How Similar are Persian and Arabic?

How Similar are Persian and Arabic?

Hey Mahmoud, can you help me read
this Arabic message I got? I can’t recognise any of the words Oh, that’s not Arabic. Hello everyone. Welcome to the LangFocus channel.
My name is Paul. In a recent video I talked about the Persian language,
which is spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Because Iran is located in the Middle East next to Iraq, a lot of people wonder if the Persian
language and Arabic are related. Well, they are not directly related,
but they have influenced each other. Persian and Arabic belong to completely different language
families, which means that they have separate origins. Arabic is a Semitic language, and it
comes from the same root language as Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, Ugaritic, etc. Persian, on the other hand, is an Indo-European language
that shares common roots with the languages of Northern India, as well as most of the languages
in Europe, such as English, French, and German. Therefore Persian and Arabic have very different grammar,
and the way that words are constructed is completely different. Semitic languages have a unique system
of mostly three-letter roots, and these three-letter roots are put into templates
that form the shape of different words. For example, the Arabic root for “learn”, which
in English is like DRS. If you want to say, “I learned”, you take those three root
letters and you add them into this template here,
and say, “asruus”. Persian does not have this system
of putting the root into templates. The root words stay in one piece
and affixes are attached to it. Let’s look at an example in Persian
using the root word “dān”, which means “know”. The first word is “dānestan”, which means “to know”, so if we add the affix, “estan”,
that creates the infinitive of the verb. The next word is “dāneŝ”, which means
“knowledge”, so the affix “eŝ” creates an abstract noun. Then if we take that word,
and we add another affix at the end, “dāneŝmand”, that means scientist, so that creates a concrete noun. So you can see that nothing is changing
with the root word itself. The root word “dān” doesn’t change, the letters
don’t get separated the way they would in Arabic. There are a couple other differences that I think show, that Persian has simpler than Arabic. One of the differences is Persian language
only has two grammatical cases,
and only one of them is actually marked, whereas Arabic has three grammatical
cases and all three of them are marked. And other differences that Persian
doesn’t have any grammatical gender, there’s no feminine, masculine, or neuter
nouns which is quite a relief to some of us. So, the origins of Arabic and Persian are unrelated, and
structurally they are completely different languages. There are two main similarities between
Persian and Arabic: the script, and the vocabulary. Except for the Persian that is spoken in
Tajikistan, which is written in the Cyrillic script, Persian is written in a modified form of the Arabic script. So what is modified about it? Well, in the Persian language, they have some sounds
that you can’t find in the Arabic language. So they needed to create some new letters
that represent those sounds. There are four of these new letters
in the Persian version of the Arabic script. They actually come from Arabic letters,
but the markings above or below the letters are different. In Arabic, there is no “p” sound but in Persian there is a “p” sound, So they created this new letter
to represent the “p” sound. They took the Arabic letter “ب” for “/b/” [“buh”], the “b” sound, and they added two more dots underneath that letter. So when we see that, we know it’s a “/p/” [“puh”]. And in Standard Arabic, there is no “/t͡ʃ/” [“ch”] sound. So they took the Arabic letter “ج” for [“djuh”],
and they added two more dots under the letter. That represents “ch”. There is also no “/ʒə/” [“juh”] sound in Standard Arabic,
so they took the Arabic letter “ز” for [“zuh”] , the “Z” sound, and they added two more dots above the letter and that makes a “/ʒə/” [“juh”], like the french “J”. Arabic also has no letter for “/g/”, the hard G sound,
so Persian took the letter “ک” for [“kuh”], the “K” sound, and they added an extra line above it,
and that represents “/g/”, the hard G sound. And some of the other letters represent
slightly different sounds, too. For example, the letter “waw” in Arabic
becomes “vav” in…uh… Persian. *audible chuckling* I almost said Hebrew there because
the letter is also called “vav” in modern Hebrew. Because of the use of this modified Arabic script, people who can’t read it just take one look
at it and because it looks the same, they think that it’s Arabic
or they think that it’s the same as Arabic, but anyone who is able to read the script,
or even just know the letters, they’ll quickly realise that this is not Arabic,
because you see letters that you don’t find in Arabic, And also, of course, the words are different. Probably not all of the words are different. That’s because Persian has
a whole lot of Arabic loanwords in it, that stretch all the way back
to the Islamic conquest of Persia. In literary Persian, as much as 40%
of the vocabulary is of Arabic origin, but in colloquial speech the percentage
of Arabic words is much lower. So even though lots of words have been
adopted from Arabic into Persian, the structure of those arabic words
has not been adopted. They’re simply adopted as vocabulary as they are. And then they are treated as Persian words
once they’re adopted. Basically, the words that are borrowed
are not broken down into the roots, which is how they would be treated in Arabic. And the loan words have also adapted
to the phonology of the Persian language.
So now they often sound quite different. Here are some example loanwords:
“good morning” in Arabic is “SabaH al-khayr”,
good morning in Persian is “Sobh bekheir”. Hello in Persian is “Salaam” [/sɜläm/] which comes
from “Salaam” [/sɜle̞m/] in Arabic So you notice that the second “a” sounds a little bit like an “o” in English kind of like “Shalom” [/ʃɜlo̞m/], actually. The Arabic word for “name” is “Ism”.
In Persian, it’s “Esm”. So, just the first vowel is different. In Arabic, the word for “travel” is “śafar”.
In Persian, it’s “safár”. In Arabic, the word for “teaching” is “ta’ayin’liim”.
In Persian, it’s “ta’aliim”. So you’ll notice that the “ayin” sound from Arabic kind
of disappears and becomes a simple glottal stop. The Arabic word for “without” is “biduun”.
In Persian, it’s “beduuneh”. The Arabic word for “history” is “taariikh”,
the Persian word is “tariikh”. So, just the first “a” vowel seems shorter. The Arabic word for first is “awwal”,
but in Persian, it’s “avval” So there we have the “waw” becoming
pronounced like a “vav”. There are also Persian loanwords that
have entered the Arabic language, though not as many. There are some in Standard Arabic but there are more in
some of the Arabic dialects that are located near Iran, Especially in the Iraqi Arabic. But, Persian words in Arabic are harder to
identify because when they’re borrowed into Arabic, they’re taken apart and their root is placed into
Arabic templates to make new Arab-ised words. Persian and Arabic are different
languages that are not mutually intelligible, but my understanding is that
native speakers hear the other language, and they recognise quite a few
of the words that they hear, but they don’t get the overall message. Is it easy for a Persian speaker
to learn Arabic and vice versa? Well, the large amount of shared
vocabulary will definitely help, in the same way that an English speaker
learning French has an automatic advantage
because of all the shared vocabulary. That is especially helpful for receptive skills. Of course, you still have the challenge of
learning how to produce correct sentences
in the grammar of the other language. Thank you for watching the Langfocus Channel,
I hope that was helpful. Leave your comments down below and have a nice day. ♫♫ English Subtitles by @dangeredwolf


  • Abdulwahhab Dowd says:

    I know this is an old video but brother you've made this one same mistake in Arabic on several occasions.
    I study in Arabic is adrusu or adrus with the stress on the first syllable not adruus
    Please keep this in mind for future videos.

  • Anthony Pham says:

    I always get confused in Arabic and Persian writing systems thanks for tell me about this laguages

  • Jona Boktr says:

    I’m arab

  • ali ihsan Aksamaz says:

    Thank you very much, Paul. Greetings from Istanbul. I hope that you'll prepare the programmes about the local languages in Turkey, too.

  • Yasser Sami Amer says:

    I just totally admire your work. We're are all grandchildren of one ancestry at the end; Father Adam peace be upon him.

  • Sajid Ali says:

    in hindi.

  • Flegpuppy says:

    Farsi and Arabic despite having the same letters and numbers are totally different languages.

  • idk what to put says:

    I can speak english(obviously), persian, Arabic and pashto. Took french for 3 years but failed. I wish to speak dutch, chinese, korean and hindi!!! Though im familiar with Urdu. (Just wanted to share)

  • Robin Hood says:

    you are wrong arabic has j not dj or ch just like the french j
    Marhaba is hello not salam ..

  • Marco Torres says:

    Your end music is gangster

  • The one who knocks says:

    5:41 In Persian we can also use other Persian origin words but it's not commonly used
    Bam shad(بام شاد) instead of sobh bekheir
    Dorood(دُرود) instead of salam
    Nam (نام) instead of esm
    Kooch or azimat(کوچorعظیمت) instead of safar
    Tadris or Amoozesh(تدریس or آموزش) instead of ta'lim
    Sar gozasht(سرگذشت) instead of tariikh
    Nokhust(نخست) instead of avval

  • WIsam Arn says:

    But did you know that Iran or Persia has spoken in Arabic language for more than 450 years !!?? And all the literatures (after the Islamic era) were written in Arabic !

    I'm an Arab from Jordan, and I always believed that Iran and Iranian people are fantasticly great. And I always been fascinated by Persian literature and poetry.

  • Sahar Razavi says:

    I'm Persian and I found Arabic so hard to learn 😅😅

  • abdulsalam king says:

    Thank you for this amazing video explaining the difference between my first language Arabic and Persian. Yes you were right in every word you said. And the Arabic dialect most affected by Persian is Iraqi Arabic, which is quite unique in its own.

  • Muhanad Alzoubi says:

    Arabic is a language for 600.000.000 and second language for millions of Moslims

  • قوس قزح Rainbow says:

    اللغة العربية الفصحى لم تأخذ ولا أي كلمة من أي لغة اخرى بل اعطت الكثير من الاسماء و الافعال و الصفاة للغات اخرى حتى اسماء الاجهزة المتطورة .. راديو : مذياع .. تلفزيون : الرائي . موبايل . خليوي او جوال . كميرا : مصورة او آلة تصوير .. الا اسماء المواد الكيميائية المكتشفة من خلال غير العرب او اسماء الادوية و للعلم .. لكل آلة اسم باللغة العربية حسب ما تفعله هذه الآلة فبالعربية لكل اسم معنى خلاف كل لغات العالم اللتي تملك اسماء لا تحمل معاني .. اسم فريد اي انه غير متوفر كثيرا بينما اسم اليكساندر منتشر في توروبا كلها وليس له معنى لا هو ولا غيره .. جورج . رالف . اندرياس . توماس مايكل . غونتر . دونالد . رونالدو … فكيف للغة الغنية والمعبرة ان يأخذ من اللغة الفقيرة لكل شيء ؟؟ واللغة العربية تملك 12 مليون و300 الف مفرجة غير مكررة ؟؟؟؟؟ هي اغنى لغة على الاطلاق من حيث عدد المفردات ودقة الوصف و اختصار كذا كلمة بكلمة واحدة تدل على معاني كثيرة مجتمعة مع بعضها في آن واحد .. كلمة بالعربية تعادل 7 كلمات بالالمانية اللتي تتالف بدورها من 800 الف مفردة غير مكررة و الانكليزية بدورها تحوي 600 الف مفردة غير مكررة و العبرية 450 الف مفردة و السريانية 400 الف مفردة مع ان العبرية والسريانية يشتركون مع العربية بما يقارب 20% من مفردات العبرية والسريانية مأخوذة من العربية .. وشكرا لحسن المتابعة ..

  • Faisal Zaman says:

    Urdu is same as Persian, love from PAKISTAN.

  • Mehdi O says:

    کس خوار و مادرت

  • Milan M. says:

    Read this: مرگ‌ بر خامنه ای

  • lil hxlim says:

    Isnt tajikstan persian but they right in russian?

  • Rodell E-run says:

    If 40% of Farsi was Arabic we would understand 40% of the Arabic language.
    We just recognize one word here or there.

  • Sick Mind Media says:

    از شانس تخمي ما، اين بابا رفته بود روزنامه كيهان رو با عكس منحوس خامنه اي پيدا كرده بود

  • chris sandoval says:

    I'm American and I wish there were cultural exchanges between the USA and Iran, so that there is better understanding among us and we would be more resistant to the negative propaganda that we see in the news. Learning a Persian language would be a good first step.

  • fahd f says:

    I am an Arab and I understand and I notice many words of Arabic origin in Indian, Persian, Pakistani, Turkish, Spanish and also in French. There are words at the first meeting of greetings of Arab origin

  • Matthew Peters says:

    In my opinion the difference between Arabic and Persian is like the difference between English and German

  • Hadi Mirzai says:

    Lavu IRAN💪

  • قبل 7 سنوات says:

    I am arabic I can read persian without understanding ecxept some words are taken from arabic I can understand it.. but our Iraqi accent is too close from Persian language.

  • ronki23 says:

    If they don't like one another why do they use the same alphabet?

  • S Soltani says:

    Some of translations that you said are wrong.
    The Persian has no Salaam word (which means Good morning). The true word is "Dorood". Also "Good bye" is "Bedrood".
    There are a lot more words which are really Persian and don't sounds like Arabic.
    By the way, the 1979 revolution was the main reason that today a lot of Persians (Iranian) use Arabic words.

  • Behnam says:

    عشق است فارسی ❤

  • Azoz Salughthycy says:

    من تحت فشار 😂😂😂😂


    Arabic is an old language …I,am an Amazigh from Morocco …

  • Jawad says:

    انا عربي و احب ايران
    اللهم احفظ جميع بلاد المسلمين و خلصنا من الفتنة و الخيانة

  • pubg live stream says:

    If u want I will translate for u

  • xxx says:

    العربية هي اصل اللغه

  • Mohammad Shamma says:

    In Iraq the گ is used heavily in the dialect. In fact a very famous family name uses it "الگلبي".

    Fun fact: a famous Iraqi politician had that last name and Arab media would report the guys name as "الجلبي" no to be confused with "الكلبي" which means "pertaining to dogs" or "dog like". The reason is that گ is understood by Iraqis but not the rest of Arab speakers.

  • Mehdi Ji says:

    I can speak urdu,farsi and little arabic language.

  • missy mason says:



    Tamil language is mother of all other languages.

    45000 years old history is there

  • htfr says:

    Paul – I think Arabic words with 4+ root letters are often of Persian origin.

  • The Wolf says:

    Iam Egyptian , Iran has given much to Arab civilisation , Persians r great people .

  • E tv قناة إعلم says:

    Not only does the Persian language contain Arabic words, but many of the countries conquered by Muslim Arabs have become half the languages ​​of those countries Arabic. Turkey Afghanistan vast areas of Russia India Pakistan Bangladesh Burma Malaysia Singapore and much of the country

  • schlomo says:

    the waw is pronouced the same in arabic and dari (persian from afghanistan)

  • Brutus Nefastos says:

    Off course the Persian is completely different like you said the alphabet is similar, when the Arabs invaded Iran they forced the people to become Muslims , but they couldn’t force them to change their language

  • Sina Jafarzadeh says:

    Iranian are taught Arabic at school so if we kinda recognize the meaning of Arabic texts.

  • eslam khalil says:

    i am Arab guy and i can't understand Persian when i read it , the writing looks the same but i never got it 🙂

  • Tauren Super says:

    You are amazing! Thanks a lot for the lesson.

  • An Drew says:

    In Egyptian Arabic, "geem" is not a soft "g" sound it's a hard "g" sound.

  • Suparna Ghosh says:

    Lots of Arabic and Persian words are in Bengali too! but we don't know the origin.

  • Airyaman V says:

    The Persian and Arabic languages have no similarities .
    The words you said are religious words .
    That are in the religious discourse.
    I write those words for you to learn. and that line has been copied by the Arabs from the ancient Iranian line.

    English =Good morning
    Persian= pegah khooš
    Arabic= sobah al-kgayr
    Eng = Hello
    Pers = durood
    Arab =salaam ol-aleikoom
    Eng= name
    Pers = nam
    Arab =Ism
    Eng =Travel
    Pers = Gasht oy gozaar
    Arab = safar
    Eng = Teaching
    Pers = Aamuzesh
    Arab = ta3aliim
    Eng =without
    Pers = bedoone , be
    Arab = Faqed
    Eng =history
    Pers = kohan name, Kohan negar
    Arab = Taarikh
    Eng = Frist
    Pers = Nokhust
    Arab = awwal

  • Kayla Greene says:

    Thank you so much! You presented a concise overview of all the basic points I was curious about. Very nice video (:

  • Twitch xoleo says:

    Arabic is trash Persian is better

  • mah. G says:

    Persian has another word for this word that you said it ,for example:esm —>naam
    Salaam—–>Dorud &…
    Thanks 👍🌼🌸

  • Ajit Joshi says:

    The sounds are like Indian script

  • Seta q says:

    It's somehow like people who are not familiar with chinese/ japanese/korean, mixing these languages and they think they are similar or even the same!!!!

  • hawk Of arabia says:

    Good work but the truth is the true Farsi language that was spoken before the arab and after turk rule of Iran is not in existence .. the today farsi spoken is the a distorted baby from Arab father and Turkish lady. Sallam shallom

  • صالح بن مثــلوث says:

    وش عندهم الايرانين محتلين التعليقات

  • Farshad Abdoly says:

    Thank you Paul. Love you from IRAN 💝

  • Hannan Pakthini says:

    Let other language people speak Farsi & compare with the original. U would find Farsi sounds like some tribal language of Afghanistan, why?
    Btw, I give this text as an Urdu speaking Indian.

  • M Alzarooni says:

    Actually, many türkic languages use arabic words beside persian…Afghan, turk, Azeri, uzbek, tajik and more..Urdu language has many arabic words as well..We as arab can make clue of what those people are talking about…but not exactly..'coz their grammer is different..Persian language is much more like Afghani language not arabic..many arabic letters are hard for persian to pronounce such as ع they read it أ as A in English.

  • Cevair Zufer says:

    The other big language in the area as other part of the world is Turkish. Not understandable to either arabic or persian but a lot of loanwords from both languages. In fact a very huge portion of iranians are Turks.

  • Sage Husss says:

    Would it be more proper to say “Persian Script” or “Persian alphabet”?

  • _LeviAth_ Hmrng says:

    arabic script is been created from a habashi script by iranians in the time of arab invasion (two centuaries of silence) to seperate arabic letters from persian letters (arabic script and Pahlavi script)

  • Cyanide 1924 says:

    فيديو رائع

  • Rusbeh Parsimehr says:

    Eng : Name
    Arb : Ism
    Farsi : Nam

  • Sphinx Giza says:

    Just a little correction, the word “history” in Arabic pronounces the same in Farsi “tareekh”

  • ACCΛ7 says:

    The و letter is actually pronounced "vav" in Iran, which makes it sound more like turkish than arabic (cevap 'answer' -> جواب, hayvan "animal" -> حیوان) But actually, in Afghanistan, it's pronounced as in Arabic "w" so for exemple "awwal" is pronounced as in Arabic, and گاو (cow) is pronounced Gaw (which sounds like englishh to me lol) instead of Gav in Iranian Persian.

  • Steph B says:

    Wow! Great explanation and examples! You made it so simple.

  • cain cain says:

    i speak Persian and i think Arabic is a little harder or i dont know may be different!but as we learn Arabic in school from early age i think every one that lives in iran can read Arabic and understand about half of meaning of sentences but cant speak at all!!

  • cain cain says:

    بسی رنج بردم در این سی سال
    عجم زنده کردم بدین پارسی
    درود خداوند بر آن مرد با غیرت پارسی که ممکن کرد سخن گفتن را برای ما به زبان نیاکانمان

  • Official Anthony says:

    Persian took Arabic letters

  • Amirhossein Bahrami says:

    Why didn't you name the word which are used in Arabic today with persian roots?🙄 like Ganj (treasure) which is Kanz in arabic گنج کنز and so on…

  • raffi art says:

    Many of the loan words he mentioned have their non-Arabic equivalents in Persian. For the word “name” you have “esm” borrowed from Arabic but you also have “naam” which is obviously IndoEuropean. I think Persians can cleanse their language from many of those loan words but it will create a gap with literature.

  • Lipovean Mapper says:

    Who is with me that Persia adopts the Latin Alphabet

  • Hurshid Abidov says:

    Uzbek and turkey please

  • Bill Smart says:

    Please use Persian songs as well. Thanks

  • emad tabadkani says:

    as a persian ever thing u said was true. I have one question though, where did arabic and persian script come from? Did arabs first invent this script or persian?

  • bahram bahram says:

    The origin of the script is Pahlavi not Arabic

  • Haitam Chouiekh says:

    I love Iran from Morocco. It's a shame about the political tensions. Islams greatest hours was when our peoples were united.

  • Haitam Chouiekh says:

    Urdu, arabic, farsi, and kurdish all use the same letters but are very different.

  • Mohammad Hadi Farhang says:

    That is not aval in Parsi
    In Orginal Parsi that’s Nokhost
    Salam= dorud
    Talim = dars daran / amokhtan

  • Mohammad Hadi Farhang says:

    We are trying to remove the a….. word from our language but it takes time but we will do it .
    Please don’t take my comment offensive but we really don’t want their language and we just want ours back
    But maybe government try to rely on a……
    But I will say it in German
    Wir hassen Arabisch sperache aber wir müssen Arabisch in der Hochschule lernen.
    Und das ist schrecklich .

  • Rakes Sk says:

    I am shia Muslim love you sunny brother

  • Eren Beyazyüz says:

    Theyre not similar

  • Reza Fathi says:

    They have us learn Arabic at school in Iran but you can not find one single person able to talk arabic.

  • Reza Fathi says:

    Most important thing I noticed in the comments is that even though Persians and Arabs and are driven by politicians to feel opposed as enemies but the bond between the people is fortunately stronger. That is a good side effect of your videos. Thumbs up

  • hamody 5aug2017 says:

    اللغة العربية أجمل وأوسع وأبلغ من الفارسية بكثير

  • Shervin Le Du says:

    Arabic is also pretty helpful to write persian correctly as arabic kept a phonetical distinction between some letters which in persian are pronounced only with one phone. Hence for words borrowed from arabic you can't immediately tell which letter you should write. If you know the arabic pronunciation for it you can tell.

  • Ghasem Hosseini says:

    really nice channel, well done

  • Ja Nein says:

    🇦🇫🇸🇦🥀👌 🇮🇷 💩👎

  • Mounir Rh says:

    I think the Persian and Hébreu languages are much easier to learn for Arabic speakers than others

  • Alperen Başer says:

    5:30 it s so weird as a Turkish i understand of them all but these words are old words modern people not use or use differently

  • Knight of Ren says:

    Arabic is not similar to Persian but Hebrew and Aramaic

  • ashraf A Alhashmy says:

    You are a genius .
    Your understating to languages and grammars is truly amaze me .
    One of YouTube best educational channel.

  • بنت التميمي says:

    From usa learn arabic best language of the world

  • Good boy says:

    If Arabic grammar takes 100 days to learn, Persian grammar will take just 10 days…
    Persian is Gender free… Verb has few forms…
    I am just talking of grammar
    من هر دو زبان را میدانم….هر دو زبان شیرین هستند….

  • Noor Alsabagh says:

    Wow there are no hate comments here am pleased with that. At least we share many things with each other … am Arab from Iraq

  • Amirreza Taheri says:

    Wow thank you that was realy helpful

  • 92kartelzbak says:

    persian and turkish ppl mix em with arabic.

  • arian rezaie says:

    Learning arabic for persians is lick learning finish by english speakers

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