language came to be erroneously called Pahlavi , which was actually but one of the writing systems used to render both Middle Persian as well as various other Middle Iranian languages. That writing system had previously been adopted by the Sassanids (who were Persians, i.e. from the southwest) from the preceding Arsacids (who were Parthians, i.e. from the northeast). While Ibn al-Muqaffa' (eighth century) still distinguished between Pahlavi (i.e. Parthian) and Persian (in Arabic text: al-Farisiyah) (i.e. Middle Persian), this distinction is not evident in Arab commentaries written after that date.
Gernot Windfuhr considers new Persian as an evolution of the Old Persian language and the Middle Persian languagebut also states that none of the known Middle Persian dialects is the direct predecessor of Modern Persian. Ludwig Paul states: "The language of the Shahnameh should be seen as one instance of continuous historical development from Middle to New Persian."
"New Persian" (also referred to as Modern Persian) is conventionally divided into three stages:
Early New Persian remains largely intelligible to speakers of Contemporary Persian, as the morphology and, to a lesser extent, the lexicon of the language have remained relatively stable.
"New Persian" is taken to replace Middle Persian in the course of the 8th to 9th centuries, under Abbasid rule.With the decline of the Abbasids began the re-establishment of Persian national life and Persians laid the foundations for a renaissance in the realm of letters. New Persian as an independent literary language first emerges in Bactria through the adaptation of the spoken form of Sassanian Middle Persian court language called Pārsi-ye Dari. The cradle of the Persian literary renaissance lay in the east of Greater Iran in Greater Khorasan and Transoxiana close to the Amu Darya (modern day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). The vocabulary of the New Persian language was thus heavily influenced by other Eastern Iranian languages, particularly Sogdian.
The mastery of the newer speech having now been transformed from Middle into New Persian was already complete by the era of the three princely dynasties of Iranian origin, the Tahirid dynasty (820–872), Saffarid dynasty (860–903) and Samanid Empire (874–999), and could develop only in range and power of expression.
Abbas of Merv is mentioned as being the earliest minstrel to chant verse in the newer Persian tongue and after him the poems of Hanzala Badghisi were among the most famous between the Persian-speakers of the time.
The first poems of the Persian language, a language historically called Dari, emerged in Afghanistan.The first significant Persian poet was Rudaki. He flourished in the 10th century, when the Samanids were at the height of their power. His reputation as a court poet and as an accomplished musician and singer has survived, although little of his poetry has been preserved. Among his lost works is versified fables collected in the Kalila wa Dimna .
The language spread geographically from the 11th century on and was the medium through which among others, Central Asian Turks became familiar with Islam and urban culture. New Persian was widely used as a trans-regional lingua franca, a task for which it was particularly suitable due to its relatively simple morphological structure and this situation persisted until at least the 19th century.In the late Middle Ages, new Islamic literary languages were created on the Persian model: Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai, Dobhashi and Urdu, which are regarded as "structural daughter languages" of Persian.
"Classical Persian" loosely refers to the standardized language of medieval Persia used in literature and poetry. This is the language of the 10th to 12th centuries, which continued to be used as literary language and lingua franca under the "Persianized" Turko-Mongol dynasties during the 12th to 15th centuries, and under restored Persian rule during the 16th to 19th centuries.
Persian during this time served as lingua franca of Greater Persia and of much of the Indian subcontinent. It was also the official and cultural language of many Islamic dynasties, including the Samanids, Buyids, Tahirids, Ziyarids, the Mughal Empire, Timurids, Ghaznavids, Karakhanids, Seljuqs, Khwarazmians, the Sultanate of Rum, Delhi Sultanate, the Shirvanshahs, Safavids, Afsharids, Zands, Qajars, Khanate of Bukhara, Khanate of Kokand, Emirate of Bukhara, Khanate of Khiva, Ottomans and also many Mughal successors such as the Nizam of Hyderabad. Persian was the only non-European language known and used by Marco Polo at the Court of Kublai Khan and in his journeys through China.
Despite Anatolia having been ruled at various times prior to the Middle Ages by various Persian-speaking dynasties originating in Iran, the language lost its traditional foothold there with the demise of the Sasanian Empire. Centuries later, however, the practise and usage of Persian in the region would be strongly revived. A branch of the Seljuks, the Sultanate of Rum, took Persian language, art and letters to Anatolia.They adopted Persian language as the official language of the empire. The Ottomans, who can roughly be seen as their eventual successors, took this tradition over. Persian was the official court language of the empire, and for some time, the official language of the empire. The educated and noble class of the Ottoman Empire all spoke Persian, such as Sultan Selim I, despite being Safavid Iran's archrival and a staunch opposer of Shia Islam. It was a major literary language in the empire. Some of the noted earlier Persian works during the Ottoman rule are Idris Bidlisi's Hasht Bihisht, which began in 1502 and covered the reign of the first eight Ottoman rulers, and the Salim-Namah, a glorification of Selim I. After a period of several centuries, Ottoman Turkish (which was highly Persianised itself) had developed towards a fully accepted language of literature, which was even able to satisfy the demands of a scientific presentation. However, the number of Persian and Arabic loanwords contained in those works increased at times up to 88%. In the Ottoman Empire, Persian was used for diplomacy, poetry, historiographical works, literary works, and was taught in state schools.
The Persian language influenced the formation of many modern languages in West Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia. Following the Turko-Persian Ghaznavid conquest of South Asia, Persian was firstly introduced in the region by Turkic Central Asians.The basis in general for the introduction of Persian language into the subcontinent was set, from its earliest days, by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties. For five centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language in the Indian subcontinent, due to the admiration the Mughals (who were of Turco-Mongol origin) had for the foreign language. It took prominence as the language of culture and education in several Muslim courts on the subcontinent and became the sole "official language" under the Mughal emperors.
The Bengal Sultanate witnessed an influx of Persian scholars, lawyers, teachers and clerics. Thousands of Persian books and manuscripts were published in Bengal. The period of the reign of Sultan Ghiyathuddin Azam Shah, is described as the "golden age of Persian literature in Bengal". Its stature was illustrated by the Sultan's own correspondence and collaboration with the Persian poet Hafez; a poem which can be found in the Divan of Hafez today.A Bengali dialect emerged amongst the common Bengali Muslim folk, based on a Persian model and known as Dobhashi; meaning mixed language. Dobhashi Bengali was patronised and given official status under the Sultans of Bengal; whose first language was Persian, and was the most popular literary form used by Bengalis during the pre-colonial period, irrespective of their religion.
Following the defeat of the Hindu Shahi dynasty, classical Persian was established as a courtly language in the region during the late 10th century under Ghaznavid rule over the northwestern frontier of the subcontinent.Employed by Punjabis in literature, Persian achieved prominence in the region during the following centuries. Persian continued to act as a courtly language for various empires in Punjab through the early 19th century serving finally as the official state language of the Sikh Empire, preceding British conquest and the decline of Persian in South Asia.
Beginning in 1843, though, English and Hindustani gradually replaced Persian in importance on the subcontinent.Evidence of Persian's historical influence there can be seen in the extent of its influence on certain languages of the Indian subcontinent. Words borrowed from Persian are still quite commonly used in certain Indo-Aryan languages, especially Urdu (also historically known as Hindustani), Punjabi and Sindhi. There is also a small population of Zoroastrian Iranis in India, who migrated in the 19th century to escape religious execution in Qajar Iran and speak a Dari dialect.
In the 19th century, under the Qajar dynasty, the dialect that is spoken in Tehran rose to prominence. There was still substantial Arabic vocabulary, but many of these words have been integrated into Persian phonology and grammar. In addition, under the Qajar rule numerous Russian, French, and English terms entered the Persian language, especially vocabulary related to technology.
The first official attentions to the necessity of protecting the Persian language against foreign words, and to the standardization of Persian orthography, were under the reign of Naser ed Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty in 1871.[ citation needed ] After Naser ed Din Shah, Mozaffar ed Din Shah ordered the establishment of the first Persian association in 1903. This association officially declared that it used Persian and Arabic as acceptable sources for coining words. The ultimate goal was to prevent books from being printed with wrong use of words. According to the executive guarantee of this association, the government was responsible for wrongfully printed books. Words coined by this association, such as rāh-āhan (راهآهن) for "railway", were printed in Soltani Newspaper; but the association was eventually closed due to inattention.[ citation needed ]
A scientific association was founded in 1911, resulting in a dictionary called Words of Scientific Association (لغت انجمن علمی), which was completed in the future and renamed Katouzian Dictionary (فرهنگ کاتوزیان).
The first academy for the Persian language was founded on 20 May 1935, under the name Academy of Iran. It was established by the initiative of Reza Shah Pahlavi, and mainly by Hekmat e Shirazi and Mohammad Ali Foroughi, all prominent names in the nationalist movement of the time. The academy was a key institution in the struggle to re-build Iran as a nation-state after the collapse of the Qajar dynasty. During the 1930s and 1940s, the academy led massive campaigns to replace the many Arabic, Russian, French, and Greek loanwords whose widespread use in Persian during the centuries preceding the foundation of the Pahlavi dynasty had created a literary language considerably different from the spoken Persian of the time. This became the basis of what is now known as "Contemporary Standard Persian".
There are three standard varieties of modern Persian:
All these three varieties are based on the classic Persian literature and its literary tradition. There are also several local dialects from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan which slightly differ from the standard Persian. The Hazaragi dialect (in Central Afghanistan and Pakistan), Herati (in Western Afghanistan), Darwazi (in Afghanistan and Tajikistan), Basseri (in Southern Iran), and the Tehrani accent (in Iran, the basis of standard Iranian Persian) are examples of these dialects. Persian-speaking peoples of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan can understand one another with a relatively high degree of mutual intelligibility.
The following are some languages closely related to Persian, or in some cases are considered dialects:
More distantly related branches of the Iranian language family include Kurdish and Balochi.
Iranian Persian has six vowels and twenty-three consonants.
Historically, Persian distinguished length. Early New Persian had a series of five long vowels (/iː/, /uː/, /ɒː/, /oː/ and /eː/) along with three short vowels /æ/, /i/ and /u/. At some point prior to the 16th century in the general area now modern Iran, /eː/ and /iː/ merged into /iː/, and /oː/ and /uː/ merged into /uː/. Thus, older contrasts such as شیرshēr "lion" vs. شیرshīr "milk", and زودzūd "quick" vs زورzōr "strong" were lost. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and in some words, ē and ō are merged into the diphthongs [eɪ] and [oʊ] (which are descendants of the diphthongs [æɪ] and [æʊ] in Early New Persian), instead of merging into /iː/ and /uː/. Examples of the exception can be found in words such as روشن[roʊʃæn] (bright). Numerous other instances exist.
However, in Dari, the archaic distinction of /eː/ and /iː/ (respectively known as یای مجهولYā-ye majhūl and یای معروفYā-ye ma'rūf) is still preserved as well as the distinction of /oː/ and /uː/ (known as واو مجهولWāw-e majhūl and واو معروفWāw-e ma'rūf). On the other hand, in standard Tajik, the length distinction has disappeared, and /iː/ merged with /i/ and /uː/ with /u/. Therefore, contemporary Afghan Dari dialects are the closest to the vowel inventory of Early New Persian.
According to most studies on the subject (e.g. Samareh 1977, Pisowicz 1985, Najafi 2001), the three vowels traditionally considered long (/i/, /u/, /ɒ/) are currently distinguished from their short counterparts (/e/, /o/, /æ/) by position of articulation rather than by length. However, there are studies (e.g. Hayes 1979, Windfuhr 1979) that consider vowel length to be the active feature of the system, with /ɒ/, /i/, and /u/ phonologically long or bimoraic and /æ/, /e/, and /o/ phonologically short or monomoraic.
There are also some studies that consider quality and quantity to be both active in the Iranian system (such as Toosarvandani 2004). That offers a synthetic analysis including both quality and quantity, which often suggests that Modern Persian vowels are in a transition state between the quantitative system of Classical Persian and a hypothetical future Iranian language, which will eliminate all traces of quantity and retain quality as the only active feature.
The length distinction is still strictly observed by careful reciters of classic-style poetry for all varieties (including Tajik).
|Plosive||p b||t d||tʃ dʒ||k ɡ||( q )||ʔ|
|Fricative||f v||s z||ʃ ʒ||x ɣ||h|
|Flap or Tap||ɾ|
Suffixes predominate Persian morphology, though there are a small number of prefixes. او is used (pronounced "ou", ū).Verbs can express tense and aspect, and they agree with the subject in person and number. There is no grammatical gender in modern Persian, and pronouns are not marked for natural gender. In other words, in Persian, pronouns are gender neutral. When referring to a masculine or a feminine subject the same pronoun
Normal declarative sentences are structured as (S) (PP) (O) V: sentences have optional subjects, prepositional phrases, and objects followed by a compulsory verb. If the object is specific, the object is followed by the word rā and precedes prepositional phrases: (S) (O + rā) (PP) V.
Persian makes extensive use of word building and combining affixes, stems, nouns and adjectives. Persian frequently uses derivational agglutination to form new words from nouns, adjectives, and verbal stems. New words are extensively formed by compounding – two existing words combining into a new one.
While having a lesser influence on Arabicand other languages of Mesopotamia and its core vocabulary being of Middle Persian origin, New Persian contains a considerable number of Arabic lexical items, which were Persianized and often took a different meaning and usage than the Arabic original. Persian loanwords of Arabic origin especially include Islamic terms. The Arabic vocabulary in other Iranian, Turkic and Indic languages is generally understood to have been copied from New Persian, not from Arabic itself.
John R. Perry, in his article Lexical Areas and Semantic Fields of Arabic, estimates that about 24 percent of an everyday vocabulary of 20,000 words in current Persian, and more than 25 percent of the vocabulary of classical and modern Persian literature, are of Arabic origin. The text frequency of these loan words is generally lower and varies by style and topic area. It may approach 25 percent of a text in literature.According to another source, about 40% of everyday Persian literary vocabulary is of Arabic origin. Among the Arabic loan words, relatively few (14 percent) are from the semantic domain of material culture, while a larger number are from domains of intellectual and spiritual life. Most of the Arabic words used in Persian are either synonyms of native terms or could be glossed in Persian.
The inclusion of Mongolic and Turkic elements in the Persian language should also be mentioned, ارتشarteš for "army", instead of the Uzbek قؤشینqoʻshin; سرلشکرsarlaškar; دریابانdaryābān; etc.) in the 20th century. Persian has likewise influenced the vocabularies of other languages, especially other Indo-European languages such as Armenian, Urdu, Bengali and (to a lesser extent) Hindi; the latter three through conquests of Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan invaders; Turkic languages such as Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Azeri, Uzbek, and Karachay-Balkar; Caucasian languages such as Georgian, and to a lesser extent, Avar and Lezgin; Afro-Asiatic languages like Assyrian (List of loanwords in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic) and Arabic, particularly Bahrani Arabic; and even Dravidian languages indirectly especially Telugu and Brahui; as well as Austronesian languages such as Indonesian and Malay. Persian has also had a significant lexical influence, via Turkish, on Albanian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbo-Croatian, particularly as spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina.not only because of the political role a succession of Turkic dynasties played in Iranian history, but also because of the immense prestige Persian language and literature enjoyed in the wider (non-Arab) Islamic world, which was often ruled by sultans and emirs with a Turkic background. The Turkish and Mongolian vocabulary in Persian is minor in comparison to that of Arabic and these words were mainly confined to military, pastoral terms and political sector (titles, administration, etc.). New military and political titles were coined based partially on Middle Persian (e.g.
Use of occasional foreign synonyms instead of Persian words can be a common practice in everyday communications as an alternative expression. In some instances in addition to the Persian vocabulary, the equivalent synonyms from multiple foreign languages can be used. For example, in Iranian colloquial Persian (not in Afghanistan or Tajikistan), the phrase "thank you" may be expressed using the French word مرسیmerci (stressed, however, on the first syllable), the hybrid Persian-Arabic phrase متشکّر امmotešakker am (متشکّرmotešakker being "thankful" in Arabic, commonly pronounced motčakker in Persian, and the verb امam meaning "I am" in Persian), or by the pure Persian phrase سپاسگزارمsepās-gozār am.
The vast majority of modern Iranian Persian and Dari text is written with the Arabic script. Tajiki, which is considered by some linguists to be a Persian dialect influenced by Russian and the Turkic languages of Central Asia,is written with the Cyrillic script in Tajikistan (see Tajik alphabet). There also exist several romanization systems for Persian.
Modern Iranian Persian and Afghan Persian are written using the Persian alphabet which is a modified variant of the Arabic alphabet, which uses different pronunciation and additional letters not found in Arabic language. After the Arab conquest of Persia, it took approximately 200 years which is referred to as Two Centuries of Silence in Iran, before Persians adopted the Arabic script in place of the older alphabet. Previously, two different scripts were used, Pahlavi, used for Middle Persian, and the Avestan alphabet (in Persian, Dīndapirak or Din Dabire—literally: religion script), used for religious purposes, primarily for the Avestan but sometimes for Middle Persian.
In the modern Persian script, historically short vowels are usually not written, only the historically long ones are represented in the text, so words distinguished from each other only by short vowels are ambiguous in writing: Iranian Persian kerm "worm", karam "generosity", kerem "cream", and krom "chrome" are all spelled krm (کرم) in Persian. The reader must determine the word from context. The Arabic system of vocalization marks known as harakat is also used in Persian, although some of the symbols have different pronunciations. For example, a ḍammah is pronounced [ʊ~u], while in Iranian Persian it is pronounced [o]. This system is not used in mainstream Persian literature; it is primarily used for teaching and in some (but not all) dictionaries.
There are several letters generally only used in Arabic loanwords. These letters are pronounced the same as similar Persian letters. For example, there are four functionally identical letters for /z/ (ز ذ ض ظ), three letters for /s/ (س ص ث), two letters for /t/ (ط ت), two letters for /h/ (ح ه). On the other hand, there are four letters that don't exist in Arabic پ چ ژ گ.
The Persian alphabet adds four letters to the Arabic alphabet:
|Sound||Isolated form||Final form||Medial form||Initial form||Name|
|/ʒ/||ژ||ـژ||ـژ||ژ||že (zhe or jhe)|
Historically, there was also a special letter for the sound /β/. This letter is no longer used, as the /β/-sound changed to /b/, e.g. archaic زڤان /zaβān/ > زبان /zæbɒn/ 'language'
|Sound||Isolated form||Final form||Medial form||Initial form||Name|
The Persian alphabet also modifies some letters of the Arabic alphabet. For example, alef with hamza below ( إ ) changes to alef ( ا ); words using various hamzas get spelled with yet another kind of hamza (so that مسؤول becomes مسئول) even though the latter is also correct in Arabic; and teh marbuta ( ة ) changes to heh ( ه ) or teh ( ت ).
The letters different in shape are:
|Arabic Style letter||Persian Style letter||name|
The International Organization for Standardization has published a standard for simplified transliteration of Persian into Latin, ISO 233-3, titled "Information and documentation – Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters – Part 3: Persian language – Simplified transliteration"but the transliteration scheme is not in widespread use.
Another Latin alphabet, based on the Common Turkic Alphabet, was used in Tajikistan in the 1920s and 1930s. The alphabet was phased out in favor of Cyrillic in the late 1930s.
Fingilish is Persian using ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is most commonly used in chat, emails and SMS applications. The orthography is not standardized, and varies among writers and even media (for example, typing 'aa' for the [ɒ] phoneme is easier on computer keyboards than on cellphone keyboards, resulting in smaller usage of the combination on cellphones).
The Cyrillic script was introduced for writing the Tajik language under the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic in the late 1930s, replacing the Latin alphabet that had been used since the October Revolution and the Persian script that had been used earlier. After 1939, materials published in Persian in the Persian script were banned from the country.
The following text is from Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
|Iranian Persian||همهی افراد بشر آزاد به دنیا میآیند و حیثیت و حقوقشان با هم برابر است، همه اندیشه و وجدان دارند و باید در برابر یکدیگر با روح برادری رفتار کنند.|
|Hameye afrâd bašar âzâd be donyâ miâyand o heysiyat o hoğuğe šân bâ ham barâbar ast hame šân andiše o vejdân dârand o bâjad dar barâbare yekdigar bâ ruhe barâdari raftâr konand.|
|Iranian Persian IPA||[hæmeje æfrɒde bæʃær ɒzɒd be donjɒ miɒjænd o hejsijæt o hoɢuɢe ʃɒn bɒ hæm bærɒbær æst hæme ʃɒn ændiʃe o vedʒdɒn dɒrænd o bɒjæd dær bærɒbære jekdiɡær bɒ ruhe bærɒdæri ræftɒr konænd]|
|Tajiki||Ҳамаи афроди башар озод ба дунё меоянд ва ҳайсияту ҳуқуқашон бо ҳам баробар аст, ҳамаашон андешаву виҷдон доранд ва бояд дар баробари якдигар бо рӯҳи бародарӣ рафтор кунанд.|
|English translation||All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.|
Among other indigenous peoples of Iranian origin were the Tats, the Talishes and the Kurds.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
The Iranian Peoples (Ossetians, Tajiks, Tats, Mountain Judaists)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
There are numerous reasons to study Persian: for one thing, Persian is an important language of the Middle East and Central Asia, spoken by approximately 70 million native speakers and roughly 110 million people worldwide.
There began a general promotion of the Pashto language at the expense of Farsi – previously dominant in the educational and administrative system (...) — and the term 'Dari' for the Afghan version of Farsi came into common use, being officially adopted in 1958.
All this affected translation activities in Persian, seriously undermining the international character of the language. The problem was compounded in modern times by several factors, among them the realignment of Central Asian Persian, renamed Tajiki by the Soviet Union, with Uzbek and Russian languages, as well as the emergence of a language reform movement in Iran which paid no attention to the consequences of its pronouncements and actions for the language as a whole.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Consequently the number of citizens who regard themselves as Tajiks is difficult to determine. Tajiks within and outside of the republic, Samarkand State University (SamGU) academics and international commentators suggest that there may be between six and seven million Tajiks in Uzbekistan, constituting 30 per cent of the republic's twenty-two million population, rather than the official figure of 4.7 per cent (Foltz 1996:213; Carlisle 1995:88).
The language known as New Persian, which usually is called at this period (early Islamic times) by the name of Dari or Farsi-Dari, can be classified linguistically as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of Sassanian Iran, itself a continuation of Old Persian, the language of the Achaemenids. Unlike the other languages and dialects, ancient and modern, of the Iranian group such as Avestan, Parthian, Soghdian, Kurdish, Balochi, Pashto, etc., Old Persian, Middle and New Persian represent one and the same language at three states of its history. It had its origin in Fars (the true Persian country from the historical point of view) and is differentiated by dialectical features, still easily recognizable from the dialect prevailing in north-western and eastern Iran.
The Pahlavi language (also known as Middle Persian) was the official language of Iran during the Sassanid dynasty (from 3rd to 7th century A. D.). Pahlavi is the direct continuation of old Persian, and was used as the written official language of the country. However, after the Moslem conquest and the collapse of the Sassanids, Arabic became the dominant language of the country and Pahlavi lost its importance, and was gradually replaced by Dari, a variety of Middle Persian, with considerable loan elements from Arabic and Parthian (Moshref 2001).
(...) Persian, the language originally spoken in the province of Fārs, which is descended from Old Persian, the language of the Achaemenid empire (6th–4th centuries B.C.E.), and Middle Persian, the language of the Sasanian empire (3rd–7th centuries C.E.).
Similarly, the core vocabulary of Persian continued to be derived from Pahlavi, but Arabic lexical items predominated for more abstract or abstruse subjects and often replaced their Persian equivalents in polite discourse. (...) The grammar of New Persian is similar to that of many contemporary European languages.
Since the Arab conquest of the country in 7th century AD, many loan words have entered the language (which from this time has been written with a slightly modified version of the Arabic script) and the literature has been heavily influenced by the conventions of Arabic literature.
The Arabic words incorporated into the Persian language have become Persianized.
It is derived from the word for dar (court, lit., "gate"). Darī was thus the language of the court and of the capital, Ctesiphon. On the other hand, it is equally clear from this passage that darī was also in use in the eastern part of the empire, in Khorasan, where it is known that in the course of the Sasanian period Persian gradually supplanted Parthian and where no dialect that was not Persian survived. The passage thus suggests that darī was actually a form of Persian, the common language of Persia. (...) Both were called pārsī (Persian), but it is very likely that the language of the north, that is, the Persian used on former Parthian territory and also in the Sasanian capital, was distinguished from its congener by a new name, darī ([language] of the court).
Northeast. Khorasan, the homeland of the Parthians (called abaršahr "the upper lands" in MP), had been partly Persianized already in late Sasanian times. Following Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ, the variant of Persian spoken there was called Darī and was based upon the one used in the Sasanian capital Seleucia-Ctesiphon (Ar. al-Madāʾen). (...) Under the specific historical conditions that have been sketched above, the Dari (Middle) Persian of the 7th century was developed, within two centuries, to the Dari (New) Persian that is attested in the earliest specimens of NP poetry in the late 9th century.
The continuance of Persian as the language of administration.
We see such acquaintance clearly within the Sikh court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, for example, the principal language of which was Persian.
|Persian edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran. They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language, as well as languages closely related to Persian.
Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia. It is the official national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, Urdu is an Eighth Schedule language whose status, function, and cultural heritage is recognized by the Constitution of India; it has some form of official status in several Indian states.
Tajiks are a Persian-speaking Iranian ethnic group native to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Tajiks are the largest ethnicity in Tajikistan, and the second largest in Afghanistan which constitutes over half of the global Tajik population. They speak varieties of Persian, a Western Iranian language. In Tajikistan, since the 1939 Soviet census, its small Pamiri and Yaghnobi ethnic groups are included as Tajiks. In China, the term is used to refer to its Pamiri ethnic groups, the Tajiks of Xinjiang, who speak the Eastern Iranian Pamiri languages. In Afghanistan, the Pamiris are counted as a separate ethnic group.
Dari or Dari Persian or synonymously Farsi, is a political term referring to all the varieties of the Persian language spoken in Afghanistan. Dari is the term officially recognized and promoted since 1964 by the Afghan government for the Persian language, hence, it is also known as Afghan Persian in many Western sources. This has resulted in a naming dispute.
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language spoken primarily in the Balochistan region divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Hindustani is the lingua franca of Northern India and Pakistan; known in its literary forms as Hindi–Urdu and historically as Hindui, Hindavi, Zaban-e Hind, Zaban-e Hindustan, Zaban-e Gujari, and later as Rekhta, Hindi. Its regional dialects became known as Zaban-e Dakhani in southern India and as Zaban-e Dehlavi or Urdu around Delhi. It is an Indo-Aryan language, deriving its base primarily from the Western Hindi dialect of Delhi, also known as Khariboli. Hindustani is a pluricentric language, with two standardised registers, Modern Standard Hindi and Modern Standard Urdu.
Uzbek is a Turkic language that is the first official and only declared national language of Uzbekistan. The language of Uzbeks is spoken by some 27 million native speakers in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia (2015), making it the second-most widely spoken Turkic language after Turkish.
Pashto, sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language of the Indo-European family. It is known in Persian literature as Afghani.
Turkmen, also referred to as Turkmen Turkic or Turkmen Turkish, is a Turkic language spoken by the Turkmens of Central Asia, mainly of Turkmenistan, Iran and Afghanistan. It has an estimated five million native speakers in Turkmenistan, a further 719,000 speakers in Northeastern Iran and 1.5 million people in Northwestern Afghanistan. Turkmen has official status in Turkmenistan, but it does not have official status in Iran or Afghanistan, where big communities of ethnic Turkmens live. Turkmen is also spoken to lesser varying degrees in Turkmen communities of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and by diaspora communities, primarily in Turkey and Russia.
Tajik or Tajiki, also called Tajiki Persian and Tadzhiki, is the variety of Persian spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by Tajiks. It is closely related to neighboring Dari Persian with which it forms a continuum of mutually intelligible varieties. Since the beginning of the twentieth century and independence of Tajikistan from the Soviet Union, Tajik has been considered by a number of writers and researchers to be a variety of Persian. The popularity of this conception of Tajik as a variety of Persian was such that, during the period in which Tajik intellectuals were trying to establish Tajik as a language separate from Persian language, Sadriddin Ayni, who was a prominent intellectual and educator, made a statement that Tajik was not a "bastardized dialect" of Persian. The issue of whether Tajik and Persian are to be considered two dialects of a single language or two discrete languages has political sides to it.
The Persian alphabet or Persian script is a writing system used for the Persian language spoken in Iran and Afghanistan. The Persian language spoken in Tajikistan is written in the Tajik alphabet, a modified version of Cyrillic alphabet since the Soviet era.
Hindustani is one of the predominant languages of South Asia, with federal status in India and Pakistan in its standardized forms of Hindi and Urdu. It is widely spoken and understood as a second language in Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Persian Gulf and as such is considered a lingua franca in the Indian subcontinent. It is also one of the most widely spoken languages in the world by total number of speakers. It developed in north India, principally during the Mughal Empire, when the Persian language exerted a strong influence on the Western Hindi languages of central India; this contact between the Hindu and Muslim cultures resulted in the core Indic vocabulary of the Indian dialect of Hindi spoken in Delhi, whose earliest form is known as Old Hindi, being enriched with Persian loanwords. Rekhta, or "mixed" speech, which came to be known as Hindustani, Hindi, Hindavi, and Urdu, also locally known as Lashkari or Lashkari Zaban in long form, was thus created. This form was elevated to the status of a literary language, and after the partition of colonial India and independence this collection of dialects became the basis for modern standard Hindi and Urdu. Although these official languages are distinct registers with regards to their formal aspects, such as modern technical vocabulary, they continue to be all but indistinguishable in their vernacular forms.
The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in the Indo-European language family that are spoken natively by the Iranian peoples.
The Tajik language has been written in three alphabets over the course of its history: an adaptation of the Perso-Arabic script, an adaptation of the Latin script and an adaptation of the Cyrillic script. Any script used specifically for Tajik may be referred to as the Tajik alphabet, which is written as алифбои тоҷикӣ in Cyrillic characters, الفبای تاجیکی with Perso-Arabic script and alifʙoji toçikī in Latin script.
Ishkashimi is an Iranian language spoken predominantly in the Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan and in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan.
The Arabic script is a writing system used for writing Arabic and several other languages of Asia and Africa, such as Persian (Farsi/Dari), Uyghur, Kurdish, Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashto, Lurish, Urdu, Kashmiri, Rohingya, Somali and Mandinka, among others. Until the 16th century, it was also used to write some texts in Spanish. Additionally, prior to the language reform in 1928, it was the writing system of Turkish. It is the second-most widely used writing system in the world by the number of countries using it and the third by the number of users, after the Latin and Chinese scripts.
Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.
Standard Persian is the standard variety of Persian that is the official language of the Iran and Tajikistan and one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. It is a set of spoken and written formal varieties used by the educated persophones of several nations around the world.
Central Asian Arabic or Jugari Arabic is a variety of Arabic currently facing extinction and spoken predominantly by Arab communities living in portions of Central Asia.
Western Persian or Iranian Persian is the most widely spoken dialect of Persian language. It is natively known as Farsi or Parsi. It is officially spoken in Iran and also by various minorities in Iraq and the Persian Gulf states. It is mutually intelligible with Dari, the dialect of Persian spoken in Afghanistan, and Tajiki, the dialect of Persian of Tajikistan.