Farsi is a member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian language family; it is the official language of Iran. It is most closely related to Middle and Old Persian, former languages of the region of Fars (“Persia”) in southwestern Iran. Modern Persian is thus called Farsi by native speakers. Written in Arabic characters, modern Persian also has many Arabic loanwords and an extensive literature.
Persian Language, also known as Farsi, is the most widely spoken member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, a subfamily of the Indo-European languages. Three phases may be distinguished in the development of Iranian languages: Old, Middle, and Modern.
Facts About Farsi And Persia
- Name was changed from Persia to Iran in 1934.
- [Mersi] in Persian is Thank you, similar as in the French ‘merci’
- There are large groups of Persians who migrated to the USA and Europe, and Los Angeles is often referred to as ‘Tehrangeles’
- Iran has one of the richest art heritages in world history and encompasses many disciplines including architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, calligraphy, metalworking and stonemasonry. There is also a very vibrant Iranian modern and contemporary art scene.
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Where Is Farsi Spoken?
It is the language of Iran (formerly Persia) and is also widely spoken in Afghanistan and, in an archaic form, in Tajikistan and the Pamir Mountain region.
Persian is spoken today primarily in Iran and Afghanistan, but was historically a more widely understood language in an area ranging from the Middle East to India. Significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates), as well as large communities in the USA.
Total numbers of speakers is high: over 40 million Farsi speakers (about 60% of Iran’s population); over 14 million Dari Persian speakers in Afghanistan (50% of the population according to CIA World FactBook & Britannica); and about 2 million Dari Persian speakers in Pakistan.
In Afghanistan Farsi is spoken almost everywhere and over 50% of Afghanistan’s total population speak Farsi or Dari. The map on the right should cover Herat and the nothern parts of Afghanistan where the majority of people speak Farsi.