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Farsi, Western

A language of Iran

ISO 639-3: pes

Population 22,000,000 in Iran (1997). Population includes 800,000 Eastern Farsi in Khorasan, Gilan, Tat, Bakhtiari, Lur. Population total all countries: 24,316,121.
Region Throughout Iran. Most heavily concentrated in central, south central, and northeastern Iran. Also spoken in Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iraq, Israel, Netherlands, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey (Asia), Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan.
Alternate names   Persian, New Persian, Parsi, Irani
Dialects Ketabi, Tehrani, Shirazi, Old Shirazi, Qazvini, Mahalhamadani, Kashani, Esfahani, Sedehi, Kermani, Araki, Shirazjahromi, Shahrudi Kazeruni, Mashadi (Meshed), Basseri, Yazdi, Bandari. The literary language is virtually identical in Iran and Afghanistan, with very minor lexical differences. Zargari may be a dialect used by goldsmiths (also see Balkan Romani in Iran). Dialect shading into Dari in Afghanistan and Tajiki in Tajikistan. Many of the dialects may be separate languages.
Classification Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian
Language use National language. Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Many study English, but proficiency is low. Speakers also use Azerbaijani.
Language development Taught in primary and secondary schools. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1838–1995.
Comments SOV. Muslim (Shi'a), Baha'i, Christian.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Farsi, Western
Population 227,000 in Iraq (1993).
Alternate names   Persian
Comments Muslim.


Language name   Farsi, Western
Population 25,000 in Oman (1993).
Region Scattered in cities along the coast. Many in a community in Jabroo, on the way out of Mutrah, going toward Ruwi.
Alternate names   Persian
Language use Many women speak only Farsi. Men who go outside the community speak Arabic as second language, and many know 2 or 3 other languages.
Comments Muslim (Shi'a).


Language name   Farsi, Western
Population 73,000 in Qatar (1993).
Alternate names   Persian
Comments Muslim.


Language name   Farsi, Western
Population 50,000 in Tajikistan (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk).
Alternate names   Persian
Comments Not a literary language in Tajikistan. Muslim (Shi'a).

United Arab Emirates

Language name   Farsi, Western
Population 80,000 in United Arab Emirates (1986).
Alternate names   Persian
Comments Merchants; traders. Muslim.