Persian Not Farsi

My name is Fereshteh Davaran and I am writing my Ph.D. dissertation in the NES department at U. C. Berkeley and teaching Persian in Diablo Valley College. I wanted to ask you, as Iranians, not to use "Farsi" when you refer to Persian language in an English text.

Persian is the only language that is currently called by three different names (Farsi, Tajik and Dari) in English. You do not see anybody calling German, Almani or Deusche in English. You do not hear anybody call English, Irish or Australian or for that matter American.
Categorizing languages has a scientific method. According to Linguistics, the Persian language belongs to the Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian languages. The Iranian branch is composed of many languages such as Persian, Sughdi, Kurdish, Parthian, etc. The Persian branch has different dialects such as Tajik, Dari, Farsi, Isfahani, etc.

To call Persian, Farsi is just as bad as calling Persian Gulf, Arabian Gulf or even the Gulf. In the absence of an interested government, we Iranians have to defend our heritage more vigorously.
"Persia" is what Greek historians called Parsis at the time of the Achaemenids, and like all historic proper names its antiquity is its best defense. Over the centuries "Persian" was used to refer to the whole country of Iran and therefore could be used interchangeably with Iranian.

Fars and Farsi is the Arabic form of Parsis and Persia. Since Arabs did not have p sound, they turned Pars to Fars. Calling the Persian language by the three names of Farsi, Dari and Tajik is quite a recent phenomenon. As I said, linguists have agreed to call the language of Darius and Cyrus Old Persian, the language of Sasanids, Middle Persian and our language "Persian," which makes it the grand child of Old Persian and the Child of Middle Persian (Pahlavi).
All three stages of Persian language (old, middle and present) belong to Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian languages. Dari, Tajik, Farsi, Isfahani and Khurasani are different dialects of the Persian language, unlike Kurdish and Sughdian which are different languages in the Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian languages. Would it make sense to call Arabic, Iraqi or Egyptian, although they are three different dialects and have many differences? Would the Arabs allow it?

that is infact true. Bu then u have the lebanese who dont call
lebanese arabic arabic,. they call it lebanese. There have been
debates in the parliament about this. so tajik, farsi , dari issue
isnt new.
rezza on December 27, 2005 at 12:52
mehdi on January 15, 2006 at 10:25
clgj v,md45as6m7s5 txhgb n zwrf,
ryxu on January 30, 2006 at 11:12
smocks are the best!!! they r totally awsome!!! this website needs to
mentiion smocks more frequently in the future!! or ELSE!!! dun dun dun
smock on January 30, 2006 at 11:13
When intoducing yourself and mentioning what language I speak I say
farsi and thats because I HAVE MOVED ON persia used to be Iran is now
Biji on October 23, 2006 at 03:49
i think you are right i dont have much education in languages but i
always knew that my language should called persian . farsi is the
arabic version of parsi and it refers to a nation not a language ,
persian is our language with p any one who could not spell it its
their problem we dont have to change our names and language bacause
arab people can not spell it right !!!!!!!!
bahareh on June 11, 2007 at 06:58
however the loss is much vaster than a mere language name but it's
MVS on June 12, 2007 at 11:32
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Robert on July 27, 2007 at 03:43
In that case Fereshte jan you have to change your name to Pereshteh
shahram on September 20, 2007 at 01:39
i have made this mistake several times in my beginning studies of the
Persian language; in addition, it is also important to note if asked
what language you are learning to include the dialect as well. the
different dialects are quite easily understood in Asia, in the U.S.
this should not be taken for granted.
mike on October 09, 2007 at 08:48
i dont have much information a bout it but i agree that farsi is not
the original name it might be changed by time i will be happy if you
take a look at my web too i wish you the best
ali on December 20, 2007 at 07:22
Khanume Davaran, Please exchange your Ph. D. for some Khooroos
Ghandi! I, Roudaki, the undisputed father of Classical Persian
Poetry, wrote this line of poetry, far before this lunacy was afoot;
Man aanam ke bar paaye khookan marizam, Mar-een gheimati dorre
lafze DARI ra! Now you're all bent out of shape over the use of
Farsi in English texts?
Roudaki on March 24, 2008 at 01:35
Thankfully I,m agree with your comments.As Iranians we really should
welcome and appreciate such scholarly effort to improve our knowledge
of our great culture and even greater heritage. If I may,I would like
to mention that the correct writing of "Deusch" is : Deutsch. Best
regards b.Tabesh
Behruz Tabesh on April 06, 2008 at 08:20
Alas, if we could get over our obsession with the past and had half
that obsession with our future. This lady is making new discoveries
calling Farsi a dialect of Persian. And putting Farsi alongside
Isfahani and Khurasani languages!!! Even if she is right and Farsi is
a dialect of Persian then it should be perfectly right that I speak
Farsi as it would be more precise. Also
Amir Matin on April 07, 2008 at 12:04
i disagree, you are categorizing our language for the ignorance of
others, the same way all asians' are cheshmtang or chinese, all easter
europeans commis, all africans niggas, all middle easterns arab or
terrorist, there's no need for this bs why don't you become a botanist
and categorize as many plants as you want sorry but your dissertation
sucks im the dean from berkeley and i support this message
mani johnson on April 10, 2008 at 01:01
Hi there I forwarded your mail which was forwared to me to my friends
and a whole discusion about this persuded. Here is couple of replies
I recieved. Your response would appriciated. I totally disagree
with this friend of ours. The issue of Persian Gulf is the matter
of our national integrity and should not be used on every technical
conversation to raise emotional support for those other issues.
The effort shall be spent on enforcing that Tajik and Dari are in
fact Farsi and that's what they call it in Tajikistan too. If you
go to Tajikistan and ask people what language you speak, they say
Farsi (or Parsi). They will do the same in Afghanistan (for the most
part) and if you go the Tehran and ask people what language you speak
they say Farsi (or Parsi). The word Farsi is a lot more Iranian
than the word Persian. Because it has Iranian root and it’s more
commonly used by Farsi speaking nations and is in fact refers to Fars
(or Pars) which was the capital of Sirius's kingdom. It is true
that the "P" is changed to "F" to accommodate Arabic's lack of "P" but
at least the structure of the word, the usage of it and the roots of
it are all Iranian not Greek. Another issue is that Parsi or Farsi
has benefited from Arabic and other languages a lot and a vast group
of Farsi speaking poems, philosophers, and thinkers has worked on it
to make sure it benefits the most from Arabic and other languages and
made this language the most fruitful of all. It is not Iranian to
take away the great work of our Iranian ancestors and call it
purifying our language. We keep the word Farsi and Parsi dear to our
hearts. The linguistic term for the language of all Farsi speaking
nations and tribes and groups, is Farsi or Parsi but not Persian.
It is OK to use Greek based term Persian when we refer to objects
in English text like Persian Food, Persian Dress, and Persian Gulf .
So it’s OK for example to say that the Persian language is Farsi.
Regards, --Arsalan
----------------- Arsalan Afrakhteh,P.E. , LEED AP Principal
Engineer Bayer Health Care LLC Phone: 510 705 6896 Cell:
510 225 5567
Parviz Vafaee on April 10, 2008 at 08:55
With so much attention centered at the conflicts in the Middle East I
have found myself wanting to understand more of the history
surrounding it all. I am lost as to where to begin. I came across
this blog and it has very recent postings, so I am looking for
guidance. Any suggestions of where to begin (web-sites to visit,
books to read, languages to start to learn) would be wonderful. Thank
Westerner of Interest on April 20, 2008 at 03:05
great site
faziah on June 10, 2008 at 12:23
Salam man farshid hastam az tehran 17 salame . Gay hastam. Har jur dus
dashte bashin man sex mikonam. 09368872731 . Suck . Khub midam. va
Koon sefid on May 18, 2013 at 04:19

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