The Middle East is roughly comprised of seventeen nations and includes territory in both Asia and Northern Africa. In the year of 2010 the Middle East was said to be home to more than 370 million people and is considered one of the most linguistically diverse regions in the world.
Today it is estimated that there are over sixty languages spoken in the Middle East. I would like to share six key facts with you about Farsi (Persian) and shed some light on this interesting language.
1. Who speaks Farsi anyway?
Farsi is considered the official language of Iran and is also currently spoken in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikstan. Persian is also understood in parts of Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kazhakstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey.
2. Farsi is an aincient language
According to a variety of sources the oldest records of written Persian are from the 6th century BCE. Many even believe that this language is even older.
3. There may be words in Farsi that you already understand.
In Persian, the word مرسی [Mersi] means Thank you.
There is a historical relationship between Iran and France; hundreds of French words are used everyday in Farsi. For many years, French was the second language in Iran Some words that are still used today in Farsi are:
رادیو [râdio], radio
شوفر [shoufer], chauffeur
دوش [doush], shower
سوپ [soup], soup
.اسفناج [s-fenaj], spinach
قندی [ghandy], candy
.زعفران [zafarân], saffron
بازار [bâzâr], bazaar
4. Farsi is written in the Arabic alphabet
In Iran today, Persian is written in a modified version of Arabic script. However in Tajikstan Persian is written using a Cyrillic alphabet.
5. Farsi has no articles or genders
Persian is not considered to be a very difficult language to learn. The grammar is fairly simple and there are no articles and no genders. Sometimes the lack of genders or articles can lead to confusion when learning the language.
6. Poetry is of great Importance
Poetry plays a very important role in Iranian culture; famous quotes of great poets are often used as idioms in every day life. My favourite Persian poet is Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic. Here are some quotes:
The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.
I hope that you have enjoyed this insight into the Farsi (Persian language). Farsi is certainly on my list of languages to learn and I am looking forward to learning more about Persian history and Culture.
If you know anything else about the Farsi language, feel free to explain in a comment below.