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Kurdish, Northern

A language of Turkey (Asia)

ISO 639-3kmr

Population  3,950,000 in Turkey (1980). Population total all countries: 9,320,240. Ethnic population: 6,500,000 in Turkey (Johnstone 1993).
Region  Hakkari, Siirt, Mardin, Agri, Diyarbakir, Bitlis, Bingol, Van, Adiyaman, and Mus, most; also Urfa, Kars, Tunceli, Malatya, Erzurum, Marash, Sivas, and other provinces; communities in central Turkey (Cankiri, Cihanbeyli, near Konya); many in large cities in the west, including Istanbul, Adana, Ankara, Izmir. Also in Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation (Europe), Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, United States.
Alternate names   Kermancî, Kirmancî, Kurdi, Kurdî, Kurmancî, Kurmanji
Dialects  Boti (Botani), Marashi, Ashiti, Bayezidi, Hekari, Shemdinani. Differences among dialects, but all use the same written form.
Classification  Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish
A member of macrolanguage Kurdish [kur] (Iraq).
Language use  Language of wider communication. Positive attitude. Few also use Turkish [tur].
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 28%. Much literature produced, especially in 20th century developed in 1932; originally based on Boti (Botani, Ciziri) variety and more recently influenced by that which is used around Diyarbekir and other areas. There are literary works from 16th and 17th centuries and onward. Newspapers. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1872–2000.
Writing system  Arabic script. Cyrillic script, used in Armenia. Latin script, developed in 1932.
Comments  Muslim (Sunni, Alevi), Yezidi.

Also spoken in:

Afghanistan

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  200,000 in Afghanistan (2004).
Region  Kabul area.
Alternate names  Kurmanji
Comments  Muslim (Sunni), Yezidi.
 

Armenia

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  100,000 in Armenia (2004).
Alternate names  Êzdîkî, Kurmancî, Kurmanji
Language use  Language of wider communication. Schools, texts. Positive attitude.
Language development  Well-developed literary standard and much literature. Some classes in schools.
Comments  Yezidi.
 

Azerbaijan

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  20,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census).
Region  Basargechar, Minkend, Kubatly, Zangelan, especially Kelbajar and Lachin. Many displaced.
Language map  Azerbaijan
Alternate names  Kurdî, Kurmancî, Kurmanji
Comments  Muslim (Sunni).
 

Georgia

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  40,000 in Georgia (1991).
Region  Tblisi area.
Alternate names  Kurdî, Kurmancî, Kurmanji
Comments  Yezidi.
 

Iran

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  350,000 in Iran (Stanzer 1988).
Region  North and west of Lake Urmia. Some in Kalardast region, Mazandaran Province. Northern Kurdish variety of Khorasani Kurmanji is east of the Caspian Sea, in north Khorassan Province, Quchan and Bojnurd towns.
Alternate names  Eastern Kurmanji, Kordi, Kurdi, Kurmancî, Kurmanji
Dialects  Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji), Khorassani Kurmanji.
Comments  Teaching the Kurmanji dialect is prohibited in Iranian schools. Muslim (Sunni and Shi’a), Yezidi.
 

Iraq

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  2,800,000 in Iraq (2004).
Region  North of Great Zab River, Dohuk and Mosul provinces. Surchi near Great Zab River.
Language map  Iraq
Alternate names  Badinani, Bahdini, Behdini, Kirmanciya Jori, Kurmanji
Dialects  Surchi, Akre, Amadiye, Barwari Jor, Gulli, Zakho, Sheikhan.
Language use  Language of wider communication. Positive attitude.
Comments  Surchi dialect shares elements of both Northern and Central Kurdish. Many displaced since late 1980s. Muslim (Sunni), Yezidi.
 

Lebanon

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  75,000 in Lebanon (Meho 2002). Ethnic population: 215,384.
Region  Beirut; Sidon, Tripoli, and Biqa Valley.
Dialects  Mhallami (Mardinli).
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 40%.
Comments  Muslim (Sunni).
 

Syria

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  938,000 in Syria (1993).
Region  Northern Syria: Northern Cizire (Qamishlok), Kurd-Dagh (Ciyayê Kurdî, Afrin), Ain-Arab, Allepo, Damascus.
Language map  Jordan and Syria
Alternate names  Kurdi, Kurmancî, Kurmanji
Language use  Language of wider communication. Also use Arabic.
Comments  Agriculturalists. Muslim (Sunni), Yezidi.
 

Turkmenistan

Language name   Kurdish, Northern
Population  20,000 in Turkmenistan (Bakaev 1962).
Region  Ashkhabad area.
Alternate names  Khorasani, Khorasani Kurmanji, Kurmancî, Kurmanji
Comments  Muslim (Shi’a).