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Friday, August 18, 2006

Persian or Farsi? What Is the English Name of the Iranian Language

The Language of the nation of Iran [Persia] in English is called "Persian" [or in other European languages: Persane, Persisch, Persa, Persiska, etc.] and is known worldwide as PERSIAN. Recently some Iranians [Persians] have been trying to use "Farsi" instead of Persian, the trend which has also been followed by some non-Iranians. This has occurred to the extent that it has raised the question "Which is the correct word, in English, for the language of Iran's people, Persian or Farsi?!..."This question was put to the official institution FARHANGESTAN (Persian Language and Literature Academy in Tehran) by the Commerce Department for Australia, at Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In their 34th meeting on 7th of December 1992, the Persian Academy unanimously passed the resolution that this language must be called PERSIAN and the reasons given were:
1- PERSIAN has been used in a variety of publications including cultural, scientific and diplomatic documents for centuries and, therefore, it connotes a very significant historical and cultural meaning. Hence, changing PERSIAN to FARSI is to negate this established important precedence.
2- Changing PERSIAN to FARSI may give the impression that it is a new language, and this may well be the intention of some Farsi users.
3- It may also give the impression that FARSI is a dialect of some parts of Iran and not the predominant (official) language of this country.
4- Fortunately, FARSI has never been used in any research paper or university document in any Western language and the proposal of its usage will create doubt and ambiguity about the name of the official language of our country.


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