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About Persian/Farsi





• Persian is the easiest Middle Eastern language for an English speaker to learn.


• Persian has No Gender category, No Cases, No Irregular conjugation of verbs, No Capital letters,        and only 1 sound unfamiliar to English speakers.


• You will be speaking, reading and writing on everyday topics after the very first semester.


• It is an Indo-European language related to English and German.


• It is a hybrid language with numerous cognates from French and English as well as from Arabic and Turkish languages.


• It is the second most widely spoken language in the Middle East.


• Persian/Farsi the language of the most populous and second largest country (by area) in the continental Middle East. It is the language of the largest non-Arab country in the region.


• Persian/Farsi has not changed significantly in the last 1000 years. By the third semester you will be reading classical poetry as well as modern literary pieces in original.


• For centuries, Persian language was a medium for the rich and diverse Persianate cultural phenomenon that linked cultures and peoples of the vast areas stretching from Anatolia (Turkey) to the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), to Iran, to Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), to South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India). Persian has profoundly and conspicuously influenced the languages of these cultures, which is clearly detectable even in modern time. Persian is a necessary skill for scholars who carry out field work and research on art, literature, history of Central Asia, Caucasus, Iran and Anatolia.


• Until the mid-19th century Persian was the official language of the Indian subcontinent. Persian language is a vital skill to those scholars and graduate students who are engaged in research on the history, art, literature, and international relations of the Indian subcontinent.


                                                   Persian vs. Farsi.

The correct way to refer to this language when speaking in English is Persian. Although recently in the USA the word Farsi has become the common reference to this language, Farsi is how it is called in the indigenous tongue. In other words, saying “Do you speak Farsi?” would be similar to saying “Do you speak Espanol?”. In English we say “Do you speak Spanish?” and “Do you speak Persian?”. It is erroneous to think that Persian refers to the ancient language of the Persian Empire, while Farsi refers to the modern language of Iran. Ancient Persian (the language of Cyrus the Great), Middle Persian (the language of pre-Islamic Iranian kings, the Sasanians), and Modern Persian (ca. 9th century AD –present) are evolutionary stages of the same language-PERSIAN.