Persian language

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Farsi in Persian script (Nastaʿlīq style).
Native toIran[1]

Afghanistan[1](as Dari)
Tajikistan[1](as Tajik)

Native speakers
60 million (2009)[2]
(110 million total speakers)[2]
Early forms
Arabic (Persian alphabet)
Cyrillic (Tajik alphabet)
Hebrew script
Persian Braille
Official status
Official language in
Regulated byAcademy of Persian Language and Literature (Iran)
Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan
Language codes
ISO 639-1fa
ISO 639-2per (B)
fas (T)
ISO 639-3fasinclusive code
Individual codes:
pes – Western Persian
prs – Eastern Persian
tgk – Tajiki
aiq – Aimaq
bhh – Bukharic
haz – Hazaragi
jpr – Dzhidi
phv – Pahlavani
deh – Dehwari
jdt – Juhuri
ttt – Caucasian Tat
Linguasphere58-AAC (Wider Persian) > 58-AAC-c (Central Persian)
Persian Language Location Map.svg
Approximate extent of the Persian language area. Map includes all three dialects of Persian.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Spoken Persian

Persian is the official language of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It is also spoken by many people in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, immigrants from Central Asia in Russia, and in other neighbouring countries. Persian was also taught as a second language in schools in Pakistan until 2006. In the past, many of these places were parts of the Persian Empire.

Persian has many dialects. The Persian language is officially called Farsi in Iran, Dari and Farsi in Afghanistan, and Tajiki in Tajikistan. The literary language of each of these countries is a little different, but people from each country can understand each other when they have a conversation. It has taken on many French words in Iran, and many Russian words in Tajikstan.

Alphabet[change | change source]

The Persian alphabet is:

ا ب پ ت ث ج چ ح خ د ذ ر ز ژ س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ک گ ل م ن و ه ی

The Persian alphabet used in Iran and Afghanistan is similar to the Arabic one, but the language is in a different family than the Arabic language, so their vocabulary and grammar are very different. Since the 1930s, in the countries which used to be in the Soviet Union, like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Persian has been written in an alphabet that is similar to the Russian one. In the past, all Persian speakers used the one based on Arabic.

History[change | change source]

Persian is a very old language, and linguists have names for three different versions of Persian that were used in three different times. Old Persian was spoken in the first Persian empire, under the Achaemenid kings, including Cyrus and Darius the Great. This first empire started in the 6th century BC and continued until Alexander the Great conquered it. A second Persian empire, the Sassanian kings, ruled from the 2nd century AD until the Muslim conquest of Iran by the Arabs in the 7th Century, and Middle Persian, or Pahlavi, was spoken by them.

The current Persian language, New or Modern Persian, was first written down in the 9th century during the Samanid empire, which was the first Muslim Persian kingdom, and was based in Central Asia. The earliest writers of New Persian included poets like Rudaki, and Ferdowsi, who wrote an epic called the Shahname, translated as the Book of Kings in English. It is a very long poem, which has myths and historical stories from before the Arabs conquered Persia. Many other famous writers in the Persian language were poets too, such as Saadi, Hafez, Rumi, and many more. Up until today, the Persian language was a very important one for literature. After Arabic, it was the second most used language for writing in Muslim countries, especially in the East.

Example[change | change source]

An example sentence in Persian:

من پارسی هستم و کتاب دارم.

I am Persian and I have a book.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Samadi, Habibeh (2012). Martin Ball, David Crystal, Paul Fletcher, ed. Assessing Grammar: The Languages of Lars. Multilingual Matters. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-84769-637-3. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Windfuhr, Gernot. The Iranian Languages. Routledge. 2009. p. 418.