Continuing our exploration on the “major” and “minor” languages around us, today we look at a language with a very long and glorious history, which Greeks often invoke when they want to say that they speak a language fluently. Now, let’s take a look at 7 things that we all need to know about the Farsi language.
- Farsi is none other than the Persian language. The term “farsi” is an endonym that Iranians use for the language they speak.
- It belongs to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages, and is spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iraq, Tajikistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other parts of the world, by the large communities of the Persian diaspora.
- Besides Farsi Persian, there are two more major dialects: Dari Persian, i.e. the eastern dialect, which is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan; and Tajik Persian, spoken in Tajikistan, of course, but also in Uzbekistan.
- In Iran and Afghanistan, Farsi adopts the Persian alphabet, which originates from Arabic, while Tajikistan uses the Tajik alphabet, derived from Cyrillic script.
- Persian literature, i.e. literature written in Farsi, was among the most important in the Islamic world, with a significant impact on literature from as far west as Asia Minor to as far east as India and Mongolia, where Persian was the language of academics and scholars, through which the Koran was taught and disseminated.
- Saadi Shirazi, better known simply as Saadi (1213-1292) is one of the foremost Persian poets and prose writers. His compositions are classed as didactic literature, consisting of brief stories aptly illustrating the standard virtues of his time. His literary works, a source of inspiration for later generations, became a benchmark for the cultivated Iranian, and introduced Persian poetry to the rest of the world.
- Farsi is one of the oldest languages still used today in their original form, without major alterations. This is why Iranians are still able to read poems that were written 1,000 years ago, with much greater ease than the modern British can read Shakespeare.
Farsi is none other than the Persian language. The term “farsi” is an endonym that Iranians use for the language they speak.
EXTRA TIP: There are no confirmed sources as to the origin of the Greek idiom “he speaks it like Farsi”, meaning “he speaks it fluently”.
According to one theory, the expression has its roots in Turkey, where they would say “he speaks Farsi”, i.e. Persian, to indicate someone that was very well-educated. This was because the Persian language was so powerful that other languages in the broader area, including Turkish, would borrow many words from it. Thus, people who knew how to use these borrowed words correctly, were considered scholars.
There are no confirmed sources as to the origin of the Greek idiom “he speaks it like Farsi”, meaning “he speaks it fluently”.
Podium has covered a large portion of the community interpreting needs that have occurred mainly since 2015, due to the mass refugee and immigrant arrivals in Greece, including thousand of speakers of Farsi, Dari and Tajiki Persian.