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Persian or Farsi ?

I read some articles about the differences but the best and reliable answer is the Answer of The state university Of Arizona.

 

link : www.u.arizona.edu/~karimi/Persian%20or%20Farsi.pdf

 

by the way, I suggest you the following links :

1 - http://www.proz.com/forum/linguistics/16636-farsi_or_persian_what_is_the_english_name_of_our_language.html

2 - http://www.iran-heritage.org/interestgroups/iranorpersia.htm

 

Please if you have suggestion that is based on facts, rather than emotions then send an email to the author of the article rather than asking me

Dec 31, 2015 6:07 PM
Comments · 7

Don't take my word for it: check out the Oxford Dictionary - a far more authoritative source on the English language than the State University of Arizona or Farhangestan! ;)

 

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/persian?q=Persian

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/farsi?q=Farsi

 

The Oxford dictionary matches my definition: "Persian" = Iranian dialect+Dari+Tajik; "Farsi" = Iranian only. Not all dictionaries agree though: some say "Persian"/"Farsi" both = Iranian+Dari+Tajik, others say "Persian"/"Farsi" both = Iranian only.

 

However one thing's beyond question: "Farsi" very much is a word in English, and it's not going anywhere :(

January 2, 2016

"Farsi" (an Arabic adaptation of the word "Parsi"), is the indigenous name of the Persian language. Just as the German speaking people refer to their language as 'Deutsch', the Greek 'Ellinika' and the Spanish 'Espanol', the Persians use 'Farsi' or 'Parsi' to identify their native form of verbal communication.

In English, however, this language has always been known as "Persian" ('Persane' in French and 'Persisch' in German'). But many Persians migrating to the West (particularly to the USA) after the 1979 revolution continued to use 'Farsi' to identify their language in English and the word became commonplace in English-speaking countries.

In the West when one speaks of 'Persian Language', people can immediately connect it with several famous aspects of that culture and history such as Persian Gulf, Persian Carpet, Persian food, Persian poetry, Persian cat, etc. But "Farsi" is void of such link which is only obvious for people in Persia (Iran) and a few other nations in the Middle East.

 

 

January 1, 2016

First of all, I think this argument is untrue: "'Farsi' shouldn't be an English word because it's a word from زبان  فارسی. We don't call German "Deutsch" or French "français", so we shouldn't say 'Farsi' in English either."

 

Why is this wrong? Because clearly both "Farsi" and "Persian" are accepted words in English (unlike Deutsch or français). So I don't think it's "wrong" to say either "Farsi" or "Persian".

 

Personally I agree there should be a distinction, though. My own personal (totally subjective) perspective is that "Farsi" = Iran only; "Persian" = Iran + Afghanistan + Tajikistan. Because in English, "Farsi" comes from Fars/Pars, a province in Iran, whereas "Persian" comes from the Persian Empire, which covered Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well.

 

However objectively, "Farsi" and "Persian" mean the same thing to most English speakers. I don't like it either, but that's a fact.

 

I am not a native speaker of Farsi so feel free to disagree with me...in English or in زبان فارسی...or زبان پارسی even! ;-)

January 1, 2016

Thanks for your thought-provoking responses. I can understand why the "newness" of the word Farsi makes you feel it breaks the link to Persian history and culture. It reminds me a bit of how many Spanish people dislike the term "Castilian Spanish" for a variety of cultural, historical and linguistic reasons (English speakers only really use that term because "Spanish Spanish" sounds silly...)

 

But I think we should be very clear what we're talking about: Do you want to talk about what should be true, or what is true?

 

If you're talking about what <em>should be</em> true, then fine: you can say English should call Iran "Persia", or call Dari "Dari Persian", and never use the word "Farsi", etc. You might be correct from a historical point of view, but you're not likely to make much difference, because nobody controls the English language! As for me, I'm happy to stop using the word Farsi if it's annoying to Persian people. Just don't count on all English speakers to give it up so easily...

 

If, however, you're talking about what <em>is</em> true, the following is indisputible:


1. "Persian" broadly refers to the Persian ethnicity, OR the old Persian Empire (never the modern Iranian nation: you would sound very strange today saying *<em>"I am from Persia"</em>), OR the culture, OR the language

 

2. "Farsi" refers ONLY to the language and has no cultural, national or ethnic connotations whatsoever

January 2, 2016

The Academy of the Persian Language and Literature (Farhangestan) in Tehran has also delivered a pronouncement on this matter and rejected any usage of the word "Farsi" instead of Persian/Persa/Persane/Persisch in the Western languages. The first paragraph of the pronouncement states: "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. 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..."

Fortunately all International broadcasting radios with Persian language service (e.g. VOA, BBC, DW, RFE/RL, etc.) use "Persian Service", in lieu of the incorrect "Farsi Service." That is also the case for the American Association of Teachers of Persian, The Centre for Promotion of Persian Language and Literature, and several American and European notable universities.

 

January 1, 2016
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