Persian language

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Persian language,

member of the Iranian group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-IranianIndo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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 languages). The official language of Iran, it has about 38 million speakers in Iran and another 8 million in Afghanistan. Historically the Persian language falls into three periods: Old, Middle, and Modern. Old Persian is known chiefly from cuneiform inscriptions dating from the time of the Achaemenid kings of ancient Persia (6th–4th cent. B.C.). Old Persian was highly inflected, as was Avestan, which is regarded by some as a form of Old Persian and by others as a separate tongue. Avestan was the language of the sacred texts of ZoroastrianismZoroastrianism
, religion founded by Zoroaster, but with many later accretions. Scriptures

Zoroastrianism's scriptures are the Avesta or the Zend Avesta [Pahlavi avesta=law, zend=commentary].
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 that are known as the Avesta (probably composed c.7th–5th cent. B.C.). Middle Persian derives directly from Old Persian. Also called Pahlavi, Middle Persian prevailed under the Sassanid, or Sassanian, rulers of Persia (3d–7th cent. A.D.). Grammatically, much simplification of inflection took place in Middle Persian, which was recorded both in an Aramaic alphabet and in a script called Pahlavi. Middle Persian also had a noteworthy literature of Manichaean and Zoroastrian texts. The modern form of Persian evolved directly from Middle Persian and may be said to have begun in the 9th or 10th cent. A.D. It has not changed much since that date. The grammar of Modern Persian is comparatively simple. The inflection of nouns and verbs has been greatly reduced since the ancient stage of the language. A number of Arabic words were added to the vocabulary as the result of the conquest of the Persians by the Muslim Arabs in the 7th cent. A.D. Modern Persian is the medium of an old and great literature and is written in a modification of the Arabic alphabet. Modern Persian is also known as Fārsī.


See R. G. Kent, Old Persian (1950); A. K. S. Lambton, Persian Grammar (1971).

References in periodicals archive ?
Although Persian is the language of' Ahl-e-Khurasan', he said, adding but the educational history could not be written off without Persian language.
It is vital to preserve the Persian language for its historical richness and the treasure of its literature.
Persian language broadcast of AIR is conducted for 1hr 45 minutes in two transmissions of 45 minutes and 1 hour respectively in the morning and in the evening, at present.
The first Israeli film in the Persian language is being released within the borders of the regime occupying Jerusalem, and they are trying to conceal their plot.
The school saw excellent achievements last year when two of its students, Melina Latofangi and Sana Badali, took GCSE exams in Persian language.
Based on the five-year contract the two sides will exchange university professors, students, and research delegations to conduct joint projects and studies on how to expand teaching Persian language at BUFS.
Eleven centuries is not a few for the life of a great and unrivaled poet, and Shahnama in many respects is still unique and peerless not only in the arena of Persian language but also in many of other languages without any doubt and indecision.
The Persian Language Centre will be opened within two weeks from now in Muscat.
On the ground natural surface, in the limited by feature section (20 x 30), is cut out the inscription by the handwriting of Nastalik of six lines written in verse in the Persian language (two middle lines - to the left of the rest and perpendicular to them), quoted from "Bustan" of Saadi: "I heard, that Jamshed, blissful by nature, Wrote on the stone by the source: "By this source many, as we, rested, And left in order [forever] close its eyes.
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Higher Islamic Council- Teheran Branch reported on its Persian language electronic site that "a coup d'etat was made against Iraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki.
The idea that Mr Netanyahu, a bitter opponent of Iran, was logging on to "the first library of Persian language hot sex books" caused great amusement among Israelis and Iranians.
center's plan to replace the tiles inscribed with poems in the Persian language in Nizami's mausoleum with analogous poems in the