Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Iraq

22,411,000 (1995). Republic of Iraq, al Jumhouriya al'Iraqia. Literacy rate 60% to 70%. Also includes Egyptian Spoken Arabic 450,000 (199), Turkish 3,000, Turkmen 227,000. Data accuracy estimate: C. Shi'a Muslim, Sunni Muslim, Yezidi, Christian. Blind population 75,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf institutions: 5. The number of languages listed for Iraq is 23.

ADYGHE (WEST CIRCASSIAN, ADYGEY) [ADY] 19,000 in Iraq (1993); 280,000 or more in all countries. Also in Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria, USA, Germany, Macedonia, and Russia. North Caucasian, Northwest, Circassian. Sunni Muslim. NT 1992. Bible portions 1977.

ARABIC, GULF SPOKEN (KHALIJI, GULF ARABIC) [AFB] 40,000 in Iraq; 200,000 in Saudi Arabia; 500,000 in Kuwait; 200,000 in Iran; 44,000 in UAE; 100,000 in Bahrain; 103,000 in Qatar; 441,000 in Oman; 10,000 in Yemen; 2,440,000 in all countries (1995). In and around Zubair and on the Fau Peninsula. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Dialect: ZUBAIR-FAAU ARABIC. Survey needed.

ARABIC, JUDEO-IRAQI (IRAQI JUDEO-ARABIC, JEWISH IRAQI-BAGHDADI ARABIC, ARABI, YAHUDIC) [YHD] 100 to 150 in Iraq, all elderly (1992 H. Mutzafi); 100,000 to 120,000 in Israel, all over 40 (1994 H. Mutzafi). 4,000 in the United Kingdom, most over 50 (1991); several hundred in India; 105,000 to 125,000 in all countries. Most in Israel. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Not intelligible with Judeo-Arabic of Libya, Judeo-Arabic of Tunisia, or Morocco. Close to North Mesopotamian Arabic. Jewish. Survey needed.

ARABIC, MESOPOTAMIAN SPOKEN (MESOPOTAMIAN GELET ARABIC, BAGHDADI ARABIC, IRAQI ARABIC, FURATI) [ACM] 11,500,000 in Iraq; 1,800,000 in Syria; 1,200,000 in Iran; 500,000 in Jordan; 100,000 in Turkey; 15,100,000 in all countries (1996). 74.4% of the population are reported to be Arabic speakers (1996). Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Geographical and sectarian divisions correlate with Iraqi dialects. The vernacular standard is forming based on Baghdad speech. Used on television and radio talk shows. There are also Bedouin dialects. Nearly unintelligible to speakers of certain other vernacular Arabic varieties. National language. Typology: SVO. Mainly Shi'a Muslim, Sunni Muslim, some Christian. Survey needed.

ARABIC, NAJDI SPOKEN [ARS] 900,000 in Iraq; 9,700,000 in all countries. Central Najdi is spoken by bedouin in the western desert, North Najdi by bedouin in the south between the rivers up to the Syrian border. Also in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Dialects: NORTH NAJDI (SHAMMAR), CENTRAL NAJDI. Survey needed.

ARABIC, NORTH MESOPOTAMIAN SPOKEN (SYRO-MESOPOTAMIAN VERNACULAR ARABIC, MOSLAWI, MESOPOTAMIAN QELTU ARABIC) [AYP] 5,400,000 in Iraq; 200,000 in Jordan; 300,000 in Syria; 400,000 in Turkey; 6,300,000 in all countries (1996). Along most of the Tigris and part of the Euphrates valleys north of Baghdad. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Muslim, Christian. Survey needed.

ARABIC, STANDARD [ABV] Middle East, North Africa. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Used for education, official purposes, books, newspapers. National language. Braille Scripture in progress. Bible 1984-1991. NT 1980-1982. Bible portions 1984.

ARMENIAN [ARM] 60,000 in Iraq; 6,836,000 in all countries. Also in Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, USA, France, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, India, Greece. Indo-European, Armenian. Dialect: WESTERN ARMENIAN. Christian. Bible 1853-1978. NT 1825-1991. Bible portions 1840-1950.

ASSYRIAN NEO-ARAMAIC (LISHANA ATURAYA, SURET, SURETH, SURYAYA SWADAYA, ASSYRIAN, NEO-SYRIAC, ASSYRISKI, AISORSKI) [AII] 30,000 in Iraq (1994); 10,000 to 20,000 in Iran (1994); 30,000 in Syria (1995); 8,000 in Georgia (1994); 5,000 in Armenia (1994); 10,000 in Russia (1993); 1,231 in Azerbaijan; 80,000 in USA (Chicago and California); 25,000 in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne); 5,000 in Canada; 5,000 in United Kingdom; a few thousand in Turkey (1995); 2,000 in Greece; 1,000 in Lebanon; 200,000 in all countries (1995 H. Mutzafi). 50,000 second language speakers of Urmi. Northern Iraq, Baghdad, Basrah, Karkuk, Arbil. Also in Cyprus, Germany, South America, and elsewhere. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern. Dialects: IRAQI KOINE, URMI, HAKKARI. The Assyrian group separated denominationally from the Chaldean in the 16th century. Intelligibility between Urmi dialects and northern dialects is 80% to 90%, and between them and Ashirat (western group) is 80%. Understanding among all of these improves with contact. Subdialects of the Urmian group: Urmi, Sipurghan, Solduz; of the Northern Group: Salamas, Van, Jilu, Gavar, Qudshanis, Upper Barwari, Dez, Baz; of the Central Group: Mar Bishu, Nochiya (Shamezdin), Tergawar, Anhar; of the Western Group: Upper Tiari, Lower Tiari, Tkhuma, Lower Barwari, Tal, Lewin. Hakkari dialects include all but the Urmian group. Standard literary Assyrian is based on Urmi. Many speakers have left the original areas and have developed a common spoken and written form based on the prestigious Urmi dialect as spoken by those from Iraq living in Baghdad, Chicago, and elsewhere (Iraqi Koine). Most Christians understand it. In some countries young people speak the language of that country, not Assyrian Neo-Aramaic. Radio programs in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, California, Moscow. Christian: Nestorian (vast majority), also other sects or denominations. Bible 1852-1911. NT 1846-1864. Bible portions 1840-1993. Work in progress.

AZERBAIJANI, SOUTH [AZB] 300,000 to 900,000 or more in Iraq (1982 estimate); 13,000,000 or more in Iran (1991); 530,000 or more in Turkey; 30,000 in Syria; 4,000 in Jordan; 5,000 or fewer in Afghanistan; 13,865,000 or more in all countries. Kirkuk city, Arbil, Rowanduz, towns and villages southeast from Kirkuk as far as Al Miqdadiyah, Khanaqin, and Mandali; also several places in the Mosul region. Also in USA. Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani. Dialect: KIRKUK. Significant differences from North Azerbaijani in the Azerbaijan. Written in Arabic script, but there is little literature. Many read Arabic or Kurdish; most are illiterate in their own language, which they speak at home and within their own group. They are called 'Turkmen' or 'Turks' in Iraq and Syria. Muslim. Work in progress.

BAJELAN (BAJALANI, GURANI, SHABAK, CHICHAMACHU) [BJM] 20,000 (1976 Sara). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Zaza-Gorani. Closer to Dimli than to Kurdish. Muslim. Survey needed.

BEHDINI (BAHDINI, BANDINANI, KURDISH BANDINANI) [BDF] Also in Germany. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Muslim.

CHALDEAN NEO-ARAMAIC (CHALDEAN, KILDANI, KALDAYA, NEO-CHALDEAN, MODERN CHALDEAN, SURETH, LISHANA KALDAYA, FELLIHI, FALLANI) [CLD] 100,000 to 120,000 in Iraq (1994); 70,000 in USA (Detroit and California, 1994); 5,000 in Syria (1994); 3,000 in Germany (1994); a few hundred in Turkey; 200,000 in all countries (1994 H. Mutzafi). Originally in central western and northern Iraqi Kurdistan and some in bordering Turkey. Now in Mosul, Baghdad, Basrah, southeastern Iraqi Kurdistan. Also in Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Lebanon. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern. Dialects: MANGESH, ALQOSH, TEL KEPE, TISQOPA, BARTILLE, SHIRNAK-CHIZRE (BOHTAN), ARADHIN, DIHOK. The ethnic group is distinct denominationally from speakers of other Northeastern Aramaic varieties; separated from the Assyrian during the 16th century. The names 'Chaldean' and 'Assyrian' are sometimes each used in a popular sense to include both groups. High intelligibility with Lishana Deni and Ashirat (western dialect group of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic); low to none with other Northeastern Aramaic varieties. Comprehension among all of these improves with contact. Syriac script is used. Christian (Chaldean, Uniate Catholic, Syrian Orthodox). Bible portions 1992. Work in progress.

DOMARI (MIDDLE EASTERN ROMANI) [RMT] 50,000 in Iraq (1970); 80,000 in Iran (1929); 10,000 in Syria (1961); 20,000 perhaps in Turkey (1982); 500,000 in all countries (1980 Kenrick). Also in India, Egypt, Libya, Russia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Dom. A Gypsy language. People called 'Zott'. Muslim. Survey needed.

FARSI, WESTERN (PERSIAN) [PES] 227,000 in Iraq (1993), 1.2% of the population (1989); 26,523,000 in all countries. Also in Iran (mainly), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, USA, Canada, United Arab Emirates. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian. Muslim. Braille code available. Bible 1838-1995. NT 1815-1979. Bible portions 1546-1965.

HAWRAMI (HAWRAMANI, GURANI, GORANI) [HAC] Also in Iran. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Zaza-Gorani. Closest to Dimli of Turkey. Both are distinct from Kurdish languages. Muslim. Survey needed.

HERKI [HEK] Also in Iran, Turkey. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Considered a dialect of Kurmanji. Muslim. Survey needed.

KOI-SANJAQ SOORET [KQD] 800 to 1,000 (1995 H. Mutzafi). Northern Iraq, town of Koi-Sanjaq and nearby village of Armota. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern. Syriac script is used. Christian (Chaldean, Uniate Catholic). Survey needed.

KURDI (KURDY, SOUTHERN KURDISH, SORANI, SURANI) [KDB] 2,785,500 in Iraq, 18% of population including all Kurdish in Iraq, most of whom speak Kurdi (1986); 6,036,000 in all countries. In and around Sulamanya. Also in Iran and USA. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Dialects: ARBILI, KHUSHNAW, PIZHDAR, MUKRI, GARRUSI (BIJÂRI), ARDAIÂNI (SANANDAJI), SULAYMÂNI (SULEIMANIYE), WARMÂWA, GARMIYÂNI, KOLYÂ'I, ZANGANA, KIRMÂNSHÂHI. Conflicting reports that many are well educated but that the literacy rate is 27%. Official regional status in Kurdistan. Sorani is mainly in Iraq. Sunni and Shi'a Muslim; Ahl-e-haqq groups in 3 districts in south and southeast Kurdistan, mainly around Kermanshah and Kerkuk; 50,000 Yezidis in northern Iraq near Mosul and in the Sinjar Hills. NT 1994. Bible portions 1894-1972.

KURMANJI (NORTHERN KURDISH, KERMANJI, KIRMANJI) [KUR] 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 in all countries; 3,950,000 in Turkey (1980); 667,800 in Syria (1986); 116,000 in the former USSR (1979); 70,000 in Lebanon; 200,000 in Iran. Also in Germany and Belgium. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Dialects: HAKARI, JEZIRE (BOTAN). A distinct language from Kurdi (Southern Kurdish). Roman script used in Turkey; Arabic script in Syria, Iran, and Iraq; Cyrillic script in USSR. Armenian script is not used now. Language of wider communication. Muslim. NT 1872. Bible portions 1856-1993. Work in progress.

LURI (LUR, LORI) [LRI] (4,280,000 in Iran; 1993). Also in Iran. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Luri. Dialects: LURI, FEYLI, LEKI, BAKHTIARI. Closely related to Kumzari of Oman. Muslim.

SHIKAKI [SHF] Also in Iran, Turkey. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Considered a dialect of Kurmanji. Muslim. Survey needed.

SURCHI [SUP] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Possibly a dialect of Kurmanji. Also shares features with Kurdi. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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