Language in Iran - Farsi or Persian? Not Easy!
Although the country itself is called Iran (formerly known as
official language is called Farsi. Farsi is spoken not just in Iran, but also as
a dialect in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and even in some parts of
Russia. Due to the migration of thousands of war-stricken Afghans, Farsi
speaking communities can be found in Europe and the USA as well. These days
about 70 Million people speak Farsi as their native language, with about
Millions of them living in Iran. Another 50 Million people speak Farsi as a
second language. With Iran becoming more popular, more and more interested
people come to Iran to learn Farsi.
The Origins of Farsi Language in Iran
Farsi, also formerly known as “Persian Language”, falls in the
branch of Indo-European languages and is the descendant of the Old Persian
language. Contrary to people in countries like Egypt that lost their native language
almost completely after the Muslim Conquest.
People in Iran (Persians)
kept their language after
the invasion of Arabs, but took some Arabic, Turkish and even French words into
their daily language usage. The word
Persian itself comes from the name of the capital of the Achaemenid Empire,
Persis (today known as
Persepolis in Iran).
The Persians themselves used the word Parsi to refer to
their own language, but since the Arabs didn’t have the
letter “P” in their alphabet, they renamed it to “Farsi”.
How Farsi Language Is Spoken and Written in Today's Iran
As far as writing is concerned, the Persian alphabet is a
modified version of the Arabic alphabet. It is
written and read from right to the left and all the books start from what
western countries would say is the end of a book. Just like in other languages
they use vowels and consonants. But vowels are only spoken, they are not used in
the written form which is really confusing. One word can be read in different ways and it can
therefore have different meanings. To make it even more confusing, the written form
Farsi and the way people speak are very different. There is the "speaking-like-a-book" Farsi and the
"street-talking" Farsi, which makes it difficult for
foreigners to learn the language.
Farsi Literature is Very Rich
The Persian language has seen some great poets in the past who significantly
influenced the Persian language and shaped the Farsi that is spoken today. Poets
such as Hafez, Rumi or Ferdowsi are famous all around the world and are
worshiped by modern Iranians. Their books can be found in many Iranian
households and their tombs are frequently visited by people.
One of the most well-known books in the western countries is probably the book
of "One Thousand and One Nights" or "Arabian Nights". This collection of Middle Eastern and
South-Asian stories was originally written in Farsi before it got translated
into many other languages.
1/12/2017 10:49:06 AM