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Australia - Learn to speak Farsi or Persian - Audio CD - Learning Farsi or Persian is easy

Learning to Speak the Farsi or Persian Language


About the Farsi or Persian Language

Persian is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan. Persian and its varieties have official-language status in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. According to CIA World Factbook, based on old data, there are approximately 72 million native speakers of Persian in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and about the same number of people in other parts of the world speak Persian. UNESCO was asked to select Persian as one of its languages in 2006. Persian has been a medium for literary and scientific contributions to the Islamic world as well as the Western. It has had an influence on certain neighbouring languages, particularly the Turkic languages of Central Asia, Caucasus, and Anatolia. It has had a lesser influence on Arabic and other languages of Mesopotamia. Persian is spoken today primarily in Iran and Afghanistan, but was historically a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East to India. Significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates), as well as large communities in the USA. Total numbers of speakers is high: over 40 million Farsi speakers (about 50% of Iran's population); over 7 million Dari Persian speakers in Afghanistan (25% of the population); and about 2 million Dari Persian speakers in Pakistan.

For five centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language in the Indian subcontinent; it took prominence as the language of culture and education in several Muslim courts in South Asia and became the "official language" under the Mughal emperors. Only in 1843 did the subcontinent begin conducting business in English. Evidence of Persian's historical influence in the region can be seen in the extent of its influence on the languages of Hindustani, and other languages of the Indian subcontinent, as well as the popularity that Persian literature still enjoys in that region. Especially, Urdu is a result of the influence of Persian along with other languages like Arabic and Turkish in South Asia and was a language largely used in Muslim areas of the Indian Mughal Empire. Three phases may be distinguished in the development of Iranian languages: Old, Middle, and Modern. Old Iranian is represented by Avestan and Old Persian. Avestan, probably spoken in the northeast of ancient Persia, is the language of the Avesta, the sacred scriptures of Zoroastrianism. Except for this scriptural use, Avestan died out centuries before the advent of Islam. Old Persian is recorded in the southwest in cuneiform inscriptions of the Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty (circa 550-330 BC), notably Darius I and Xerxes I. Old Persian and Avestan have close affinity with Sanskrit, and, like Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, are highly inflected languages.

Persian belongs to the Western group of the Iranian languages branch of the Indo-European language family, and is of the Subject Object Verb type. Contrary to common belief, it is not a Semitic language. The Western Indo-Iranian group contains other related languages such as Kurdish. The language is in the Southwestern Indo-Iranian group, along with and very similar to the Larestani and Luri languages. The Persian language is locally known as

Persian, the more widely used name of the language in English, is an Anglicized form derived from Latin *Persianus < Latin Persia < Greek Πέρσις Pérsis, a Hellenized form of Old Persian Parsa. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term Persian seems to have been first used in English in the mid-16th century. Native Persian speakers call it "Fārsi" (local name) or Parsi. Farsi is the arabicized form of Parsi, due to a lack of the /p/ phoneme in Standard Arabic.

In English this language is historically known as "Persian". Many Persians migrating to the West (particularly to the USA) after the 1979 revolution continued to use 'Farsi' to identify their language in English. The word became commonplace in English-speaking countries." "Farsi" is encountered frequently in the linguistic literature as a name for the language, used both by Iranian and by foreign authors, and is preferred by some. However, The Academy of Persian Language and Literature has declared in an official pronouncement that the name "Persian" is more appropriate, as it has the longer tradition in the western languages and better expresses the role of the language as a mark of cultural and national continuity.

The international language encoding standard ISO 639-1 uses the code "fa", as its coding system is based on the local names. The more detailed draft ISO 639-3 uses the name "Persian" (code "fas") for the larger unit ("macrolanguage") spoken across Iran and Afghanistan, but "Eastern Farsi" and "Western Farsi" for two of its subdivisions (roughly coinciding with the varieties in Afghanistan and those in Iran, respectively). Ethnologue, in turn, includes "Farsi, Eastern" and "Farsi, Western" as two separate entries and lists "Persian" and "Parsi" as alternative names for each, besides "Irani" for the western and "Dari" for the eastern form.

A similar terminology, but with even more subdivisions, is also adopted by the "Linguist List", where "Persian" appears as a subgrouping under "Southwest Western Iranian". Currently, VOA, BBC, DW, and RFE/RL use "Persian Service", in lieu of "Farsi Service". RFE/RL also includes a Tajik service, and Afghan (Dari) service. This is also the case for the American Association of Teachers of Persian, The Centre for Promotion of Persian Language and Literature, and many of the leading scholars of Persian language.

Persian language

Regional and social varieties:

* General Iranian Persian
* Dzhidi (Judeo-Persian)
* Dari
* Hazaragi
* Tajik
* Bukhori (Judeo-Tajik)


* General Iranian Persian
* Tajik

Language features:

* Vocabulary
o Nouns
o Verbs
* Phonology

Writing systems:

* Perso-Arabic abjad
* Tajik alphabet
* Romanized Persian alphabet

There are three modern varieties for the standard Persian:

* Modern Iranian Persian is the variety of Persian spoken in Iran, also known as Farsi or Persian.
* Dari is the local name for the Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. It is referred to as Farsi.
* Tajik is the variety of Persian used in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia, but unlike the Persian used in Iran and Afghanistan, it is written in the Cyrillic script rather than Arabic script.

The three mentioned varieties are based on the classic Persian literature. There are also several local dialects in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan which slightly differ from the standard Persian. Lari (in Iran), Hazaragi (in Afghanistan), and Darwazi (In Afghanistan and Tajikistan) are examples of these dialects.

The Ethnologue offers another classification for dialects of Persian language. According to this source, dialects of this language include the following:

* Western Persian, or Irani (in Iran)
* Eastern Persian (in Afghanistan)
* Tajik (in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)
* Hazaragi (in Afghanistan)
* Aimaq (in Afghanistan)
* Bukharic (in Israel, Uzbekistan)
* Darwazi (in Afghanistan, Tajikistan)
* Dzhidi (in Israel, Iran)
* Pahlavani (in parts of Sistan and Afghanistan)

The following are some of the related languages of various ethnic groups within the borders of modern-day Iran:

* Luri (or Lori), spoken mainly in the southwestern Iranian province of Lorestan and Khuzestan.
* Talysh (or Talishi), spoken in northern Iran but also in southern parts of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
* Tat (also Tati or Eshtehardi), spoken in parts of the Iranian provinces of East Azarbaijan, Zanjan and Qazvin. It's also spoken in parts of Azerbaijan, Russia, etc. It includes Judeo-Tat & Christian-Tat.
* Dari or Gabri is official language of Afghanistan,also spoken in Yazd and Kerman regions by some Zoroastrians in Iran. Also called Yazdi by some.


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