Persian is a member of the Western Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken by about 110 million people, mainly in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and also in Uzbekistan, Iraq, Russia and Azerbaijan. In 2009 there were about 60 million native speakers of Persian, and another 50 million second language speakers.
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.
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: www.iranian.com and wikipedia.
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
Old Persian was first written in about 600 BC in the Old Persian Cuneiform. The language had evolved into what we known as Middle Persian by about 300 BC, and was written with the Pahlavi, Manichaean and Avestan alphabets. From 800 AD the language is known as Modern Persian, and was written with the Persian of Perso-Arabic alphabet. There are also ways of writing Persian with the Latin alphabet.
In Tajikistan Tajik has been written with a version of Cyrillic alphabet since 1940. Between 1928 and 1940 it was written with a version of the Latin alphabet, and before then with the Perso-Arabic alphabet.
After the Islamic conquest of the Persian Sassanian Empire in 642 AD, Arabic became the language of government, culture and especially religion, and the Arabic alphabet was adapted to write the Persian language. This is now known as the Persian or Perso-Arabic alphabet (الفبای فارسی / alefbā-ye fârsi).
Notes and corrections by Ali Jahanshiri
The symbols for 4,5 and 6 are different from the standard numerals used for Arabic.
Tamâm-e afrâd-e bašar âzâd be donyâ miâyand va az lehâz-e heysiyat-o hoquq bâ ham arâbar-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)
Information about the Persian language
Avestan, Baluchi, Bartangi, Dari, Gilaki, Hazaragi, Ishkashimi, Juhuri, Khufi, Kurdish, Luri, Mazandarani, Ossetian, Oroshor, Persian, Parthian, Pashto, Rushani, Sanglechi, Sarikoli, Shabaki, Shughni, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Wakhi, Yaghnobi, Yazghulami, Zazaki
Adamaua Fulfulde, Afrikaans, Arabic (Algerian), Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Lebanese), Arabic (Modern Standard), Arabic (Moroccan), Arabic (Syrian), Arabic (Tunisian), Arwi, Äynu, Azeri, Balti, Baluchi, Beja, Belarusian, Bosnian, Brahui, Chagatai, Chechen, Comorian, Crimean Tatar, Dargwa, Dari, Domari, Gilaki, Hausa, Hazaragi, Kabyle, Karakalpak, Konkani, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khowar, Khorasani Turkic, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lezgi, Luri, Malay, Marwari, Mandekan, Mazandarani, Morisco, Mozarabic, Palula, Pashto, Persian/Farsi, Punjabi, Qashqai, Rajasthani, Rohingya, Salar, Saraiki, Serer, Shabaki, Shina, Shughni, Sindhi, Somali, Tatar, Tausūg, Torwali, Turkish, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Wakhi, Wolof
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