Persian? Or Farsi?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/05/16 12:01 -07:00, original URI:

You may have thought it was over. I mean, at some point there was a break after there was We're drowning in LIPs!, Microsoft, you giving us some LIP?, Let there be LIPs, Oops, we did it again, Oh Kannada... (ಕನ್ನಡ), and 'c' is for click sounds, and they're good enough for me.

But how long could that really last? :-)

Yes, now released is the Persian Language Interface Pack!

Here is some background info about Persian....

Number of speakers: ~70 million native speakers, ~40 second language speakers.

Name in the language itself:  فارسی (transliterated as “Farsi”)

Persian, dating back in its development to the great Persian Empire of the 6th century BC, is the most important Indo-European language in Southwestern Asia. It has several dialects; three of them are spoken by the majority of Persian speakers: 40 million people speak Western Persian, also known as Farsi, the national language of Iran, 15 million Tajik, national language of Tajikistan, and 15 million use Eastern Persian or Dari, which is one of the national languages of Afghanistan. Additionally Persian is spoken by around 40 to 50 million speakers as a second language.

The language name has become a confusing issue: Not only are Dari and Tadjik often considered to be different languages by many non-linguists because of their names, but also is the native name “Farsi” now increasingly used for “Persian”. This is like calling Spanish “Español” in English, though.

Fun facts:


Persian is an Indo-European language and belongs to the Indo-Iranian languages.


With the exception of Tajik, which is written in Cyrillic, all Persian dialects are using the Arabic script, with four additional letters (پ, چ, ژ, گ), two modified letters (ک, ی) and a few variations on spelling. This Persian alphabet is itself further extended when being used for languages like Urdu or Pashto.



This post brought to you by "ف" (U+0641, a.k.a. ARABIC LETTER FEH)

# Marc Brooks on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 5:19 PM:

Thanks for the update on the LIPs.  Their releases remind me to check for new localizations of the .Net Framework (which I need to install on my web-servers to insure that end-users can get system messages in thier languages).  Unfortunately, LIPs are on a different pace and schedule from the localizations, so I don't always get things as fast as possible.

Is anyone you know tracking those releases that I could monitor?  I'm talking about the files you get from here:

(and no, I'm not going to whine about that page's interface to you, even if it is silly).

# Michael S. Kaplan on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 6:30 PM:

I can try and find out who is tracking that info -- I do know that different groups definitely have different schedules and priorities....

# Gabe on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 7:59 PM:

"Number of speakers: ~70 million native speakers, ~40 second language speakers."

I know about 4 people who can speak Farsi. Does that mean I know about 10% of the "second language speakers"?

# Oliver Lippold on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 6:34 AM:

"The word chess is derived from the Persian word for king, shah..."

Nothing to do with LIPS, but I wondered if "shah" has always been the Persian word for king - it seems too much of a coincedence that it is very similar to "Caesar".  

# Roozbeh Pournader on Thursday, May 18, 2006 8:01 AM:

> I wondered if "shah" has always been the Persian word for king

Yes, the word comes from Old Persian, and is used on the first written records of the language, in Behistun's inscriptions of Darius the Great.

# Gene Cash on Friday, May 19, 2006 6:39 PM:

"Tajik is written in Cyrillic" - how the heck did that happen? I know Cyrillic was fairly recent (18th century) and I Tajik is quite old (6th century BC)

# Michael S. Kaplan on Friday, May 19, 2006 8:02 PM:

Some of the oldest Cyrillic manuscripts date back to the 9th century -- way before the 18th!).

# Gabe on Sunday, May 21, 2006 1:54 AM:

St. Cyril, for whom Cyrillic is named, lived from 827 to 869, so the alphabet is about a thousand years older than you thought Gene. However, it is believed that Cyril made contributions to an alphabet that was even older than that.

Tajik, as you would expect, was originally an Arabic-scripted language, up until 1928, when they switched to Latin. In 1940 they changed to Cyrillic because the Soviets wanted everything uniform. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, they started the attempt to go back to Latin in 1994. Thus, there are people who would know how to read Tajik in 3 different scripts, but most speakers probably learned it in Cyrillic.

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referenced by

2012/06/19 Maybe they're just showing off their fancy fonts? ;-)

2010/11/18 Oriya vs. Odia?

2010/10/10 Korea vs. Corea

2010/03/07 Farsi? Persian? You'll be getting some LIP about it either way

2008/11/12 "We" don't tell you how to spell *our* language in *yours*, so...

2008/03/12 Chaudhuri vs. Chaudhary?

2008/02/02 Bangalore or Bengaluru (Bengalūru)?

2007/07/24 Pluralization(s) can be singularly difficult

2007/06/15 The last XP LIP? We'll head it off at the Pas[hto]

2007/06/02 Azeri zeriouz LIP releaze

2007/03/03 And it won't cost you an arm[enia] or a leg, either!

2006/12/01 Curious Georg[ian] gets a LIP

2006/10/31 Mapudungun is not a map to a dungeon

2006/10/13 Local experiences in Norway: the Nynorsk LIP!

2006/09/25 And then came Inuktitut (ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ)

2006/08/17 You don't order Tatar sauce for your Filet-o-Fish!

2006/07/25 I bless the rains down in Afrika[ans]

2006/07/15 Uighur or Uyghur?

2006/07/05 The one with all of the language info

2006/07/01 Give a lady Urdu? (her due?)

2006/06/27 I Tswana know what you're thinking

2006/06/23 Do they grow beets in Luxembourg?

2006/06/22 Quechua me if you can!

2006/05/23 Persian? Or Farsi? Redux

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