- Persian (Farsi) is the national language of Iran. Persian is one of the world's oldest languages, a well-recognized tongue as early as the 6th century B.C., it is an Indo-European language or particularly Irano-Aryan. This dialect was spoken in the province of Fars so its name derived from that. Three forms of Persian is identified by scholars: old, middle, and modern.
- Old Persian, the language of the great Persian Empire, was utilized until the 3rd century BC. Old Persian extended from the Mediterranean to the Indus River in India. Cuneiform inscriptions of Darius used this language.
- Middle Persian or Pahlavi, started in the 2nd century B.C., was written with a variation of Assyrian alphabet what can be seen in the Sassanian rock carvings. Middle Persian was used up to 9th century AD.
- With the Islamic conquest of the 7th century, Arabic script was modified to a non-semitic language. This modification resulted in an alphabet similar to Arabic, with a number of additional characters to accommodate special sounds, but they are altogether two different languages.
- Modern Persian is spoken by over 40 million people in Iran and another 5 million in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan it is known as Dari. A variety of Persian called Tajik is spoken in the Tajikistan, and is written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Other dialects found in Iran are; Baluchi spoken in Sistan and Baluchestan, and Gilaki spoken in Gilan, northern Iran.
Women of Turkmen Tribe
- In different parts of Iran other languages are spoken such as Kurdish, Arabic, Lori and Turkish Azari in Azarbayjan, and another Turkish dialect spoken by turkmen in North of Khorasan province and East of Mazandaran province.
- English words of Persian origin include shawl, pajama, taffeta, khaki, kiosk, divan, lilac, jasmine, julep, jackal, caravan, bazaar, checkmate, and dervish. In fact modern English, Swedish and modern Farsi were once the same language according to linguist Dr. Andrew Byrd. For an example of how this original language sounded Dr. Byrd made a recording, click to listen.
- When traveling in Iran, knowing English could be useful since some educated people in Iran speak English, almost everyone works for a travel agency or an airline office, most hotels and top restaurants, and some shops in big cities.