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
Persian alphabet (الفبای فارسی) and pronunciation
Type of writing system: abjad - includes letters only for consonants. Vowels, when indicated, are written with diacritics and/or combinations of consonant letters
Direction of writing: right to left in horizontal lines; numerals written from
left to right.
Persian has seven vowel sounds: â (/ɒː/), a (/æ/),
e (/e/), I (/iː/), o (/o/), u (/uː/), ow (/ou/)
"Alef" has no particular sound.
At the beginning of words by means of diacritics it can denote "â" (آ), "a"
(اَ), "e" (اِ), "o" (اُ) but elsewhere, it always
denotes "â". However, only the diacritic of "â" (آ) is commonly written
and you just have to memorize the pronunciation. For example: آب (âb)
– water, اسب (asb) – horse, امید
(omid) – hope, امشب (emšab) - tonight.
The symbols for 4,5 and 6 are different from the standard numerals used for
Transliteration (from Ali Jahânshiri)
Tamâm-e afrâd-e bašar âzâd be donyâ miâyand
va az lehâz-e heysiyat-o hoquq bâ ham barâbar-and. Hame dârâ-ye
aql-o vejdân mibâšand va bâyad nesbat be yekdigar bâ
ruh-e barâdari raftâr konand.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)