Questions such as how is the population of Iran, what language is Persian and what language family does Persian belong to are wondered by many.
Iran is now officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran. Geographically, it is located in Southwest Asia, with the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea in the south, and the Caspian Sea in the north. Besides, it has land borders with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
What is Indo-European?
If you want to have an idea about the Iranian population, it is also important to know what Indo-European means, what are Indo-European Peoples. In general, this word refers to the nomadic peoples who lived along the Eurasian countryside and settled in the civilized world at various dates. There are many languages in its sublanguages, including:
- Baltic-Slavic languages
- Baltic languages
- East Slavic languages
- West Slavic languages
- South Slavic languages
- West Germanic languages
- North Germanic languages
- Iranian languages
- Indian languages
- Italic languages
Apart from all these, there are also different language groups. Iranian languages are also seen among them.
Iran has an area of 1,648,195 km2. In this respect, it is the 18th largest country in the world. The country’s area is roughly equal to the total area of the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany.
In Iran, there is the Iranian plateau between the Caspian Sea and the Khuzestan coast. In the world, it is one of the most mountainous structure. Iran’s geography is shaped by mountain ranges separating various basins and plateaus. The Caucasus, Zagros and Elborz mountain ranges and the Western region, where the population is densely populated, is the most mountainous part.
Iran’s climate is mostly arid or semi-arid and subtropical on the coast of the Caspian Sea. In the northern border region of the country, temperatures drop almost below freezing during the winter months, and the climate remains humid year-round. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 29 °C.
Due to the climatic conditions of Iran and its topographic and mountainous structure located in the northwest of Iraq and Turkey border regions, the country has steppes and forests as vegetation. Poplar, Willow, and Oak trees are found in the mountainous region in the northwest of the country.
The history of Iran dates to ancient times. It has a deep-rooted history dating back to 4000 BC. There are many civilizations that have been established here until today. Throughout history, Iran has had geostrategic importance due to its central and important position in Eurasia and has therefore attracted the attention of many states and civilizations. These include:
- Macedonians under Alexander the Great
- Sassanid Empire
Apart from these, it hosted many states such as Mongols, Timurids and Safavids on its territory.
What is the Etymology of the Word Iran?
Although it is not known by many people, the etymology of the word Iran dates to ancient times. The origin is said to come from the Sanskrit word “Aryan”.
In today’s Persian, the word Iran is said to have come from Aryanam, a Proto-Iranian term in the Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism.
The words Ariya and Airiia also appeared as an ethnic reference in the Achaemenid Empire inscriptions. The term Eran, which comes from Middle Persian, is found in the inscription next to the relief depicting the coronation of Erdeshir I in Naqsh-i Rüstem. In the Parthian inscription accompanying this relief, Iran is referred to as Aryan, while in this inscription, the king’s epithet contains the Middle Persian word Eran.
What Kind of Language Is Persian?
Persian language is among the Indo-European languages. It is a language belonging to the Indo-European language family spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Persian Gulf countries.
The language belongs to the Iranian group of Indo-Iranian languages, branch of the Indo-European language family. Persian language derived from the language spoken by the ancient Persian people. Persian and its dialects have the status of official languages in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.
How Many Dialects in Persian?
The Persian language is divided into different dialects. There are three contemporary variations of Standard Persian:
- Persian: Contemporary Persian spoken in Iran
- Dari: Persian spoken in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan
- Tajik: Persian spoken in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia. Cyrillic alphabet is used as writing system.
Plus there are local dialects in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan too. They differ slightly from standard Persian. Lari (Iran), Hazaragi (Afghanistan) and Darwazi (Afghanistan and Tajikistan) are some of them. In addition, The Ethnologue recommends the following classification according to where it is spoken:
- Western Persian or Iranian (Iran)
- Eastern Persian (Afghanistan)
- Tajik (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)
- Hazaragi (Afghanistan)
- Aimaq (Afghanistan)
- Bukhari (Israel, Uzbekistan)
- Darwazi (Afghanistan, Tajikistan)
- Dzhidi (Israel, Iran)
- Pahlavani (in parts of Sistan province and Afghanistan)
Persian language is very rich in this respect. Looking at the writing system, Persian was written in Pahlavi Alphabet before Islam. Today, in Iran and Afghanistan, the Arabic alphabet is written with the Persian alphabet, while in Tajikistan it is written with the Cyrillic alphabet.
In 1967, the writing of Persian with the Latin Alphabet based on the official principles of the United Nations was accepted by Iran.
What are Iranian Languages?
When it comes to Iranian languages, many people first think of Persian. Although this is natural, there are different language groups in it. For example, the West group includes languages such as the Northwest group:
The southwestern group is seen in Persian, Achom, Bashkardi, Kumzari and Tajik. Some of the languages dead while others are alive. In the eastern group of Iranian languages, there are options in different classes such as:
In this respect, Iranian languages have a very broad structure.