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Persian language

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Persian
فارسی (fārsi), форсӣ (forsī)
Farsi.svg
Fārsi written in Persian calligraphy (Nastaʿlīq)
Pronunciation[fɒːɾˈsiː] (About this soundlisten)
Native to
EthnicityPersians
Native speakers
70 million[6]
(110 million total speakers)[5]
Early forms
Standard forms
Dialects
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-1fa
ISO 639-2per (B)
fas (T)
ISO 639-3fas – inclusive code
Individual codes:
pes – Iranian Persian
prs – Dari
tgk – Tajik
aiq – Aimaq dialect
bhh – Bukhori dialect
haz – Hazaragi dialect
jpr – Judeo-Persian
phv – Pahlavani
deh – Dehwari
jdt – Judeo-Tat
ttt – Caucasian Tat
Glottologfars1254[8]
Linguasphere
58-AAC (Wider Persian)
> 58-AAC-c (Central Persian)
Persian Language Location Map1.png
Areas with significant numbers of people whose first language is Persian (including dialects)
Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.svg
  Countries where Persian is an official language
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Persian (/ˈpɜːrʒən, -ʃən/), also known by its endonym Farsi (فارسی, Fārsī, [fɒːɾˈsiː] (About this soundlisten)), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian (officially named Dari since 1958)[9] and Tajiki Persian (officially named Tajik since the Soviet era).[10] It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan,[11][12][13] as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.

The Persian language is a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of the Sasanian Empire (224–651 CE), itself a continuation of Old Persian, which was used in the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC).[14][15] It originated in the region of Fars (Persia) in southwestern Iran.[16] Its grammar is similar to that of many European languages.[17]

Throughout history, Persian has been a prestigious cultural language used by various empires in Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia.[18] Old Persian written works are attested in Old Persian cuneiform on several inscriptions from between the 6th and the 4th centuries BC, and Middle Persian literature is attested in Aramaic-derived scripts (Pahlavi and Manichaean) on inscriptions from the time of the Parthian Empire and in books centered in Zoroastrian and Manichaean scriptures from between the 3rd to the 10th century AD. New Persian literature began to flourish after the Arab invasion of Iran with its earliest records from the 9th century, since then adopting the Arabic script.[19] Persian was the first language to break through the monopoly of Arabic on writing in the Muslim world, with the writing of Persian poetry developed as a court tradition in many eastern courts.[18] Some of the famous works of medieval Persian literature are the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, the works of Rumi, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the Panj Ganj of Nizami Ganjavi, the Divān of Hafez, The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur, and the miscellanea of Gulistan and Bustan by Saadi Shirazi.

Persian has left a considerable influence on its neighboring languages, including other Iranian languages, the Turkic languages, Armenian, Georgian and the Indo-Aryan languages (especially Urdu and Dobhashi). It also exerted some influence on Arabic, particularly Bahrani Arabic,[20] while borrowing some vocabulary from it under medieval Arab rule.[14][17][21][22][23][24]

There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, including Persians, Tajiks, Hazaras, Caucasian Tats and Aimaqs. The term Persophone might also be used to refer to a speaker of Persian.[25][26]

Classification

Persian is a member of the Western Iranian group of the Iranian languages, which make up a branch of the Indo-European languages in their Indo-Iranian subdivision. The Western Iranian languages themselves are divided into two subgroups: Southwestern Iranian languages, of which Persian is the most widely spoken, and Northwestern Iranian languages, of which Kurdish is the most widely spoken.[27]

Name

The term Persian is an English derivation of Latin Persiānus, the adjectival form of Persia, itself deriving from Greek Persís (Περσίς),[28] a Hellenized form of Old Persian Pārsa (

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