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Iranian Languages    Persian Languages  and scripts     Persian  for travellers     Book  tips

The Persian Language


The language of Iran is Persian, also  known as Pârsi (Fârsi dari ). Persian is an Indo-European language. Persian has no grammatical and lingustical similarities to Arabic- it belongs to different language family, the Indo-European, although the same language family as English,  Russian, Italian etc. Persian has several dialects, including Esfahani, Gilaki,  Lori, Mazanderani, Tajiki, Taleshi, Yazdi etc, which  are mutually intelligible.
There are dozens of other tongues throughout the 28 provinces of Iran. The main languages of Iran are: Persian and its dialects 79%,   Azarbaijâni*  14%,  Kurdish 1.8%,  Baluchi 1.3%, Turkmeni 0.8%, Arabic 0.5% other 2%.


Persian is spoken today primarily in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan  and Uzbekistan but was historically a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East and Central Asia to India.
Significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries (BahrainIraq , Oman,Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates), Turkey, western China, Turkmenistan,  Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, south western Kazakistan as well as large communities  in the USA and Europe.

Persian Speaking area

Persian(or Farsi dari ), Dari and Tajik , the languages spoken  in the region, are really slight variants of the same language. Persian language is called Tajiki in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Dari in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Farsi dari in Iran and other countries in the region (like British-, American- and Irish English).

Total numbers of speakers is high: over 46 million Farsi dari speakers (about 80% of Iran's population) in Iran; over 14 million Dari Persian speakers (Tajiks, Hazars, Chahar Aimaks and Kizilbash peoples) in Afghanistan (60% of the population); about 5 million Tajiki  Persian speakers in Tajikistan; between 12-15 million Tajiki Persian speakers in Uzbekistan (50% of the population); 39% of Bahrains population (c.200,000) and about 2 million Dari Persian speakers in Pakistan.



                                                                       Pronunciation of Persian Language

Persian was written in Pahlavi script until the introduction of Islam in Iran (716 A.D.) , when the Arabic script was adapted to Persian language. There are different methods to provide the Persian language with Latin-based script to make reading and writing of the Persian language, readily accessible to most users, regardless of their national origin . Here is a method due to the prononciation of some of the Persian vowels and consonants:
             
the "Â " is pronounced like the "a" in "Da rwin" - also a long a
      

the "O  " is pronounced like the "o" in "obey"

the "U " is pronounced like the "u" in ruse

the "Y" is pronounced like the "y" in yes

the " C "  is  pronounced  like the "ch" in "cheese"

the " J " is pronounced like the "J" in "J ames"

the " Q " is  pronounced like the " r " in "Mer ci" the  french word for Thank you.

the " Ž " is  pronounced like the " su " in English "treasure"
     
the " X " is pronounced like the "ch" in the Scotish "Loch Ness"

the "Š " is pronounced like the "sh" in "Washington".
More about

Links:
Learning Persian little by little  
Persian Languages and scripts
The Persian Beginners Evening and Saturday Courses     
persisch lernen (course for German speaking)
Persian-English dictionary

English Words of Persian Origin


            

Book Tips:


  Language of Azarbaijan
(Ăzarăbădegăn):

The most populous parts, the southern and western Caspian coasts belonged  to Iran until the Arab conquest  in the 7th century AD. Culturally and  linguistically, they retained  their Iranian character  in the following centuries, but in the Middle Ages,
the Turkish language was forced  to the population by the incoming waves of Turkic  nomadic tribes, and these immigrants accounted for an increasingly large component of the ethnic make-up. Eventually, Azerbaijan became linguistically turkified, while otherwise remaining a part of Iranian world. They are original inhabitants of Iran on whom the invaders have imposed their languages throughout centuries of occupation. More about           

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