- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Persian is a language almost as beautiful as its region of origin. Unique, poetic and influential, Persian opens the door to one of the most distinctive Middle Eastern cultures.
Learning Persian won’t just enhance your travels within the Persian-speaking world and its global diaspora, as it has done for me. Persian has remained unchanged for centuries, so unlike in many other languages, you can experience world-famous Persian literature in the exact language it was written.
The Persian language has been written with a number of different scripts, including the Old Persian Cuneiform, Pahlavi, Aramaic, and Avestan, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. After the Islamic conquest of the Persian Sassanian Empire in 642 AD, Arabic became the language of government, culture and especially religion.
Modern Persian appeared during the 9th century. It is written in a version of the Arabic script and is full of words of Arabic origin. There are also two methods of writing Persian with the Latin alphabet.
Under Mongolian and Turkish rulers, Persian was adopted as the language of government in Turkey, central Asia and India, where it was used for centuries, and until after 1900 in Kashmir.
Persian is a member of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages spoken by about 130 million people, mainly in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. There are also significiant numbers of speakers in many other countries, including Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Israel, Turkmenistan, Oman, Yemen, the UAE and the USA.
In Afghanistan Persian is known as Dari or Dari-Persian, while in Tajikistan it's known as Tajiki.