Rescribe: Farsi Translation Notes

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Persian or Farsi is the official language of Iran and is spoken by over 30 million people, primarily in Iran and Afghanistan. At one stage of history, Persian was understood from the Middle East to India. The word "Farsi" comes from the region of "Fars" in Iran, where the language formerly spoken was Persian, so Farsi is the name for the area where Persian was spoken, and hence for the modern form of Persian.

Iran is today a very multilingual society. About half of the population speaks Farsi, the remainder speaking a wide variety of languages including Turkic languages, Kurdish, Armenian, and Arabic.

Language group

Farsi is the most widely spoken member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages. Farsi is closely related to Dari (Afghanistan) and Tajik (Central Asia).


The Early Modern period of the language (ninth to thirteenth centuries) is known as Classical Persian, with a strong influence from a powerful literary tradition. Classical Persian remained essentially unchanged until the nineteenth century, when the dialect of the new capital, Teheran, rose in prominence. This modern Persian dialect became the basis of what is now called Contemporary Standard Persian. Although it still contains a large number of Arab terms, many borrowings have been nativized, with a much lower percentage of Arabic words in colloquial forms of the language.

Writing systems

Farsi is written in Arabic characters. Therefore, written Farsi is very similar to Arabic while spoken Farsi is quite different and less intelligible to an Arabic-speaker.

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