The Persian language is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, where it dominates as an official language, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, neighboring countries and elsewhere . The modern Persian language is called Farsi in Iran by the native speaking population. It received the specific name from the historical province of Fars (the ancient province of “Persis”), in southwestern Iran, also known as the cultural capital of Iran, where Middle and Old Persian were spoken, with which the modern, as their continuation, has inseparable and strong links.

The variety spoken in Afghanistan is called Dari (one of the two official languages of Afghanistan), while in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and central Asia the variety of Persian spoken is called Tajik. The total number of Persian speakers is about 23 million (50% of Iran’s population). About 5.5 million speak Dari Persian in Afghanistan (25% of the population), and about 1 million Pakistanis speak Dari Persian as well.

The language’s long contact with Arabic resulted in Persian being flooded with Arabic words, to the extent that a writer of Classical Persian would have the entire vocabulary of Arabic at his disposal.

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