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Iranian painting. From the Chehel Sotun Palace, Isfahan



Why Study Persian/Farsi





Persian is the language of more than 110 million people around the world.

It is the official language of Iran (as Farsi), Afghanistan (as Dari), and Tajikistan (Tajik), the three vitally important countries for the U.S. policies in the Middle East and Central Asia. Persian is the language of Iran, a key player in all Middle Eastern matters including Iraq and Afghanistan with which Iran shares borders.

The US Government has designated Persian as a language of Strategic Importance.

Persian is a sought after language in International organizations, Development and Aid agencies, Government agencies, Journalism, Think Tanks, and NGOs. There is a demand but a low supply of qualified Persian-speaking experts. Many of our students study Persian every year to prepare for employment in the government agencies and international organizations.

Working for the Government or its contractors simply as a Foreign Media Analyst with the knowledge of Persian pays $ 50,000-97,000. Other analytical for-government jobs with the use of Persian pay $ 90,000+ (data from,,

Knowing Persian can get you a higher pay grade. There is a $ 35,000 hiring bonus at some government agencies for those who are proficient in Persian (data from

Persian (Farsi) is spoken by over 1 million people in the U.S.A., the largest Persian community in the world outside Iran.

It is the language of the mesmerizing world of internationally acclaimed Iranian Art Cinema. Iranian film A Separation by A. Farhadi was awarded an Oscar in 2012.

It is the language of eternally beautiful and widely revered Persian poetry. Persian poet Rumi who lived 700 years ago is still a best-selling foreign poet in the U.S.A. A poem by another Persian poet Saadi adorns the entrance Hall in the UN building in New York.

It is the language of the amazing world of Islamic mysticism, Sufism and philosophy.

Persian/Farsi is the easiest Middle Eastern language for an English-speaker to learn. It is an Indo-European language related to English.

Persian has a wide research application. Until the mid-19th century Persian was the official language of Indian subcontinent. Ottoman Turkish and Urdu (Pakistan) languages have been heavily influenced by Persian in their structure and vocabulary.

Persian had been a vehicle of rich and diverse cultural phenomenon that extended beyond Iran into the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Caucasus, and Anatolia. Many of our students are Cornell graduate students working in the fields of history, literature and art pertaining to India, Central Asia and Turkey.

Choose Persian/Farsi if you want to learn a fun and different language. Modern Persian is a hybrid language of Indo-European origin with a multitude of English, French, Turkish, Arabic words combined with the Persian core vocabulary and built upon a basic and uncomplicated grammar.