Persian / Farsi  
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  • Persian (فارسی), also known as Farsi, Parsi, or Dari, is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Georgia, part of India and part of Pakistan.

  • It has over 46 million native speakers.

  • Persian is a member of the Indo-European family of languages, and within that family, it belongs to the Indo-Iranian (Aryan) branch, within which, the Iranian sub-branch consists of the following chronological linguistic path: Old Persian (Avestan and Achaemenids Persian) ==> Middle Persian (Pahlavi -- Parthian and Sassanids Persian) ==> Modern Persian (Modern Persian starts approximately around 900 CE to present).

  • In Iran the Academy of Persian Language and Literature is a center that evaluates the new words in order to initiate and advise its Persian equivalent. In Afghanistan, the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan does the same for Afghan Persian (among other languages).

  • Persian, the more widely recognized name in English, is the Hellenized form of the native term Parsi. Farsi is the Arabicized form and its use in the English language is very recent. Native Iranians and Afghans typically call it "Farsi" in modern usage. ISO, the Academy of Persian Language and Literature, and many other authentic sources call the language "Persian". The government of Afghanistan uses both "Dari" and "Persian" in English communications.

  • Communication is generally mutually intelligible between Iranians, Tajiks, and Dari speaking Afghans, however by popular definition: Dari is an eastern dialect of Persian, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan; Tajik is also an eastern dialect of Persian, but contrary to Iranian and Afghan Persian, is written in the Cyrillic script.
  • Judeo-Persian was a language spoken by Jews in Persia.
  • Although it uses the same alphabet as Arabic, Persian adds four letters, and changes the shape of another two. The Persian language is an entirely different language, with a different phonology and grammar.
  • It should also be noted that many Persian words with an Arabic root are spelled differently than the original Arabic word. Alef with Hamza Below (إ) always changes to Alef (ا), Teh Marbuta (ة) usually, but not always, changes to Teh (ت) or Heh (ه), and words using various Hamzas get spelled with yet another kind of Hamza (like مسؤول becoming مسئول).
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