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Farsi Language Overview

Persian called “Farsi” (Far-see) by the speakers, is a language today primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan including adjoining areas. Persian is a widely spoken language in Middle-East, parts of Central Asia and the Indo-Pak Subcontinent. Significant populations of speakers in other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates), as well as large communities in the USA.

Farsi Language History

Persian originated from the language of Ancient Persia around 500 years BC during the times of the Aryan rulers and the word “Iran” (like the country Iran) has been derived from the word Aryan. Although, some say the language dates back to as far as 200 years B.C. in Central Asia, the ancient Persian is said to have developed in a place called “Fars” which is in Iran and this language was eventually called “Farsi” because of this origin.

This was the time just before Alexander’s conquest of Persia. The time when the Parthians ruled Persia right after the fall of Alexander’s Empire, a new language evolved know as “Pahlavi” also referred to as Middle Persian. The word “Pahlavi” in recent day Persian would mean “The one who did or came first” where one is the object and in this case it would be “The Persian Language”.

Since there is no proof that the name was derived from this meaning, we cannot be sure what it means. Pahlavi was widely used in this era of the Zoroastrian religion which prevailed in this region, just before the advent of Islam. Zoroaster’s writing in this form, from that era can still be seen.

Language Speak

Total numbers of speakers is high: over 40 million Farsi speakers (about 60% of Iran’s population); over 14 million Dari Persian speakers in Afghanistan (50% of the population according to CIA World FactBook & Britannica); and about 2 million Dari Persian speakers in Pakistan.

Useful Farsi

The Basics

yes bale

no na

Where is? …….koja st

How much? che ghadr

Ticket belit

Thank you motashakkertam

Toilet tuvalet

Excuse me bebakshid

Meeting People

Hello salam

Goodbye khoda hafez

My name is esmam……….. e

What is your name? esmetun chi ye?

Greetings salam aleykom

How are you? haletun chetor e?

Fine khubam

Im from…. man ahl e ……. am

It is Gods will masallah

General

Where is ……? ……koja st?

Train station istgah e ghatur

Airport furudgah

Bus stop istgah e utubus

TV televizyon

Id like a room ye otagh e mikham

How much is it? baraye cheghadr?

A week ye hafte

Name esm

Visa viza

Passport gozarname

Today emruz

Day ruz

Year sal

Tomorrow farda

Emergencies

Call the police! polis o!

Call an ambulance! ye ambulans!

I want to contact the embassy mikham ba sefarat
doctor doktor

Numbers

1 yek

2 do

3 se

4 chahar

5 panj

6 shish

7 haft

8 hasht

9 nah

10 dah

50 panjah

100 sad

200 divist

1000 hezar

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Ritual foods fall into two categories—foods that are eaten in celebration, and foods that are prepared and consumed as a charitable religious act.

A few foods are traditional for the New Year’s celebration. Fish is widely consumed as the first meal of the New Year, along with a polow made with greens. One food appears on the ritual New Year’s table, but is rarely eaten. This is a kind of sweet pudding made of ground sprouted wheat called samanou.

Major Industries. Iran today has a steel plant, automobile and bus assembly plants, a good infrastructure of roads, a decent telecommunication system, and good broadcast facilities for radio and television. These have all been extended under the Islamic Republic, as has rural electrification. Mining and exploitation of Iran’s extensive mineral wealth other than oil is largely moribund. Moves to privatize industry have been slow; 80 percent of all economic activity is under direct government control.

Trade. Aside from oil products, the nation’s exports include carpets, caviar, cotton, fruits, textiles, minerals, motor vehicles, and nuts. A small amount of fresh produce and meat is exported to the states of the Persian Gulf.

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