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Farsi - Persian Language            

Map of Regions in Iran and Afghanistan that the Primary Spoken Language is Persian Farsi Persian Language, also known as Farsi, is the most widely spoken member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, a subfamily of the Indo-European languages. It is the language of Iran (formerly Persia) and is also widely spoken in Afghanistan and, in an archaic form, in Tajikistan and the Pamir Mountain region.

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 60% of Iran's population); over 14 million Dari Persian speakers in Afghanistan (50% of the population according to CIA World FactBook & Britannica); and about 2 million Dari Persian speakers in Pakistan.

In Afghanistan Farsi is spoken almost everywhere and over 50% of Afghanistan's total population speak Farsi or Dari. The map on the right should cover Herat and the nothern parts of Afghanistan where the majority of people speak Farsi. - Thank you, Laila Ahmadi

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.

When "Persia" became "Iran"

This article is a part of "Persia or Iran" by Professor Ehsan Yarshater, published in Iranian Studies, Vol. XXII, No.1, 1989.

In 1935 the Iranian government requested those countries which it had diplomatic relations with, to call Persia "Iran," which is the name of the country in Persian.

The suggestion for the change is said to have come from the Iranian ambassador to Germany, who came under the influence of the Nazis. At the time Germany was in the grip of racial fever and cultivated good relations with nations of "Aryan" blood. It is said that some German friends of the ambassador persuaded him that, as with the advent of Reza Shah, Persia had turned a new leaf in its history and had freed itself from the pernicious influences of Britain and Russia, whose interventions in Persian affairs had practically crippled the country under the Qajars, it was only fitting that the country be called by its own name, "Iran." This would not only signal a new beginning and bring home to the world the new era in Iranian history, but would also signify the Aryan race of its population, as "Iran" is a cognate of "Aryan" and derived from it.

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out a circular to all foreign embassies in Tehran, requesting that the country thenceforth be called "Iran." Diplomatic courtesy obliged, and by and by the name "Iran" began to appear in official correspondence and news items.

At first "Iran" sounded alien (for non-Iranians), and many failed to recognize its connection with Persia. Some (Westerners) thought that it was perhaps one of the new countries like Iraq and Jordan carved out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, or a country in Africa or Southeast Asia that had just been granted independence; and not a few confused it with Iraq, itself a recent entity.

As time passed and as a number of events, like the Allied invasion of Iran in 1941 and the nationalization of the oil industry under Prime Minster Dr Mohammad Mosaddeq, put the country in the headlines, the name "Iran" became generally accepted, and "Persia" fell into comparative disuse, though more slowly in Britain than in the United States.

Click on the Iran Linguistic Composition map for a larger image
Detailed Color Coded Linguistic Composition Map of Iran showing the area where each Persian (farsi ) Dialec is spoken as well as all other languages spoken in Iran
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Learn a few Persian (Farsi) Words and Common Phrases
Learn Some Words and Phrases in Persian Farsi, Language of Iran

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Gospel of Matthew
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Iran: Country Information:

  • Name was changed from Persia to Iran in 1934.
  • Iran became an Islamic Republic in 1979.
  • Iran-Iraq war lasted fro over eight years from 1980-1988
  • Capital: Tehran
  • Population: 76.9 million (2010 estimate) - Ranks 18th in the World
    • 0-14 years: 21.7% (male 7,394,841/female 7,022,076)
    • 15-64 years: 72.9% (male 24,501,544/female 23,914,172)
    • 65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,725,828/female 1,870,823) (2010 est.)
  • Capital: Tehran
  • Major language: Persian
  • Major Religion: Islam
  • Life expectancy: 69 years (men), 72 years (women)
  • Monetary unit: 10 Iranian rials = 1 Toman
  • Main exports: Petroleum, carpets, agricultural products and spices such as Saffron
  • Average annual income: US$1,680 (World Bank, 2001)
  • GDP - Per capita: $11,200 (2010 est.) - World Rank = 99
  • Ethnic Groups: Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki & Mazandarani 8% Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baluch 2%, Turkmen 2%, Other 1%
  • Religion: Muslim 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%
  • For more information and upto date vital statistics on Iran visit Statistical Center of Iran (Vital Statistics of Iran in Persian Farsi)

Map of Iran showing all Ethnic groups, Languages and whether Shia or Suni in each region

Farsi (Persian)

Farsi is a member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian language family; it is the official language of Iran. It is most closely related to Middle and Old Persian, former languages of the region of Fars ("Persia") in southwestern Iran. Modern Persian is thus called Farsi by native speakers. Written in Arabic characters, modern Persian also has many Arabic loanwords and an extensive literature.

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    Middle Iranian is represented not only by Middle Persian and the closely related Parthian language but also by several Central Asian tongues. Parthian was the language of the Arsacid or Parthian Empire (circa 250 BC-AD 226). Although it is known chiefly through inscriptions of the early kings of the following Sassanian period, Parthian declined when Sassanian power expanded. During the Arsacid period, however, it influenced Persian. The language of the Sassanian Empire (AD 226-641) was Middle Persian, often called Pahlavi (a term more strictly reserved for a form of the language used in certain Zoroastrian writings). Middle Persian has a simpler grammar than Old Persian and was usually written in an ambiguous script with multivalent letters, adopted from Aramaic; it declined after the Arab conquest in the 7th century. Although much of the Middle Persian literature was translated into Arabic, the bulk of its writings was lost during Islamic times. Other Middle Iranian tongues were also spoken in Sassanian Persia or in bordering regions of Central Asia: Khwarazmian, in Khiva; Bactrian, in Bactria; Sogdian, in the vast region of Sogdiana, including the cities of Samarqand and Bukhoro; and Saka (a name associated with various Scythian kingdoms), in Chinese Turkestan. Sogdian produced a body of Christian, Buddhist, and secular literature, and Saka's Khotanese dialect was the vehicle of an important Buddhist literature. Most Khwarezmian texts are from the post-Islamic period. Bactrian is known only in a few recently discovered inscriptions in Afghanistan.

    Modern Persian had developed by the 9th century. It is a continuation of an area-wide standard language that had considerable Parthian and Middle Persian elements, with additional influences from other Iranian languages. Written in Perso-Arabic script (an expanded version of Arabic script), it has been the official and cultural language of Persia since it first appeared. Its grammar is simpler than that of Middle Persian, and it has absorbed a vast Arabic vocabulary.
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      پاک سا زی زبان پارسی

      زبان زيبای پارسی با پيشينه ای کهن دارای واژگانی بسيار زيبا و گوشنواز است که در بيان گفتاری نيز بسيار راحتر از زبان عربی سخن گفته می شود. بر هر ايرانی بايسته است که همانگونه که انديشه گفتار و کردار خويش را نيک می گرداند به همان اندازه انديشه و گفتار و کردار خود را نيز ايرانی نمايد چرا که به جز اين نيز نمی تواند باشد. واژگان برابر نهاده شده و پيشنهادی زير توسط دوستانی در بنياد ايران شناسی نيشابور فراهم گرديده که اميدواریم برای تمامی ايران دوستان مفيد باشد.
      لازم = بايسته
      لازم الاجرا = بايسته انجام است
      لحاظ = ديدگاه
      لحاظ کنيد = بنگريد
      ليست = فهرست
      مبذول فرماييد = فرمان دهيد
      مباحثات = گفتگوها
      متخصص = کارآزموده
      متمم = پايان بخش
      متقاضی = خواستار
      متحول = دگرگون
      مجبور = ناچار
      محوله = سپرده شده
      محموله = بار
      محاسبه = شمارش
      محترم =
      گرامی
      مختصرا =
      گزيده
      مخاطبين = شنونده بيننده
      مختلف =
      گوناگون
      مدير = گرداننده
      مذاکرات = گفتگوها
      مراتب = چگونگی
      مراجعه = بازگشت
      مرسوله = فرستاده
      مرسوم = به آيين
      مرجوع =
      بازگشت
      مسائل = دشواری ها پرسشها
      مستدعی =
      خواهشمند
      مستقل = بدون وابستگی

      مشاوره = رايزنی
      مشکل = دشواری
      مشابه = همانند
      مصاحبه = گفتگو
      مصرند = پای می فشارند
      مطالعه = خواندن
      معتبر = به نام
      معروف = شناخته شده
      معادل = برابر
      معادل اين مبلغ = برابر اين پول
      مفاد = گفتارها
      مقدور = شدنی
      مقبول = پذيرفته
      مقامات = سروران
      مکتوب = نوشته
      منعقده = بسته شده
      منطبق = برابر
      مواد اوليه = ماده های نخستين
      موارد = نکته ها
      موفق = پيروز
      موفقيت نسبی = کمابيش پيروزی
      موضوع = باره
      موجبات = بايسته ها
      موثر = کارايی
      موجود = هستی
      موجودی = دارايی
      مويد = بيانگر
      مويد باشيد = پيروز باشيد
      مهم = برجسته
      نتيجه = بازده
      نسبت = در برابر
      نظارت = بازرسی
      نهايت = پايان
      وظيفه = خويشکاری
      همت = تلاش
      جايزه = پاداش
      جاری = روان
      جريان = روايی
      جلسه = انجمن نشست
      جلب = فراخوانی
      جهت = روی
      حاوی = دربرگيرنده
      حاضر = آماده
      حسب الامر = بر اساس فرمايش
      حضور = پيشگاه
      خدمت = پيشگاه
      خصوص = ويژه
      خطاب = سخن
      خطر = ناگواری
      در مقايسه با = در سنجش با
      در وجه شما = برای شما
      دقيق = درست تيزنگر
      دقت = تيزنگری
      ذيل = زير
      ذکر = يادآوری
      ذهن = انديشه
      سرويس دهی = توانبخشی
      سطح = رويه پايه
      سعادت = خوشبختی
      سهم = بهره
      شاخص = روشن نمودار
      صادقانه = براستی
      صادر = فرستادن
      صحيح = درست
      صرف = به کارگيری
      صفحه = برگه
      صلاحديد
      =نيکخواهانه
      صميمانه=پايمردانه
      اين مدت = در اين...
      ضمنا = در پيوست
      ضمن اينکه = پيوست به اينکه
      ضوابط = بندها
      طبی = پزشکی
      طبعا = به خودی خود
      طريق = راه
      عبارت = گزاره
      عرضه =
      نمايش
      عطف = بازگشت
      عنوان = پاژنام
      فعاليت = کوشش
      فرم = پيکر گونه
      فقط =
      تنها
      فوری = بی درنگ
      فوق = يادشده
      قابل توجه =
      در خور نگرش
      قبل = پيش
      قوام = پايداری
      قيمت = بها
      کاملا = سراسر
      کسب = درآمد
      کما فی السابق = همچنان
      کمپين تبليغاتی = برنامه آگهی
      کميته = گروه
      کليه = همه
      کنترل = در شمار آوردن
      کيفيت = چگونگی
      کلا = همگی
      اثر = کار‌آيی
      اجمال = کوتاه
      اجرا =
      انجام
      احتراما = با بزرگداشت
      اخير = پايانی
      آدرس = نشانی
      ارتباط = پيوند
      آرشيو = بايگانی
      ارسال = فرستادن
      ارجاع = فرستادن
      ا
      رائه = پديدار کردن
      ارتقاء = بالا بردن
      استنتاج = بدست آوردن
      استفاده = سود کاربری
      استعمال دخانيات ممنوع = خواهشمند است سيگار نکشيد
      استرداد = بازگرداندن
      اصولی = ريشه ای
      اصلی ترين = ريشه ای ترين
      اطمينان =استواری
      اعتماد = پشتگرمی
      اعمال نظر = انجام خواسته
      اقبال عمومی = رويکرد همگانی
      اقليت = کمترين
      اکثريت = بيشترين
      امتياز = برتری
      امتيازات = برتری ها
      امکانات = توانايی ها، داشته ها
      آن جناب =سرکار
      انطباق = برابری
      انتخاب = گزينش
      اولويت = برتری
      اوليه = نخستين
      اولين = نخستين
      اهم = برجسته ترين
      ايام = روزها
      ايزد منان = يزدان پيروزگر
      ايده =
      آرمان
      بدين وسيله = بدين گونه
      بديهی = روشن
      به تعداد = به شماره
      پاراگراف =
      بند
      پروژه = برنامه
      پروسه = فرآيند
      تبليغ = نماياندن آگهی
      تجهيزات =
      آگاهی ها
      تحليل نهايی = واپسين نگارش
      تحقيق = پژوهش
      تخفيف = کاهش
      تسهيلات = ياری ها
      تسليت = دلداری
      تشکيل = ساختن
      تصوير = نگاره
      تعداد =
      شمار شمارگان
      تعرفه = ميزان نامه
      تغيير = دگرگونی
      تقديرنامه = سپاسنامه
      تکيه = پشت دادن
      تکميل = به پايان رساندن
      تماس = برخورد
      تمام = همه
      تنظيم = هماهنگی
      توجهات = نگرش ها
      توليد = فراوری
      تولد = زادروز
      پاينده ايران

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