3 Şubat 2017 Cuma

Persian: A Modern Language with a Distant Past

There is no doubt that Persian, also known as Farsi, is today one of the most important languages in the world. Being fluent in Persian would add much to your skills in any profession and its value basically stems from the fact that it is the official language of three strategically important, culturally vibrant and economically strong countries in the world. These three countries are Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The main language spoken in all these countries is essentially the same Persian Language but it is given different names due to nationalism. Tajikistan has named its official language as Tajiki and in Afghanistan, it is called Dari. By learning Persian, you could be able to communicate, at least in the streets of the capital, in these three countries. And that is not all there is to Persian.

In addition to its practical benefits, Persian is also a great medium for those who have a taste in studying language in general and literature, especially poetry. The modern Persian is one of the richest languages in the world, with an extensive vocabulary that can answer the needs of the modern communication without resort to borrowing while at the same time retaining the linguistic and poetic heritage of the past centuries. Anyone who is aware how extensive the vocabulary of English language is, should also know that Persian probably has more words in total. For every concept, object or action, Persian language flaunts a multitude of words, which are used according to the context. Indeed, there is unique vocabulary for the written and official language, in addition to a completely unique set of words for informal speech, not to mention an entire set of vocabulary for classical poetry that Iranians enjoy to blend into their daily speech even today. The power and richness of Persian is great for those who want to learn a really beautiful language.

Persian language is also interesting to those who study historical linguistics and like to get involved in diachronic and synchronic analysis of languages. Being a member of the Iranian Language family, Persian is one of the oldest attested languages in the world, with a past that goes back to several thousands of years as an independent language, not to mention that it is also tracked directly back to the Proto-Indo-European via the research on the ancient Indo-Iranian languages, namely Sanskrit. Furthermore, we are able to track every change in the Persian language in an uninterrupted manner back to the tenth century, thanks to countless books and documents produced in Persian throughout the medieval ages. And for the middle and old Persian periods that precede the Islamic era, we have ample resources to observe the language perhaps in century-by-century basis. This, with the availabiliy of the living Iranian Languages that provide many opportunities for comparison, make Persian a great language for studying linguistic phenomena such as grammaticalization. Indeed, a study of grammatical structures and other cases of grammaticalization in Persian such as those of adpositions is likely to yield a lot of useful information regarding how new structures are grammaticalized and how existing grammatical structures are eroded and replaced by new ones.

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