The Persian Language and What Makes It Fascinating

The Persian Language and What Makes It Fascinating

Okay, before we get started with this video,
I had one little announcement to make
but I forgot what it was …. Oh, yeah. As you can see, we have reached 10,000 subscribers
on the Langfocus channel. Thank you for helping me reach 10,000. Let’s keep it going. Let’s hit 50,000; 100,0000.
Let’s see how big this gets. But you guys are the original crew,
thank you for your support from day one. So let’s get into today’s topic.
I’m going to talk about the Persian language. It’s sometimes known as Farsi
but I’m going to call it Persian. Persian is a language that is widely spoken
in parts of the Middle East and in Central Asia and it has a long history stretching back thousands
of years with a few different stages along the way. The Persian language originated in southwestern Persia. Wait, I don’t see Persia on this map right here! Oh that’s right! Today, Persia is known as Iran! Persian is the one official language of Iran and it is
the native language of about half of Iranians. The statistics actually range from about 45 to 55%
but I’m going to say “half”. and that makes it 38.5 million people. But virtually, all other Iranians can speak
Persian as a second language as well. Persian is also an official language in 2 other countries
but you might not know that because they refer to the language
by different names in those places. In Afghanistan, the language is referred to
as “Dari” for political reasons. but speakers of Dari Persian themselves
often called their language “Farsi”. It’s actually really hard to get reliable statistics
about Afghanistan, but most sources seem to say that it is spoken by 25 to 30 percent
of the population in Afghanistan. but it is also widely used as a lingua franca
and pretty much everyone in the country can speak Dari. In Tajikistan, Persian is referred to as “Tajik” because that’s
what the Soviet Union conquerors decided to call it. You know how foreign empires
like to divide and conquer. No, no, don’t be friends with that powerful country over there.
No, no, you’re separate, you’re distinct from them. But Tajik Persian is indeed a variety of Persian. It is spoken by 6 million people in Tajikistan and another 1.5 million people in the nearby
Central Asian countries, especially in Uzbekistan. Persian is also spoken by about 5 million expatriates
around the world, especially in the Middle East countries, like Iraq, UAE, Bahrain, places like that,
as well as the USA. So let’s recap: in Iran, there are about
38.5 million native speakers of Persian. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, there are
11 million native speakers of Dari Persian. In Tajikistan and surrounding areas, there are
7.5 million native speakers of Tajik Persian and there are about five million expat
speaking Persian around the world. that comes to a total of 62 million native speakers. But if we include all the second language speakers of Persian,
who use it as a lingua franca, then the number rises
to 110 million speakers around the world. Are Persian, Dari and Tajik all really the same language? Yes, they are varieties of one single language,
they are mutually intelligible, especially among educated speakers and
the formal languages are very close to each other. There are some differences in the casual language,
especially in the accent and some of the vocabulary
that’s used, some of the spelling, things like that. but basically, they are one language
and they are mutually intelligible. One difference that I often come across
is the loan words in the different varieties. So, in Iran there are more French loanwords. In Afghanistan, there are more English loan words
and in Tajikistan, there are more Russian loan words. Some people who are not so familiar with the Persian language
might assume that it’s related to the Arabic language because Iran is in the Middle East and is next to Iraq. But actually, Persian is in a totally different language family
than the Arabic language. It is in the Indo-european language family. That means that Persian shares historical origins
with most of the languages in Europe including English
as well as the languages of northern India. And more speakers of Indo-european languages find
Persian much easier to learn that Arabic,
because of the grammatical similarity. But it does look like Arabic because, for historical reasons,
Persian is usually written in the Arabic script,
except in Tajikistan. Let’s look at the history. First, there was Old Persian
The oldest known records of Old Persian are in inscriptions,
dating back to the first Persian Empire. These writings are written in Babylonian cuneiform script,
which is one of the oldest writing forms in the world. We have writings like this from various places
that were part of the first Persian Empire including: Iran, of course, but also Romania, Armenia,
Iraq, Bahrain, Turkey and Egypt. Next, there was Middle Persian,
from about 300 BCE until about 800 CE. Old Persian developed into Middle Persian,
which is also known as Pahlavi. We can find Middle Persian, mainly in religious texts
of the Zoroastrian religion from before the Islamic Period. The language was referred to as Parsig or Parsik
during this time period because it was the language
of the Parsa people. The Persian language entered a mysterious new stage
with the Islamic conquest in 651 AD. The following 200 years are referred to,
by Iranian scholars, as “two centuries of silence”. Because there is very little, almost no literature
available from that time period. We don’t know exactly why, but it’s possible that
it was forbidden to write in the Persian language
by the Arab rulers. These two centuries of silence
are a kind of transition period
from Middle Persian to Modern Persian. And Persian was affected by the Arabic language
quite a lot during this time. That brings us to Modern Persian
or New Persian around 800 CE. The Persian language was in danger
of being lost and replaced by Arabic, but Persia was one of the few places where
the Arabic language did not replace the local language. However, Arabic was used by the intellectuals
and by the elite and it definitely had a big impact on
the vocabulary of the Modern Persian that was emerging. After the end of Arab rule in Persia in the ninth century,
the Persian language and culture was once again reinvigorated. And a new period of classic literature & poetry arose. One important piece of literature was Ferdowsi’s
“Shahnameh”, the “Book of Kings”, which is the longest work of epic poetry ever written. Actually, most sources say the Mahabharata is the longest.
So maybe the Shahnameh is #2. It was so influential on future literature and cultural identity
that the Persian language today remains
relatively unchanged from that time. This one epic poem is a sort of pillar
of the Persian language. It is said that Ferdowsi intentionally limited
the number of Arabic loan words used in his epic poem, in order to help preserve the integrity of the Persian language. Of course, there still are a significant number of Arabic
words in Persian, but not as many as there could have been. During this Persian cultural resurgence, the Persian
language and culture impacted a wide geographic area. Person became the official language of the Seljuk Empire,
extending into present-day Turkey and later, was the first official language of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish later became the official language of
the Ottoman Empire but its vocabulary had been
very influenced by Arabic and Persian. Persian also spread to the Indian subcontinent, where
it was widely spoken until the arrival of the British. Persian has left its influence on a lot of different languages,
including a heavy influence on the vocabulary of Urdu and also some influence on the vocabulary of Turkish. But you can find words of Persian origin in languages
as far away as the Malay language in Malaysia. And, of course, there are English words
that are of Persian origins. Some of them came directly into English from Persian
but most of them came indirectly into English,
via a different language: Bazaar, bronze, jackal, kiosk, lemon, mogul, mummy,
pijama, scarlet, serendipity, shawl, tulip, turban, typhoon,
khaki, caravan, paradise The word checkmate actually comes from
“Shah Mat”, which means “The king is dead”. And maybe “tiger”, though that one is disputed. Learning Persian is a great idea because you will be able
to speak with a hundred and ten million Persian-speakers
around the world. But it also gives you access to a rich history of literature
and insight into a culture that has had a big impact
on the world. And, if you ever decide to learn Arabic in the future,
after learning Persian, then you already know
a lot of Arabic words from Persian. Thank you for watching the LangFocus channel.
I hope that was educational. If you have any comments, write them down below
and have a nice day!


  • TempleofBrendaSong says:

    Marg bar jomhuriye eslami
    Zendebad Azadi Iran

  • Ahmad Monir Hassan says:

    Isn’t farsi language originated in Balkh city in north of Afghanistan know as mother or the cities Ummul Belad مادر شهرها؟؟؟؟؟؟

  • NesarAhmad Fazli says:

    ای زبان پارسی ای دُر دریایی دری
    ای تو میراث نیاکان ای زبان مادری
    پارسی را پاس میداریم💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽

  • Thefox MCloud says:

    1:50 forener empires like to divide and conquer (refering to the change name of the language), same as catalan/valencian case. But the truth aboud de spain is not usual to lisent, because it have a good international propaganda.

  • Arshia Mahmoodi says:

    thanks for time you put on video . btw after enslavement of persians by arabs speaking reading or choosing persains names was banned.and persians were giving the slave name "ajam" and ferdosi saved the history and language by working on shahname for 30years invest his wealth and died poor but honored man only poet in history that saved language and history through a book.and he wrote much i suffered in these 30 years but i have given life to ajam with this farsi in last verses of his book

  • Srinivas Varanasi says:

    Very educative

  • mohamadreza ardestani says:

    Hi guys . i'm from iran and native speaker .Also i study computer science at univercity now
    I will become happy if i can teach you persian
    Persian is very sweet and beautiful 💖

    Also i can teach you persian and you speak whit me english
    It's my gmail :
    [email protected]

    i recomment you watch this persian song on youtube (search it ):
    " Monika Jalili (جان مریم) With Montreal Symphony Orchestra. with English Subtitles "

  • ؟؟؟؟؟ ؟؟؟؟ says:


  • Thanasis says:

    Perseus, son of Zues who slayed Medusa and was the father of Persis (Persians). I love Persian culture and their language, there is some similarities in their language and the hellenic(greek) language as well. I also LOVE Persian women 😍,

  • Saeed Moosavi says:

    arabic is loan all of their words and instructions. from persia! actually there was no arabia 2000 years ago, the name arabia is that name persians called them. persians wright arabic language instructions. they give persian words some weight and made new words. iraq was a state of persia and they was persian in past. look at this page in instagram: @ariaboom_parsi

  • Alireza Rahmiyan says:

    ای در میان جــانم و جان از تو بی‌خـــبر

    از تو جهان پر است و جهان از تو بی‌خبر

    نقش تو در خـــیال و خیال از تو بی‏نصیب

    نــــام تو بر زبان و زبان از تو بی‌خـــــــبر

    چون پی برد به تو دل و جانم که جاودان

    در جان و در دلی، دل و جان از تو بی‌خبر

    از تو خــبر به نام و نشان است خلق را

    وانگه همه به نام و نشان از تو بی‌خـــبر

    شرح و بیان تو چه کــــنم زان که تا ابد

    شرح از تو عاجز است و بیان از تو بی‌خبر

    جوینــدگان گوهــــــر دریای کُنــــــه تو

    در وادی یقـــین و گــــمان از تو بی‌خــــبر

    عطار اگر چه نعـــره‏ ی عشق تو می‌زند

    هستند جمــــله نعره‏ زنان از تو بی‌خـــــبر


  • Mercedes Amg Power says:

    Afghanistan was founded be pashtun and we were ruling Afghanistan for many many years but now our dumbass leaders let the Iranian ppls take over whole country down. Farsi was not supposed to be in Afghanistan but our corrupted leaders let that happened shame on them…

  • Temor King says:

    Very good job. But in Afghanistan there are more persians than 11 million bcuz the biggest cities in the country have almost always been tajik majority

  • James Vic says:

    For you idiots that keep saying Persian it's not the name of the language is called Farsi

  • Hasib Nazari says:

    more than 50% of afghanistan people specially tajik and hazara people speak in"farsi-dari" so farsi-dari is in majority in afghanistan

  • Abhishek Mhatre says:

    0:52 Actually, Persia has always been known as Iran but the Romans (and eventually the West) referred to as Persia.

  • Yousef MOHAMMAD REZAEI says:

    800000 subscribers! did you expect this when you made this video?

  • Камиль Сафаров says:

    Dont forget about turks Azery Iran belong us you know that

  • Камиль Сафаров says:

    I am Azeri turk . Freedom Azerbaijan . Iran occupation south Azerbaijan it is our Turkish lands

  • Qwufi says:

    10k? Thats cute 🙂

  • Nouh Fikrat says:

    Hi your information about percentage about Afghanistan native Persian speakers not right. I studied Persian language at university of Kabul. We have more than 50 + Persian language native language who live in Afghanistan.
    The political reasons bring our native Persian speaker lower than reality.

  • Sanna Zar says:

    Loads of information.. tnx

  • Cris Nywczs says:

    Very interesting video.

  • Ismatullo Rahimov says:

    I am from Tajikistan and I love and respect Iran and Afghanistan. I have many Afghan and Iranian friends I enjoy speaking in Farsi with, and we are indeed one. 😄

  • Neo says:

    Well, it is not a surprise that all those countries and many more have been influenced by Persian language and culture as they were part of the Persian empire. True that after the great Hakameinian Empire the Persian empire had it's up and down but they were in control of a massive area both in Europe and Aisa. I have been fascinated by Persians for a long time and 3 things that comes to mind is that how they are entrapped by their government and 2nd how our first greatest civilized empire which was massive had no slavery at all and 3rd which not the last is the Islamic invasion of the country under a weak king that wrecked havoc on countries language, culture and their own established Zorostoronian language (the very first man to clap his eyes on our savior Jesus Christ was a Zorostorian monk who was looking for Christ because it has been foretold and prophesized in Zoroastrian religion and Bible has also mentioned Zorostorian religion) To say it plainly, the Islamic invasion tore the very fabric of Persian people in so many levels that even after a millennia it is still there. Also, it is good to mention that Persians do hate to be mistaken for Arabs. Well, I don't care what politic says, the Persian/Iranian people are a wonderful people with so much similarity and capacity to live a western life and they are one of the most decent people you can find. Don't let the TV fool you, go and see for yourself. We and many have been and seen their generosity and warm welcome and embrace.
    Thank you PERSIA.

  • setayesh karami says:

    Thanks for your helpful informations💛

  • ali mojarrad says:

    great video but
    to be clear Persian is a nationality
    farsi is the language

  • keyhan koohgard says:

    I'm persian and it was awsome thanks

  • Sajad Sakhizada says:

    Persian has been taken from Dari 😊

  • Sajad Sakhizada says:

    Persian has been taken from Dari 😊

  • Mahatma Gandhi Asli wale says:

    6:07 proud to be a Sanatani 🙏😎

  • Ktuana says:

    Im kurdish 😢

  • Akif Ismail says:

    I am native speaker of urdu and I can read 90% of persian text and 60% in listening whithout even tryinf

  • Yegane Gh says:

    It made me sad that as an iranian i did not know most of the facts mentioned in the video ☹ thank you for your attention to my language

  • armedwithsmile says:

    Indo European is insult world to a ARYANS WHITE RACE FROM IRAN

  • jafar ayar says:

    be success! All dear persian speakers in around the world

  • hasibullah hasib says:

    فارسی زبان شیرین دنیا

  • Attila Berk says:


  • music freak says:

    best thing i live about our languege is that there is just one demonstrative pronoun for male and female. and its او Oo /u:/

  • bahram bahram says:

    The origin of this script is Pahlavi not Arabic

  • Yeganeh Jahanyar says:

    Thanks for introducing our language perfectly to the other people #grateful

  • reyhane Dn says:

    Nice job from iran 👏👏👍❤️

  • Ardasher Khurosoni says:

    🇹🇯🇦🇫🇮🇷 = Kurushi Buzurg.

  • maaz faridi says:

    How hard or easy it is to learn Persian for native Urdu speaker ?

  • Ali Hassan says:

    In south of iran there is an area they speak with pahlavi persian

  • Jaber Helmandi says:


  • Fraidoon Ahmad says:

    The most popular Farsi words in English might be:
    “Father” which is “Padar” in Farsi
    I’m not sure about the word “Sister “ we say “Khwahar” for sister.
    And definitely the word “Kabob”!

  • Yung Mattress says:


  • Ebrahim Lashkari says:

    پسر، کار تو عالی بود.
    زبان پارسی، بسیار شیرین است.

    Ebrahim from IRAN

  • Sasuke Uchiha says:

    Modern day iranians are connected to persian and arabic writing like nigaz are connected to english

  • Samir Shahyan says:

    in Afghanistan, 50% speak Persian as their native language and almost 90% of the population speak Persian and everywhere in Afghanistan one can speak Persian. Persian is the first language in Afghanistan

  • arkh ir says:

    Iran 80milion people

  • he ke says:

    Afghanistan mor then 11

  • Ali Java says:

    What about Saadi and Hafez

  • Foroogh Jabbari says:

    Hello to you friend from beautiful shiraz

  • Vlad Sweyz says:

    Im brazilian and I was thinking… Should I learn persian? so I found this video
    Give me your opinion guys!

  • Zabehullah Mohammadi says:

    My language is persain

    زبان من فارسی است

  • Shervin Le Du says:

    806 K !! your channel is awesome !

  • Arif Akbari says:

    Bitte auf deutsch gereden ich verschtehen nich Einglisch👀

  • mohammad fatahani says:

    واقعا فارسی زبونه شیرینی هست . من یه ایرانی هستم و واقعا خسته کننده نیست هرچقدر هم فارسی صحبت کنی و مخصوصا شعر هایه ایرانی ! که فوق العاده است ! سعدی . مولانا . پروین اعتصامی و کلی آدم هایه دیگه LOve U Guys From Iran <3 GL

  • Dan Dombrowski says:

    ive decided to learn farsi 🙂

  • Ahmad Aria says:

    Long life Afghanistan,Iran,Tajikistan
    Shortly Persian speakers

  • Multivitamin🐄 says:

    One thing I learned from Dota 2 iranian players : Kos Nanat

  • Mohmmad Khan says:

    🇮🇷= 😍

  • BenStillerFaggot64 says:

    Yo dude great video… your camera sucks. I was distracted by the light shining off the top of your head the whole time. Also you should switch up the back ground, nobody feels joy looking at that gay elementary school setup in the back ground. How about a badass volcano or something?

  • Ana says:

    doesn't the word typhoon come from the japanese taifuu (台風)? Or is that a loanword as well?

  • imam akbari says:

    شبى آمد كه ميبايد فدا كرد*به درگاه وطن فرزندو زن را
    جلوى دشمنان اِستاد و جنگيد*رهاند از بند اهرمن وطن را

  • jack larkson says:

    AD-BD-CE-FE-BCE…damn give me a break…

  • نوید احساس says:

    80 % afghanistan speak persian farsi I am afghan

  • Mustle Man says:

    My homie in Lebanon gots a mother language of Arabic, and she speaks fluent French, she dont understand farsi too well tho.

  • waail boubekri says:

    10k subs !!!

  • Zeinab montazer hodjat says:

    I believe that those Arabic loan words don't have the same meaning in Farsi. I've checked lots of them and they don't mean in Arabic as we use them in Farsi. I think our ancestors changed their meaning through the time, perhaps to minimize the impact of Arabic lang…but I'm not sure if this was the reason.

  • kpop potato says:


  • Dr. Hacker says:

    امیدوارم تمام جهان این زبان شیرین را بشناسن و بدانند که چه تاریخی دارد بدانند چه شاعر هایی با این زبان شعر سروده اند

    بسی رنج بردم در این سال سی

    عجب زنده کردم بدین پارسی

    i hope everyone now this beutifull language and tray to learn this language with so much love from iran

  • Parnian Naghipour says:

    A gender neutral language

  • the best nightmare says:

    فیلم خوبی بود

  • maryam beigi says:

    Thank you so much it was perfect💎❤

  • SM HN says:

    oh my god, I'm here in 2019 and I'm gonna have to say that you know a lot more about Persian than us natives. that part where you said those words being loaned from Persian to English literally blew my mind.
    besides, look at all these beautiful inspiring comments, you guys are perfect.

  • Robert Binner Mattfeldt says:

    The word "Farsi" comes directly from "Parsi", which is a short form of "Parsian", the old pronunciation of "Persian".

  • Nvar king says:

    من کوردم

  • M. N says:

    Something I heard you said was wrong and that is the Persian did not use Arabic alphabet vise versa Arabic did use Persian alphabet to write their quoran. Old Persian had more than one language and alphabet Arabs used one of them to write their quoran. I read a book about it.

  • Elia Iliushina says:

    Thanks !!! 🙂 👍👍👍

  • Milad Ex says:

    Farsi is not a original language. It neo Arabic😁

  • green art says:

    great job well done

  • BlackRobot says:

    به افتخار تمام ایرانی زبان ها🙏

  • Rebecca Logan says:

    Alot of love and respect from Iranian to this guy😍❤️🙏

  • Khalid Arian says:

    Thank you 🙏 Sir ‘!!

  • guzel beshbaliq says:

    The "O" language, lol

  • محمد کاظم شیره اصل says:

    بگذارید حقیقتی بگویم المان می گوید امریکا می خواست به اروپا گاز صادر کند چون سی درصد گران بود اروپا گفت نه نمی خواهیم حالا دارند خلیج فارس را توسط ایران ناامن می کنند که مشتری ها همه از خلیج فارس فرار کنند خامنه ای از فراماسون ها دستور می گیرد برای همین راحت عمل می کند و بدون ترس و این جرعت را دریافت می کند جمهوری اسلامی شیادی بیش نیست و جنگی هم نخواهد شد خیالتان تخت

  • Angela Mila says:

    I am from albania and i love Persian language

  • Nasir Sulemankhel says:

    I am pushtun and I can speak persian hindi urdu english german and my sweet pashto 🇦🇫🇩🇪🇵🇰

  • Mary Karimi says:

    So I should consider myself lucky because I already speak and write Farsi!!

  • Reza Mesri says:

    I'm an Iranian but if you like to visit the most stupid people in the world, come to Iran.

  • Achille Bouillant says:

    Pour les gens ne connaissant ni le persan ni le turc ces langues "sonnent" un peu pareil pourtant elle n'ont pas d'origine commune. La grosse difficulté du persan c'est l'utilisation d'un alphabet arabe modifié avec peu ou pas de voyelles écrites, il faut donc apprendre la prononciation par cœur des voyelles manquantes en plus. A contrario le turc est 100 % phonétique.

  • Just someone says:

    A few differences in colloquial language… that reminds me of the time my dad was told by a very happy Afghan man that his wife had just exploded.
    (Appearantly his wife had just given birth but my dad didn't know that so he almost called the police to take the man to a psychiatric hospital)

  • Sean John says:

    why is that guy in 01:13 showing me the middle finger.

  • Abbas Gravand says:

    تفرقه بندازید وگنجهای تمامی گنجهای تمامی را ببرید وپس هم ندهید.توف

  • Гордый Лев says:


  • Sal Musa says:

    Thank you. Very well presented.
    Greetings from South Africa.

  • Habib Hedayat says:

    Bro, that's wrong about Afghanistan, 60% speaking Persian. Think about it

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