Persian, Iranian


A language of Iran

Alternate Names
Farsi, New Persian, Parsi, Persian, West Persian, Western Farsi

48,700,000 in Iran (2014 M. Izady), increasing. 800,000 Eastern Farsi in Khorasan speak dialects which are transitional with Iranian Persian. Total users in all countries: 51,614,320.


Widespread. Most concentrated in central, south central, and northeast.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1979, Constitution, Article 15).


Abadani, Ketabi, Tehrani, Shirazi, Old Shirazi, Qazvini, Mahalhamadani, Kashani, Esfahani, Sedehi, Kermani, Araki, Shirazjahromi, Shahrudi Kazeruni, Mashadi (Meshed), Basseri, Yazdi, Bandari. Literary language virtually identical in Iran and Afghanistan, with very minor lexical differences. Dialect shading into Dari [prs] in Afghanistan and Tajiki [tgk] in Tajikistan. Many dialects may be separate languages. A member of macrolanguage Persian [fas].


SOV; noun head initial; no articles; tense and aspect; causatives; 23 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes; stress on final syllable (or root).

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Also use English [eng], Northern Luri [lrc], South Azerbaijani [azb], Southern Luri [luz].

Language Development
Taught in primary and secondary schools. Fully developed. Bible: 1838–1995.

Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab]. Arabic script, Nastaliq variant [Aran], used in Iran.

Other Comments

Muslim, Baha’i, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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