Countries with significant Persian-speaking populations
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This article contains Persian text, written from right to left with some letters joined.Without proper rendering support, you may see unjoined Perso-Arabic letters written left-to-right, instead of right-to-left or other symbols instead of Perso-Arabic script.
Persian, the more widely used name of the language in English, is an anglicized form derived from Latin *Persianus < Latin Persia < Greek Πέρσις Pérsis, aHellenized form of Old Persian Parsa. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term Persian as a language name is first attested in English in the mid-16th century. Native Iranian Persian speakers call it Fârsi.Fârsi is the arabicized form of Pârsi, due to a lack of the 'p' phoneme in Standard Arabic. In English, this language is historically known as "Persian", though some Persian speakers migrating to the West continued to use "Farsi" to identify their language in English and the word gained some currency in English-speaking countries. "Farsi" is encountered in some linguistic literature as a name for the language, used both by Iranian and by foreign authors. According to the OED, the term Farsi was first used in English in the mid-20th century. The Academy of Persian Language and Literature has declared that the name "Persian" is more appropriate, as it has the longer tradition in the western languages and better expresses the role of the language as a mark of cultural and national continuity. Most Persian language scholars such as Ehsan Yarshater and Kamran Talattof have also rejected the usage of "Farsi" in their articles.
The international language encoding standard ISO 639-1 uses the code "fa", as its coding system is mostly based on the local names. The more detailed standardISO 639-3 uses the name "Persian" (code "fas") for the dialect continuum spoken across Iran and Afghanistan. This consists of the individual languages Dari (Afghan Persian) and Iranian Persian.
A similar terminology, but with even more subdivisions, is also adopted by the LINGUIST List, where "Persian" appears as a sub-grouping under "Southwest Western Iranian". Currently, VOA, BBC, DW, and RFE/RL use "Persian Service" for their broadcasts in the language. RFE/RL also includes a Tajik service, and an Afghan (Dari) service. This is also the case for the American Association of Teachers of Persian, The Centre for Promotion of Persian Language and Literature, and many of the leading scholars of Persian language.
Persian is an Iranian language belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. In general, Iranian languages are known from three periods, usually referred to as Old, Middle, and New (Modern) periods. These correspond to three eras in Iranian history; Old era being the period from sometime before Achaemenids, the Achaemenid era and sometime after Achaemenids (that is to 400-300 BC), Middle era being the next period most officially Sassanid era and sometime in post-Sassanid era, and the New era being the period afterwards down to present day.
According to available documents, the Persian language is "the only Iranian language" for which close phylological relationships between all of its three stages are established and so that Old, Middle, and New Persian represent one and the same language of Persian, that is New Persian is a direct descendent of Middle and Old Persian.
The oldest records in Old Persian date back to the Persian Empire of the 6th century BC.
The known history of the Persian language can be divided into the following three distinct periods:
Old Persian evolved from Proto-Iranian as it evolved in the Iranian plateau's southwest. The earliest dateable example of the language is the Behistun Inscription of the Achaemenid Darius I (r. 522 BC – ca. 486 BC). Although purportedly older texts also exist (such as the inscription on the tomb of Cyrus II at Pasargadae), these are actually younger examples of the language. Old Persian was written in Old Persian cuneiform, a script unique to that language and is generally assumed to be an invention of Darius I's reign.
After Aramaic, or rather the Achaemenid form of it known as Imperial Aramaic, Old Persian is the most commonly attested language of the Achaemenid age. While examples of Old Persian have been found wherever the Achaemenids held territories, the language is attested primarily in the inscriptions of Western Iran, in particular in Parsa "Persia" in the southwest, the homeland of the tribes that the Achaemenids (and later the Sassanids) came from.
In contrast to later Persian, written Old Persian had an extensively inflected grammar, with eight cases, each declension subject to both gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) and number (singular, dual, plural).
In contrast to Old Persian, whose spoken and written forms must have been dramatically different from one another, written Middle Persian reflected oral use. The complex conjugation and declensionof Old Persian yielded to the structure of Middle Persian in which the dual number disappeared, leaving only singular and plural, as did gender. Middle Persian used postpositions to indicate the different roles of words, for example an -i suffix to denote a possessive "from/of" rather than the multiple (subject to gender and number) genitive caseforms of a word.
Although the "middle period" of the Iranian languages formally begins with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, the transition from Old- to Middle Persian had probably already begun before the 4th century. However, Middle Persian is not actually attested until 600 years later when it appears in Sassanid era (224–651) inscriptions, so any form of the language before this date cannot be described with any degree of certainty. Moreover, as a literary language, Middle Persian is not attested until much later, to the 6th or 7th century. And from the 8th century onwards, Middle Persian gradually began yielding to New Persian, with the middle-period form only continuing in the texts of Zoroastrian tradition.
The native name of Middle Persian was Parsik or Parsig, after the name of the ethnic group of the southwest, that is, "of Pars", Old Persian Parsa, New Persian Fars. This is the origin of the name Farsi as it is today used to signify New Persian. Following the collapse of the Sassanid state, Parsik came to be applied exclusively to (either Middle or New) Persian that was written in Arabic script. From about the 9th century onwards, as Middle Persian was on the threshold of becoming New Persian, the older form of the language came to be erroneously called Pahlavi, which was actually but one of the writing systems used to render both Middle Persian as well as various other Middle Iranian languages. That writing system had previously been adopted by the Sassanids (who were Persians, i.e. from the southwest) from the preceding Arsacids (who were Parthians, i.e. from the northeast). While Rouzbeh (Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa, 8th century) still distinguished between Pahlavi (i.e. Parthian) and Farsi (i.e. Middle Persian), this distinction is not evident in Arab commentaries written after that date.
Gernot Windfuhr considers new Persian as an evolution of the Old Persian language and the Middle Persian language but also states that none of the known Middle Persian dialects is the direct predecessor of the [New] Persian  Professor. Ludwig Paul states: "The language of the Shahnameh should be seen as one instance of continuous historical development from Middle to New Persian"
The history of New Persian itself spans more than 1,000–1,200 years. The development of the language in its last period is often divided into three stages dubbed early, classical, and contemporary. Many educated native speakers of the language can in fact understand early texts in Persian with minimal adjustment, because the morphology and, to a lesser extent, the lexicon of the language have remained relatively stable for the most part of a millennium.
For five centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language in South Asia. It took prominence as the language of culture and education in several Muslim courts in South Asiaand became the sole "official language" under the Mughal emperors. Coinciding with the Safavid rule over Iran, when (royal) patronage of Persian poets was curtailed, the centre of Persian culture and literature moved to the Mughal Empire, which had huge financial resources to employ a veritable army of Persian courtly poets, lexicographers and other literati. Beginning in 1843, though, English gradually replaced Persian in importance on the South Asia. Evidence of Persian's historical influence there can be seen in the extent of its influence on the languages of the South Asia, as well as the popularity that Persian literature still enjoys in that region. Persian exerted a strong influence on Urdu, the national language of Pakistan.
A variant of the Iranian standard ISIRI 9147 keyboard layout for Persian.
Since the nineteenth century, Russian, French and English and many other languages have contributed to the technical vocabulary of Persian. The Iranian NationalAcademy of Persian Language and Literature is responsible for evaluating these new words in order to initiate and advise their Persian equivalents. The language itself has greatly developed during the centuries.
The three mentioned varieties are based on the classic Persian literature. There are also several local dialects from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan which slightly differ from the standard Persian. Hazaragi (in Central Afghanistan and Pakistan), Herati (in Western Afghanistan), Darwazi (in Afghanistan and Tajikistan), Tehrani (in Iran) and Dehwari (in Pakistan) are examples of these dialects. Educated speakers of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan can understand one another with a relatively high degree of mutual intelligibility, give or take minor differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar – much in the same relationship as shared between British and American English.
Iranian Persian has six vowels and twenty-three consonants.
The vowel phonemes of modern Tehran Persian
Historically, Persian has distinguished length: Early New Persian possessed a series of five long vowels (/iː/, /uː/, /ɒː/, /oː/ and /eː/) along with three short vowels /æ/, /i/ and /u/. At some point prior to the sixteenth century within the general area that is today encompassed by modern Iran, /eː/ and /iː/ merged into /iː/, and /oː/ and /uː/ merged into /uː/. Thus, the older contrasts between words like shēr "lion" and shīr "milk," were lost. There are exceptions to this rule and in some words, "ē" and "ō" are preserved or merged into the diphthongs [eɪ] and [oʊ] (which are descendents of the diphthongs [æɪ] and [æʊ] in Early New Persian), instead of merging into /iː/ and /uː/. Examples of this exception can be found in words such as [roʊʃæn] (bright).
However, in the eastern varieties, the archaic distinction of /eː/ and /iː/ (respectively known as Yā-ye majhūl and Yā-ye ma'rūf) is still preserved, as well as the distinction of /oː/ and /uː/ (known as Wāw-e majhūl and Wāw-e ma'rūf). On the other hand, in standard Tajik, the length distinction has disappeared and/iː/ merged with /i/, and /uː/ with /u/. Therefore, contemporary Afghan dialects are the closest one can get to the vowel inventory of Early New Persian.
According to most studies on the subject (e.g. Samareh 1977, Pisowicz 1985, Najafi 2001,) the three vowels which are traditionally considered long (/i/, /u/, /ɒ/) are currently distinguished from their short counterparts (/e/, /o/, /æ/) by position of articulation, rather than by length. However, there are studies (e.g. Hayes 1979, Windfuhr 1979) which consider vowel-length to be the active feature of this system, i.e. /ɒ/, /i/, and /u/ are phonologically long or bimoraic whereas /æ/, /e/, and /o/ are phonologically short or monomoraic.
There are also some studies which consider quality and quantity to be both active in the Iranian system (e.g. Toosarvandani 2004). This view offers a synthetic analysis which includes both quality and quantity, often suggesting that modern Persian vowels are in a transition state between the quantitative system of classical Persian and a hypothetical future Persian which will eliminate all traces of quantity, and retain quality as the only active feature.
Suffice it to say that the length-distinction is strictly observed by careful reciters of classic-style poetry, for all varieties (including the Tajik).
Normal declarative sentences are structured as "(S) (PP) (O) V". This means sentences can comprise optional subjects, prepositional phrases, and objects, followed by a required verb. If the object is specific, then the object is followed by the word rā and precedes prepositional phrases: "(S) (O + rā) (PP) V".
Persian makes extensive use of word building and combining affixes, stems, nouns and adjectives. Persian frequently uses derivational agglutination to form new words from nouns, adjectives, and verbal stems. New words are extensively formed by compounding – two existing words combining into a new one, as is common in German. Professor Mahmoud Hessaby demonstrated that Persian can derive 226 million words.
While having a lesser influence on Arabic and other languages of Mesopotamia and its core vocabulary being of Middle Persian origin, New Persian contains a considerable amount of Arabic lexical items,which were Persianized and often took a different meaning and usage than the Arabic original. The Arabic vocabulary in other Iranic, Turkic and Indic languages are generally understood to be have been copied from New Persian.
John R. Perry in his article "Areas and Semantic Fields of Arabic" indicates his belief that the overall range of Arabic synonyms vocabulary used along or interchangeable with their equivalents Persian words varies from 2.4% frequency in the Shahnama, 14% in material culture, 24% in intellectual life to 40% of everyday literary activity. Most of the Arabic words used in Persian are either synonyms of native terms or could be (and often have been) glossed in Persian. The Arabic vocabulary in Persian is thus suppletive, rather than basic and has enriched New Persian.
The inclusion of Mongolian and Turkic elements in the Persian language should also be mentioned, not only because of the political role a succession of Turkic dynasties played in Iranian history, but also because of the immense prestige Persian language and literature enjoyed in the wider (non-Arab) Islamic world, which was often ruled by sultans and emirs with a Turkic background. The Turkish and Mongolian vocabulary in Persian is minor in comparison and these words were mainly confined to military, pastoral terms and political sector (titles, administration, etc.) until new military and political titles were coined based partially on Middle Persian (e.g. Artesh for army instead of Qoshun) in the 20th century.
There are also adaptations from French (mainly in the late 19th century and early 20th century) and Russian (mainly in the late 19th century and early 20th century). Like most languages of the world, there is an increasing amount of English vocabulary entering the Persian language. The Persian academy (Farhangestan) has coined Persian equivalents for some of these terms. There are more words adopted from French than from English because Persian speakers more easily pronounce French words.
Use of occasional foreign synonyms instead of Persian words can be a common practice in everyday communications as an alternative expression. In some instances in addition to the Persian vocabulary, the equivalent synonyms from multiple foreign languages can be used. For example, the phrase "thank you" can be expressed using the French word merci (stressed however on the first syllable), by the hybrid Persian-Arabic word moteshaker-am, or by the pure Persian word sepasgozar-am.
Example showing Nastaʿlīq's (Persian) proportion rules.[ 1 ]
Modern Iranian Persian and Afghan Persian are written using a modified variant of the Arabic alphabet (see Perso-Arabic script), which uses different pronunciation and additional letters not found in Arabic. Tajik Persian, as used in Tajikistan, is typically written in a modified version of the Cyrillic alphabet. There are also Persian Romanizations like Desphilic, Unipers and Penglish(fingilish) for writing Persian using Latin alphabet. After the conversion of Persia to Islam (see Islamic conquest of Iran), it took approximately 150 years before Persians adopted the Arabic alphabet in place of the older alphabet. Previously, two different alphabets were used, Pahlavi, used for Middle Persian, and the Avestan alphabet (in Persian, Dîndapirak or Din Dabire—literally: religion script), used for religious purposes, primarily for the Avestan language but sometimes for Middle Persian.
In modern Persian script, vowels that are referred to as short vowels (a, e, o) are usually not written; only the long vowels (â, i, u) are represented in the text, so words distinguished from each other only by short vowels are ambiguous in writing: kerm "worm", karam "generosity", kerem "cream", and krom "chrome" are all spelled "krm" in Persian. The reader must determine the word from context. The Arabic system of vocalization marks known as harakat is also used in Persian, although some of the symbols have different pronunciations. For example, an Arabic damma is pronounced [ʊ~u], while in Iranian Persian it is pronounced [o]. This system is not used in mainstream Persian literature; it is primarily used for teaching and in some (but not all) dictionaries.
It is also worth noting that there are several letters generally only used in Arabic loanwords. These letters are pronounced the same as similar Persian letters. For example, there are four functionally identical 'z' letters (ز ذ ض ظ), three 's' letters (س ص ث), two 't' letters (ط ت), etc.
(The že is pronounced with the same sound as the "s" in "measure" and "fusion", or the "z" in "azure".)
The Persian alphabet also modifies some letters from the Arabic alphabet. For example, alef with hamza below ( إ ) changes to alef ( ا ); words using various hamzas get spelled with yet another kind of hamza (so that مسؤولbecomes مسئول); and teh marbuta ( ة ) changes to heh ( ه ) or teh ( ت ).
The letters different in shape are:
original Arabic letter
modified Persian letter
vowel [i] consonant [j]
Writing the letters in their original Arabic form is not typically considered to be incorrect, but is not normally done.
The International Organization for Standardization has published a standard for simplified transliteration of Persian into Latin, ISO 233-3, titled "Information and documentation – Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters – Part 3: Persian language – Simplified transliteration" but the transliteration scheme is not in widespread use.
Fingilish, or Penglish, is the name given to texts written in Persian using Basic Latin alphabet. It is most commonly used in chat, emails and SMS applications. The orthography is not standardized, and varies among writers and even media (for example, typing 'aa' for the [ɒ] phoneme is easier on computer keyboards than on cellphone keyboards, resulting in smaller usage of the combination on cellphones).
UniPers, short for the Universal Persian Alphabet (Pârsiye Jahâni) is a Latin-based alphabet popularized by Mohamed Keyvan, who used it in a number of Persian textbooks for foreigners and travellers.
The International Persian Alphabet (Pársik) is another Latin-based alphabet developed in recent years mainly by A. Moslehi, a comparative linguist.
Persá is yet another Latin-based alphabet that has been recently[when?] developed using new characters to represent sounds unique to the Persian language.
Desphilic is also a romanization which uses ordinary Latin character set for romanization of Persian.
^ abcde Professor. Gilbert Lazard, : The language known as New Persian, which usually is called at this period (early Islamic times) by the name of Dari or Farsi-Dari, can be classified linguistically as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of Sassanian Iran, itself a continuation of Old Persian, the language of the Achaemenids. Unlike the other languages and dialects, ancient and modern, of the Iranian group such asAvestan, Parthian, Soghdian, Kurdish, Balochi, Pashto, etc., OldMiddle and New Persian represent one and the same language at three states of its history. It had its origin in Fars (the true Persian country from the historical point of view) and is differentiated by dialectical features, still easily recognizable from the dialect prevailing in north-western and eastern Iran in Lazard, Gilbert 1975, "The Rise of the New Persian Language" in Frye, R. N., The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4, pp. 595–632, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
^ Ulrich Ammon, Norbert Dittmar, Klaus J. Mattheier, Peter Trudgill, "Sociolinguistics Hsk 3/3 Series Volume 3 of Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society", Walter de Gruyter, 2006. 2nd edition. pg 1912. Excerpt: "Middle Persian, also called Pahlavi is a direct continuation of old Persian, and was used as the written official language of the country." "However, after the Moslem conquest and the collapse of the Sassanids, Arabic became the dominant language of the country and Pahlavi lost its importance, and was gradually replaced by Dari, a variety of Middle Persian, with considerable loan elements from Arabic and Parthian."
^ Skjærvø, Prods Oktor (2006). Encyclopedia Iranica,"Iran, vi. Iranian languages and scripts, "new Persian, is "the descendant of Middle Persian" and has been "official language of Iranian states for centuries", whereas for other non-Persian Iranian languages "close genetic relationships are difficult to establish" between their different (Middle and Modern) stages. Modern Yaḡnōbi belongs to the same dialect group as Sogdian, but is not a direct descendant; Bactrian may be closely related to modern Yidḡa and Munji (Munjāni); and Wakhi (Wāḵi) belongs with Khotanese."
^ abc Richard Davis, "Persian" in Josef W. Meri, Jere L. Bacharach, "Medieval Islamic Civilization", Taylor & Francis, 2006. pp. 602–603. "The grammar of New Persian is similar to many contemporary European languages."Similarly, the core vocabulary of Persian continued to be derived from Pahlavi.
^ ab Lazard, Gilbert, "Pahlavi, Pârsi, dari: Les langues d'Iran d'apès Ibn al-Muqaffa" in R.N. Frye, "Iran and Islam. In Memory of the late Vladimir Minorsky", Edinburgh University Press, 1971.
^ ab Ann K. S. Lambton, "Persian grammar", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press 1953. Excerpt: "The Arabic words incorporated into the Persian language have become Persianized".
^ Windfuhr, Gernot (1987). Berard Comrie. ed. The World's Major Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 523–546.ISBN978-0195065114.
^ Gernot Windfuhr, "Persian Grammer: history and state of its study", Walter de Gruyter, 1979. pg 4:""Tat- Persian spoken in the East Caucasus""
^ C Kerslake, Journal of Islamic Studies (2010) 21 (1): 147-151. excerpt:"It is a comparison of the verbal systems of three varieties of Persian—standard Persian, Tat, and Tajik—in terms of the 'innovations' that the latter two have developed for expressing finer differentiations of tense, aspect and modality..." 
^ Borjian, Habib, "Tabari Language Materials from Il'ya Berezin's Recherches sur les dialectes persans", Iran and the Caucasus, Volume 10, Number 2, 2006 , pp. 243–258(16). Excerpt:"It embraces Gilani, Ta- lysh, Tabari, Kurdish, Gabri, and the Tati Persian of the Caucasus, all but the last belonging to the north-western group of Iranian language."
^ cf. (Skjaervo 2006) vi(2). Documentation. Excerpt: Modern Yaḡnōbi belongs to the same dialect group as Sogdian, but is not a direct descendant; Bac-trian may be closely related to modern Yidḡa and Munji (Munjāni); and Wakhi (Wāḵi) belongs with Khotanese.
^ ab cf. (Skjaervo 2006) vi(2). Documentation. Excerpt 1: Only the official languages Ojhjlld, Middle, and New Persian represent three stages of one and the same language, whereas close genetic relationships are difficult to establish between other Middle and Modern Iranian languages. Modern Yaḡnōbi belongs to the same dialect group as Sogdian, but is not a direct descendant; Bac-trian may be closely related to modern Yidḡa and Munji (Munjāni); and Wakhi (Wāḵi) belongs with Khotanese. Excerpt 2: New Persian, the descendant of Middle Persian and official language of Iranian states for centuries..
^ Katzner, Kenneth (2002). The Languages of the World. Routledge. p. 163. ISBN0415250048.
^ Comrie, Bernard (1990) The major languages of South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Taylor & Francis,p. 82. Excerpt: " The evolution of Persian as the culturally dominant language of eastern Near East, from Iran to Central Asia to northwest India until recent centuries, began with the political domination of these areas by dynasties originating in southwestern province of Iran, Pars, later Arabicised to Fars: first the Achaemenids (599-331 BC) whose official language was Old Persian; then the Sassanids (c. AD 225-651) whose official language was Middle Persian. Hence, the entire country used to be called Perse by the ancient Greeks, a practice continued to this day. The more general designation 'Iran(-shahr)" derives from Old Iranian aryanam (Khshathra)'(the realm) of Aryans'. The dominance of these two dynasties resulted in Old and Middle-Persian colonies throughout the empire, most importantly for the course of the development of Persian, in the north-east i.e., what is now Khorasan, northern Afghanistan and Central Asia, as documented by the Middle Persian texts of the Manichean found in the oasis city of Turfan in Chinese Turkistan (Sinkiang). This led to certain degree of regionalisation".
^ Comrie, Bernard (1990) The major languages of South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Taylor & Francis,p. 82
^ Barbara M. Horvath, Paul Vaughan, Community languages, 1991, 276 p.
^ L. Paul(2005), "The Language of the Shahnameh in historical and dialetical perspective", pg 150:"The language of the Shahnameh should be seen as one instance of continuous historical development from Middle to New Persian" in Dieter Weber, D. N. MacKenzie, Languages of Iran: past and present: Iranian studies in memoriam David Neil MacKenzie, Volume 8 of Iranica Series, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. 
^ Jeremias, Eva M. (2004). "Iran, iii. (f). New Persian".Encyclopaedia of Islam. 12 (New Edition, Supplement ed.). pp. 432. ISBN9004139745.
^ John Andrew Boyle, Some thoughts on the sources for the Il-Khanid period of Persian history, in Iran: Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies, British Institute of Persian Studies, vol. 12 (1974), p. 175.
^ Clawson, Patrick (2004). Eternal Iran. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 6.ISBN1403962766.
^ Henderson, M. M. T. (1994) "Modern Persian Verb Stems Revisited" in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 114, No. 4. (October–December 1994), pp. 639–641.
^ Keshavarz, M. H. (1988) "Forms of Address in Post-Revolutionary Iranian Persian: A Sociolinguistic Analysis" in Language in Society, Vol. 17 No. 4 pp. 565–75 December 1988.
^ John R. Perry, "Lexical Areas and Semantic Fields of Arabic" in Éva Ágnes Csató, Eva Agnes Csato, Bo Isaksson, Carina Jahani,Linguistic convergence and areal diffusion: case studies from Iranian, Semitic and Turkic, Routledge, 2005. pg 97: "It is generally understood that the bulk of the Arabic vocabulary in the central, contingous [sic?] Iranic, Turkic and Indic languages was originally borrowed into literary Persian between the ninth and thirteenth century"
^ John Perry, Encyclopedia Iranica, "Arabic Words in ŠĀH-NĀMA "
^ abcdef John R. Perry, "Lexical Areas and Semantic Fields of Arabic" in Éva Ágnes Csató, Eva Agnes Csato, Bo Isaksson, Carina Jahani, Linguistic convergence and areal diffusion: case studies from Iranian, Semitic and Turkic,Routledge, 2005. excerpt:"A dictionary based sample yields an inventory of approximately 8000 Arabic loanwords in current standard Persian or about forty percent of an everyday literary vocabulary of 20,000 words, not counting compounds and deravitives." excerpt: "In a random experiment, the Arabic Vocabulary of material culture was 14% while that of intellectual life was 24% percent in Persian." excerpt:"Most of the Arabic loans in Persian are either synonyms of attested native terms (as Arabic Mariz; Persian Bimar 'sick') or could be (and often have been) glossed in Persian native morphs (as Arabic ta'lim va tarbiyat 'education' was later replaced by Amuzesh o Parvaresh). Arabic vocabulary in Persian is thus suppletive, rather than basic."
^ e.g. The role of Azeri-Turkish in Iranian Persian, on which see John Perry, "The Historical Role of Turkish in Relation to Persian of Iran", Iran & the Caucasus, Vol. 5 (2001), pp. 193–200.
^ Xavier Planhol, "Land of Iran", Encyclopedia Iranica. "The Turks, on the other hand, posed a formidable threat: their penetration into Iranian lands was considerable, to such an extent that vast regions adapted their language. This process was all the more remarkable since, in spite of their almost uninterrupted political domination for nearly 1,000 years, the cultural influence of these rough nomads on Iran’s refined civilization remained extremely tenuous. This is demonstrated by the mediocre linguistic contribution, for which exhaustive statistical studies have been made (Doerfer). The number of Turkish or Mongol words that entered Persian, though not negligible, remained limited to 2,135, i.e., 3 percent of the vocabulary at the most. These new words are confined on the one hand to the military and political sector (titles, administration, etc.) and, on the other hand, to technical pastoral terms. The contrast with Arab influence is striking. While cultural pressure of the Arabs on Iran had been intense, they in no way infringed upon the entire Iranian territory, whereas with the Turks, whose contributions to Iranian civilization were modest, vast regions of Iranian lands were assimilated, notwithstanding the fact that resistance by the latter was ultimately victorious. Several reasons may be offered."