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Persian ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} or {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}), also known by its endonym Farsi or Parsi (English: {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Persian: فارسی{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} fārsi [fɒːɾˈsiː]), is the predominant modern descendant of Old Persian, a southwestern Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan (officially known as Dari since 1958 for political reasons),<ref>Asta Olesen, "Islam and Politics in Afghanistan, Volume 3", Psychology Press, 1995. pg 205: "There began a general promotion of the Pashto language at the expense of Farsi – previously dominant at the educational and administrative level – and the term 'Dari' for the Afghan version of Persian came into common use, being officially adopted in 1958"</ref> and Tajikistan (officially known as Tajiki since the Soviet era for political reasons),<ref>Mona Baker, Kirsten Malmkjr, "Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies", pg 518: "among them the realignment of Central Asian Persian, renamed Tajiki by the Soviet Union", [1]</ref> and some other regions which historically came under Persian influence. The Persian language is classified as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of Sassanid Persia, itself a continuation of Old Persian, the language of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.<ref name="Lazard"/><ref>Ulrich Ammon, Norbert Dittmar, Klaus J. Mattheier, Peter Trudgill, "Sociolinguistics Hsk 3/3 Series Volume 3 of Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society", Walter de Gruyter, 2006. 2nd edition. pg 1912. Excerpt: "Middle Persian, also called Pahlavi is a direct continuation of old Persian, and was used as the written official language of the country." "However, after the Moslem conquest and the collapse of the Sassanids, the Pahlavi language was gradually replaced by Dari, a variety of Middle Persian, with considerable loan elements from Arabic and Parthian."</ref><ref>Skjærvø, Prods Oktor (2006). Encyclopedia Iranica, "Iran, vi. Iranian languages and scripts, "new Persian, is "the descendant of Middle Persian" and has been "official language of Iranian states for centuries", whereas for other non-Persian Iranian languages "close genetic relationships are difficult to establish" between their different (Middle and Modern) stages. Modern Yaḡnōbi belongs to the same dialect group as Sogdian, but is not a direct descendant; Bactrian may be closely related to modern Yidḡa and Munji (Munjāni); and Wakhi (Wāḵi) belongs with Khotanese."</ref> Persian is a pluricentric language and its grammar is similar to that of many contemporary European languages.<ref name="Richard Davis 2006. pp. 602-603">Richard Davis, "Persian" in Josef W. Meri, Jere L. Bacharach, "Medieval Islamic Civilization", Taylor & Francis, 2006. pp. 602–603. "The grammar of New Persian is similar to many contemporary European languages."Similarly, the core vocabulary of Persian continued to be derived from Pahlavi.</ref> Persian is so-called due to its origin from the capital of the Achaemenid empire, Persis (Fars or Pars) hence the name Persian (Farsi or Parsi){{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}. A Persian-speaking person may be referred to as Persophone.<ref>https://www.iaaw.hu-berlin.de/en/centralasia/research/current-research-projects/modernity-and-modernism-in-persophone-literary-history</ref>

There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, with the language holding official status in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. For centuries, Persian has also been a prestigious cultural language in other regions of Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia by the various empires based in the regions.<ref name="Persian literature">Encyclopædia Britannica: Persian literature, retrieved September 2011.</ref>

Persian has had a considerable (mainly lexical) influence on neighboring languages, particularly the Turkic languages in Central Asia, Caucasus, and Anatolia, neighboring Iranian languages, as well as Armenian, Georgian, and Indo-Aryan languages, especially Urdu. It also exerted some influence on Arabic, particularly Bahrani Arabic,<ref>Dialect, Culture, and Society in Eastern Arabia: Glossary. Clive Holes. 2001. Page XXX. ISBN 90-04-10763-0</ref> while borrowing much vocabulary from it after the Muslim conquest of Persia.<ref name="Lazard">Lazard, Gilbert 1975, "The Rise of the New Persian Language" in Frye, R. N., The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4, pp. 595–632, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. "The language known as New Persian, which usually is called at this period (early Islamic times) by the name of Dari or Farsi-Dari, can be classified linguistically as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of Sassanian Iran, itself a continuation of Old Persian, the language of the Achaemenids. Unlike the other languages and dialects, ancient and modern, of the Iranian group such as Avestan, Parthian, Soghdian, Kurdish, Balochi, Pashto, etc., Old Persian, Middle and New Persian represent one and the same language at three states of its history. It had its origin in Fars (the true Persian country from the historical point of view) and is differentiated by dialectical features, still easily recognizable from the dialect prevailing in north-western and eastern Iran."</ref><ref name="Richard Davis 2006. pp. 602-603"/><ref name="Lazard, Gilbert 1971">Lazard, Gilbert, "Pahlavi, Pârsi, dari: Les langues d'Iran d'apès Ibn al-Muqaffa" in R.N. Frye, Iran and Islam. In Memory of the late Vladimir Minorsky, Edinburgh University Press, 1971.</ref><ref name="Nushin Namazi">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="Classe 2000 1057">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref name=lambtonexcerpt>Ann K. S. Lambton, Persian grammar, Cambridge University Press 1953. "The Arabic words incorporated into the Persian language have become Persianized".</ref>

With a long history of literature in the form of Middle Persian before Islam, Persian was the first language in Muslim civilization to break through Arabic's monopoly on writing, and the writing of poetry in Persian was established as a court tradition in many eastern courts.<ref name="Persian literature"/> Some of the famous works of Persian literature are the Shahnameh ('Book of Kings') of Ferdowsi, works of Rumi, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Divan ('miscellany') of Hafiz and the two miscellanea of prose and verse by Sa'di of Shiraz, the Golestān (lit., 'flower garden') and the Būstān (also meaning "garden;" lit., 'a place of fragrance').


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