The Persian language has been written with a number of different scripts,
including the Old Persian Cuneiform,
and Avestan, Cyrillic and
Latin alphabets. After the Islamic conquest of
the Persian Sassanian Empire in 642 AD, Arabic became the language of
government, culture and especially religion.
Modern Persian appeared during the 9th century. It is written in a version
of the Arabic script and is full of words of Arabic origin. There are also
two methods of writing Persian with the Latin alphabet.
Under Mongolian and Turkish rulers, Persian was adopted as the language
of government in Turkey, central Asia and India, where it was used for
centuries, and until after 1900 in Kashmir.
Persian is a member of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages spoken
by about 130 million people, mainly in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
There are also significiant numbers of speakers in many other countries,
including Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Israel,
Turkmenistan, Oman, Yemen, the UAE and the USA.
In Afghanistan Persian is known as Dari (درى)
or Dari-Persian, while in Tajikistan it's known as Tajiki
Persian, Farsi or Parsi?
The official language of Iran is sometimes called Farsi in English and other
languages. This is a correct transliteration of the native name of the language,
however many, including the ISO and the
Academy of Persian Language and Literature,
prefer the name Persian for the language. Some speakers use the older local name:
Parsi (پارسی). There is some discussion about this topic at:
Iran or Persia?
Until 1935, the official name of the country currently known as Iran
was Persia, though the Persian people have called their country Iran
since the Sassanid period (226 - 651 AD). There's further discussion about
this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_naming_dispute
Tower of Babel in Persian |
Useful phrases in Persian