Persian language

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Persian (written: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi), also known as "Farsi" or "Parsi", is an Indo-European language spoken primarily in Iran and Afghanistan, with minority speakers in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, India, Armenia, and Southern Russia. It is a descendant from the language of the ancient Persian Empire and dates back to the mid-sixth century BC. In the modern world there are roughly 60 million people who speak Persian or a Persian dialect as their first language, and another 40 million who speak it as a second language.

Persian's modern vocabulary borrows heavily from Arabic - up to 80 or 90% of a text in some genres.[1] The language is also written in the Arabic script, except in Tajikistan where it is written with a Cyrillic script. This influence is due to the cultural mingling after the Arabic invasion during the Jihad of the seventh century and the heavy Islamic influence on modern day Central Asia. The local name of Persian, Farsi, is also a result of this, as the Arab speakers who had invaded pronounced the [p] as [f].


  1. Kaye (2000).