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Languages

The national language of Iran is Persian, also known as Farsi, an Indo-European language. The other main regional languages are Turkish, Azari, Kurdish, Arabic and Lori; and there are dozens of other tongues throughout the 26 provinces, such as Gilaki, Baluchi and Turkmen.

The Arabic script was adapted to Persian after introduction of Islam, but there is no standard method of transliterating Persian into English so that English speakers can pronounce it.

English, French, German and some other European languages, arespoken by some educated middle-class people in the major cities.

 

 

General Information about languages/dialects in use in Iran:

 

ALVIRI-VIDARI [AVD] Near Saveh. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Dialects: ALVIR (ALVIRI), VIDAR (VIDARI). Related to Gozarkhani and Vafsi.

ARABIC, GULF SPOKEN (KHALIJI, GULF ARABIC) [AFB] 200,000 in Iran; 200,000 in Saudi Arabia; 40,000 in Iraq; 500,000 in Kuwait; 744,000 in UAE; 100,000 in Bahrain; 103,000 in Qatar; 441,000 in Oman; 10,000 in Yemen; 2,440,000 in all countries (1995). Southern coast. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Dialect: AL-HASAA

ARABIC, MESOPOTAMIAN SPOKEN (MESOPOTAMIAN GELET ARABIC) [ACM] 1,200,000 in Iran; 11,500,000 in Iraq; 500,000 in Jordan; 100,000 in Turkey; 1,800,000 in Syria; 15,100,000 in all countries (1996). Khuzestan Province, southwest side of Zagros Mts., along the bank of the Shatt al Arab and the Tigris. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Typology: SVO. Shi'a Muslim

ARMENIAN (HAIEREN, SOMKHURI, ERMENICE, ARMJANSKI) [ARM] 170,800 in Iran (1993); 6,836,000 in all countries. Northern Iran, Azerbaijan around Khoi, Shahpur, Ahar, Tabriz, Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz. Also in Armenia, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, USA, France, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, India, Greece. Indo-European, Armenian. Dialects: EASTERN ARMENIAN, AGULIS, ASTRAKHAN, EREVAN, JOLFA (DZHULFA), KARABAGH SHAMAKHI, TBILISI (TIFLIS), ARTVIN, KHOI-SALMST (KHVOY), URMIA-MARAGHEH. Dialects listed are Eastern. Eastern Armenian is spoken in Armenia and its Turkish and Iranian borderlands; Western Armenian is spoken elsewhere. Western Armenian is understood only by some in Iran. Language of wider communication. Christian. Bible 1883-1994. NT 1834-1976. Bible portions 1831-1991

ASHTIANI (ASTIANI) [ATN] Tafres area. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Transitional between central Iranian dialects and Talysh. Very close to Vafsi. Speakers are bilingual in Farsi. Muslim

ASSYRIAN NEO-ARAMAIC [AII] 10,000 to 20,000 in Iran (1994); 8,000 in Georgia (1994); 10,000 in Russia (1993); 30,000 in Iraq (1994); 30,000 in Syria (1995); 200,000 in all countries. Reza'iyeh (Rizaiye, Urmia, Urmi). Most in Tehran. Also in Syria, Cyprus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, USA, Canada, Germany, Australia, Turkey, South America. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern. Dialect: IRANIAN KOINE (GENERAL URMI). The Assyrian separated denominationally from the Chaldean in the 16th century. Syriac script used. Christian (Nestorian) mainly.

AZERBAIJANI, SOUTH (AZERI) [AZB] 13,000,000 or more in Iran (1991), over 20% of the population (1991), including 290,000 Afshar, 5,000 Aynallu, 7,500 Baharlu, 1,000 Moqaddam, 3,500 Nafar 1,000 Pishagchi, 3,000 Qajar, 2,000 Qaragozlu, 130,000 Shahsavani (1993); 5,000 or fewer in Afghanistan; 300,000 to 900,000 or more in Iraq; 30,000 in Syria (1961); 530,000 or more in Turkey; 4,000 in Jordan; 13,869,000 or more in all countries. East and west Azerbaijan, Zanjan, and part of central provinces. Many in a few districts of Tehran. Some Azerbaijani-speaking groups are in Fars Province and other parts of Iran. Also in USA. Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani. Dialects: AYNALLU (INALLU, INANLU), KARAPAPAKH, TABRIZ, AFSHARI (AFSHAR, AFSAR), SHAHSAVANI (SHAHSEVEN), MOQADDAM, BAHARLU (KAMESH), NAFAR, QARAGOZLU, PISHAGCHI, BAYAT, QAJAR. People called 'Turki' (Turks). In general not written, but occasionally with Arabo-Persian script in Iran. Distinctive dialect differences between the Azerbaijani of the former USSR (North) and Iranian Azerbaijani (South) in phonology, lexicon, morphology, and syntax. Teimurtash (7,000 in Mazandaran; possibly the same as Teimuri, Timuri, Taimouri) and Salchug (in Kerman Province) may be dialects. Qashqai is probably a dialect. Language of wider communication. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Shi'a Muslim. 

BALOCHI, SOUTHERN (BALUCHI, BALUCI, BALOCI) [BCC] 405,000 in Iran; 130,000 in Oman (1995); 2,350,000 in Pakistan (1996); 100,000 in United Arab Emirates; 2,985,300 in all countries. Southern Baluchistan Province. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Baluchi. Dialect: MAKRANI (LOTUNI). Sunni Muslim.

BALOCHI, WESTERN (BALUCHI, BALOCI, BALUCI) [BGN] 451,000 in Iran, 1% of the population (1986); 200,000 in Afghanistan; 1,000,000 in Pakistan (1995); 18,633 in Turkmenistan (1979); 4,842 in Tajikistan; 1,670,000 in all countries. Northern Baluchistan Province. Half are settled in cities and villages, half are nomadic. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Baluchi. Dialects: RAKHSHANI (RAXSHANI), SARAWANI. Strongly influenced by Farsi. Not intelligible with Farsi. Few speak Farsi. Distinct from Eastern and Southern Balochi. Ethnic group: Yarahmadza. Sunni Muslim. Bible portions 1984.

BASHKARDI [BSG] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Baluchi. Muslim

BRAHUI (BRAHUIDI, BIRAHUI, KUR GALLI) [BRH] 10,000 in Iran (1983); 1,500,000 in Pakistan (1981); 200,000 in Afghanistan (1980); 1,710,000 in all countries. Eastern. Dravidian, Northern. Dialects: JHARAWAN, KALAT, SARAWAN. Kalat is standard dialect, Jharawan is lowland. Brahui in Iran are reported to speak Baluchi now. Pastoralists. Muslim

DOMARI (MIDDLE EASTERN ROMANI, TSIGENE, GYPSY) [RMT] 80,000 in Iran (1929); 50,000 in Iraq (1970); 10,000 in Syria (1961); 20,000 perhaps in Turkey (1982); 500,000 in all countries (1980 Kenrick). Kurbat is in western Iran. Karachi is in northern Iran. Also in Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, India, Russia, and Uzbekistan (Luli and Maznoug). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Dom. Dialects: KURBATI, QINATI, YRK, KOLI, KARACHI, LULI, MAZNOUG, NAWAR. A Gypsy language. Arabic influenced. Muslim

DZHIDI (JUDEO-PERSIAN) [DZH] (60,000 in Israel; 1995). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian. Close to Bukharic, Western Farsi. Jewish

ESHTEHARDI [ESH] Eshtehard and environs, Karaj District, Central Province. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Close to Takestani. Muslim

FARS [FAC] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Fars. Distinct from Farsi. Related to Lari. Muslim

FARSI, WESTERN (PERSIAN, PARSI) [PES] 25,300,000 in Iran, 50.2% of the population (1993), including 800,000 Dari in Khorasan; 26,000 in Tajikistan (1979 census); 500,000 in Turkey; 8,000 in Turkmenistan (1993); 31,300 in Uzbekistan; 65,550 in Qatar; 48,000 in Bahrain; 185,700 in Iraq; 25,000 in Oman (1993); 900,000 in USA; 2,000 in Austria (1995); 15,000 in Canada; 90,000 in Germany; 10,000 in Greece; 102,000 in Saudi Arabia; 80,000 in United Arab Emirates (1986); 9,000 in Denmark (1993); 5,000 in Netherlands; 12,000 in United Kingdom; 26,523,000 in all countries. Central and south central Iran. Also in Israel. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian. Dialects: QAZVINI, MAHALLATI, HAMADANI, KASHANI, ISFAHANI, SEDEHI, KERMANI, ARAKI, SHIRAZI, JAHROMI, SHAHRUDI, KAZERUNI, MASHADI (MESHED), BASSERI. All schools use Farsi. The literary language is virtually identical in Iran and Afghanistan, with very minor lexical differences. Zargari may be a dialect used by goldsmiths (also see Balkan Romani in Iran). Dialect shading into Dari in Afghanistan and Tajiki in Tajikistan. National language. Typology: SOV. Mainly Shi'a Muslim

GABRI (YAZDI, YAZIDI) [GBZ] 8,000 or fewer (1982). Yezd and Kerman areas. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Spoken by Persian Zoroastrians in their personal communications as a private language. All are bilingual in Farsi. Many Zoroastrians do not know Gabri. Zoroastrian

GAZI [GZI] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Muslim

GEORGIAN (KARTULI, GRUZIN) [GEO] 1,000 to 10,000 in Iran; 3,901,380 in Georgia (1993); 13,595 in Azerbaijan (1979); 40,000 in Turkey (1980 estimate); 757 in USA (1970 census); 4,103,000 in all countries. Also in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. South Caucasian, Georgian. Dialect: FEREJDAN. Ferejdan dialect is or was in Iran; there may not be any now. Imerxev dialect is in Turkey. In Georgia it has a script of its own called Mkhedruli which Georgians in Iran probably cannot read. Muslim

GILAKI (GELAKI, GILANI) [GLK] 3,265,000 (1993), including 2,000 Galeshi (1991 WA). Gilan region, coastal plain, south of Talish. Galeshi is a mountain dialect. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Caspian. Dialect: GALESHI. Not in written form. Close to Mazanderani. Speakers use Western Farsi as second language. The educated can read Farsi well. Agriculturalists, fishermen. Shi'a Muslim, Christian

GOZARKHANI [GOZ] Alamut area. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Close to Maraghei. Muslim

HARZANI [HRZ] West Azerbaijan Province, Qalingie, betweenf Marand and Jolfa, northwest of Tabriz. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Very close to Karingani. Muslim

HAWRAMI (HAWRAMANI, GURANI, GORANI, MCHO MCHO) [HAC] West part of Kordestan Province, near Iraq border. Also in Iraq. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Zaza-Gorani. Closest to Dimli of Turkey. Both are distinct from Kurdish. Muslim

HAZARAGI (HAZARA, HEZAREH, HEZARE'I) [HAZ] 283,000 in Iran (1993); 1,756,000 or more in all countries. Some estimates go as high as 6,000,000. Also in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian. Ethnic group names are (Central) Dai Kundi, Dai Zangi, Behsud, Yekaulang, (Southern) Polada, Urusgani, Jaguri, Ghazni Hazaras, Dai Miradad. They speak a dialect related to Dari; possibly distinct. Agriculturalists, semi-sedentary pastoralists. Muslim: Imami Shi'a, Ismaili, some Sunni

HERKI [HEK] Also in Iraq and Turkey. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Possibly a dialect of Kurmanji. Muslim

KABATEI [XKP] Rudbar District, Gilan Province. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Dialects: KALAS, KABATE. Close to Upper Taromi. Muslim

KAJALI [XKJ] Khalkhal District in Eastern Azerbaijan Province, Kaqazkonan District, Kajal. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Close to Shahrudi and Koresh-e Rostam. Muslim

KARINGANI [KGN] East Azerbaijan Province, Dizmar District, Keringan village, and Hasanu District, northeast of Tabriz. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Various dialects. Very close to Harzani. Muslim

KAZAKH (KAZAK, KAZAKHI, QAZAQI) [KAZ] 3,000 in Iran (1982 estimate); 6,556,000 in Kazakhstan (1979 census); 1,111,718 in China (1990); 100,000 in Mongolia (1991); 2,000 in Afghanistan; 600 or more in Turkey (1982); 8,000,000 or more in all countries. Gorgan City, Mazandaran Province. Also in Germany. Altaic, Turkic, Western, Aralo-Caspian. Any who are literate would use Arabic script. Muslim. NT 1820-1910, out of print. Bible portions 1818-1989

KHALAJ [KLJ] 17,000 and decreasing (1968). Northeast of Arak in Central Province. Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani. Not a dialect of Azerbaijani, as previously supposed. An independent language distinct from other extant Turkish languages (Doerfer 1971). Most are bilingual in Farsi; some children know only Farsi. Muslim

KHOINI [XKC] Khoin District, Zanjan Province. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Various dialects. Related to Kabatei and Takestani. Muslim

KHORASANI TURKISH (QUCHANI) [KMZ] 400,000 possibly (1977 Doerfer). Northeast Iran, in the northern part of Khorasan Province, especially northwest of Mashhad. West dialect in Bojnurd region; north dialect in Quchan region (probably the largest), south dialect around Soltanabad near Sabzevar. Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Turkish. Dialects: WEST QUCHANI (NORTHWEST QUCHANI), NORTH QUCHANI (NORTHEAST QUCHANI), SOUTH QUCHANI. Midway linguistically between Azerbaijani and Turkmen, but not a dialect of either. Bilingual in Farsi. Not a literary language, but the government broadcasts in Quchani. Oghuz-Uzbek in Uzbekistan is reported to be a dialect of this. Distinct from Khorasani, a local Persian dialect in Khorasan. Muslim

KHUNSARI [KFM] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Distinct from Kumzari of Oman. Muslim

KORESH-E ROSTAM [OKH] Eastern Azerbaijan Province, Koresh-e Rostam District. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Related to Shahrudi and Kajali. Muslim

KOROSHI [KTL] 160 to 200, or 40 to 50 families (Mohamedi). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Baluchi. Appears to be Baluchi with some features of Farsi. They work for the Qashqai people. Camel keepers

KURDI (KURDY, SOUTHERN KURDISH. SORANI, KORKORA, WW) [KDB] 3,250,000 in Iran; 6,036,000 in all countries. Northwest Iran, primarily Kordestan, Kermanshahan, West Azerbaijan provinces; also a large number in northeast Iran, in the very north of Khorasan Province. Also in Iraq and USA. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Dialects: KERMANSHAHI, MUKRI, JAFI. 90% are settled in cities or villages, 10% are nomadic. Arabic script used in Iran and Iraq. Jafi may be a separate language. 1% literate; 15% literacy among boys. Teaching Kurdi is prohibited in Iranian schools (Time 4/1/91). Language of wider communication. Muslim (mainly Sunni, some Shi'a), Christian

KURMANJI (NORTHERN KURDISH, KERMANJI, KIRMANJI) [KUR] 200,000 in Iran (1983 estimate); 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 in all countries. Mountain villages along the Turkey border region in the west of West Azerbaijan Province. Also in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lebanon, Germany, and Belgium. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Roman script is used in Turkey, Arabic in Syria, Iran, and Iraq, Cyrillic in Russia, Armenian script not used now. Teaching Kurmanji is prohibited in Iranian schools (Time 4/1/91). Muslim

LARI (LARESTANI) [LRL] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Fars. Muslim

LASGERDI [LSA] In Lasgerd. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Semnani. Related to Sorkhei. Dictionary. Muslim

LORI (LUR, LOR, LORI) [LRI] 4,280,000 in Iran (1993) including 680,000 Bakhtiari (1989). Southwestern Iran, Lorestan and Ilam; Borujerd is center. Bakhtiari migrate mainly from Bakhtiari and Esfahan provinces (summer) to Khuzestan (winter). Mamasani and Kurdshuli in Fars Province; Bovir-Ahmadi in Boyer-Ahmadi Kohgiluyeh Province. Also in Iraq, USA. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Luri. Dialects: LURI, FEYLI, LEKI (LAKI, ALAKI), BAKHTIARI, KELHURI. Closely related to Kumzari. Ethnic groups: Lor, Bakhtiari (Haftlang, Chaharlang), Mamasani (perhaps 75,000 in 1982), Bovir-Ahmadi and Kuhgiluyeh (200,000 in 1982). Posht-Kuh: nomadic, Pish-Kuh: agriculturalists, Bakhtiari Haft-Lang: nomadic pastoralists: sheep, Bakhtiari Cahr-Lang: settled. Shi'a Muslim.

MANDAIC (MANDAEAN, NEO-MANDAIC, MODERN MANDAIC, MANDA:YI, MANDI, SUBBI, SA'IBA) [MID] 800 to 1,000 speakers in Iran, out of an ethnic group of 5,000 in Khuzistan, Iran who speak Western Farsi. 23,000 ethnic Mandaeans in Iraq all speak Arabic (1994 H. Mutzafi), but some older people are reported to be bilingual in Mandaic. There may be some in USA. Khuzistan. Speakers reported in Khuzistan in the 1960's. Ethnic Mandaeans in Iraq now do not speak Mandaic. Assyrians in the USA report Mandaic speakers there, whom they call 'Yokhananaye'. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Mandaic. Dialects: AHW:AZ (AHVAZ), SHUSHTAR. Little dialect variation. Speakers use Western Farsi as second language. Mandaic script used. Mandaism (Gnostic)

MANDAIC, CLASSICAL (CLASSICAL MANDAEAN) [MYZ] Also used in Iraq and small communities in the USA and Australia (300 Mandaeans in Sydney in 1995). Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Mandaic. The liturgical language used by followers of the Mandaean religion. Appears to be the direct ancestor of Modern Mandaic. Mandaic script used. Mandaism. Extinct.

MARAGHEI [VMH] Upper Rudbar area (Rudbare Alamut). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Dialect: DIKINI. Various dialects. Close to Gozarkhani. Muslim

MAZANDERANI (TABRI) [MZN] 3,265,000 or 4.7% of the population (1993). Northern Iran near Caspian Sea, southern half of Mazandaran Province. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Caspian. Bilingual in Farsi. Related to Gilaki. The educated can read Farsi well. Qadikolahi (Ghadikolahi) and Palani may be dialects. Agriculturalists, fishermen. Shi'a Muslim

NATANZI [NTZ] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Muslim

NAYINI [NYQ] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Muslim

PASHTO, WESTERN (PASHTU, PAKTU) [PBT] 113,000 in Iran (1993); 8,000,000 in Afghanistan (1989); 4,000 in Tajikistan; 8,117,000 in all countries. Khorasan on Afghanistan border east of Qa'en. Also in UAE. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pashto. Different from Eastern Pashto of Pakistan and India. Sunni Muslim

QASHQA' (QASHQAY, QASHQAI, KASHKAI) [QSQ] 200,000 (1982 estimate). Southwestern Iran, Fars Province; southern pasture in winter, northern in summer. Shiraz is a center. Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani. Very close to Azerbaijani. Nomadic. Isolated. Many are bilingual in Farsi and can read it well. Desert. Rug weavers, pastoralists: sheep, donkeys, camels. Shi'a Muslim

RASHTI [RSH] Rasht city, the provincial capital of Gilan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Caspian. Closely related to Gilaki, but significantly different to need separate literature. Heavy influence from Farsi. 'Real' Gilaki of the countryside is not intelligible to speakers of Rashti. Speakers are fairly bilingual in Farsi

RAZAJERDI [RAT] Qazvin Kuhpaye area, Razajerd. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Various dialects. Related to Takestani. Muslim

ROMANI, BALKAN [RMN] 1,000,000 in all countries. Also in Turkey, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Germany, France, Moldova, Ukraine. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Balkan. Dialect: ZARGARI. A Gypsy language. Also see Western Farsi in Iran concerning a Zargari. Muslim

RUDBARI [RDB] Sefid Rud Valley. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Various dialects. Transitional to Caspian languages and related to Vafsi. Muslim

SALCHUQ [SLQ] Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani. Probably a dialect of Azerbaijani. Muslim

SANGISARI (SANGESARI) [SGR] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Semnani. Dictionary. Muslim

SEMNANI [SMJ] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Semnani. Dictionary. Muslim

SENAYA (SENA:YA, CHRISTIAN NEO-ARAMAIC) [SYN] 50 in Iran (1994 H. Mutzafi); 200 in USA (California, 1994); a few in Australia and western Europe (1994); 250 in all countries. Teheran. Originally in Sanandaj, Iranian Kurdistan. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern. Language varieties in Suleimaniya, Iraq and Qazwin, Iran may be inherently intelligible with it. Speakers use Assyrian Neo-Aramaic as second language. Syriac script used. Christian (Chaldean).

SHAHMIRZADI [SRZ] Shahmirzad. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Caspian. Close to Mazanderani and Gilaki. Dictionary

SHAHRUDI [SHM] Khalkhal District in Eastern Azerbaijan Province, Shahrud District, Shal, Kolur, Lerd. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Close to Kajali and Koresh-e Rostam. Not a Western Farsi dialect. Muslim

SHIKAKI [SHF] Also in Iraq and Turkey. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish. Possibly a dialect of Kurmanji. Muslim

SIVANDI [SIY] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Muslim

SOI [SOJ] Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Muslim

SORKHEI [SQO] In Sorkhe. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Semnani. Related to Lasgerdi. Dictionary.

TAKESTANI (TAKISTANI) [TKS] 220,000. Various towns and villages in the mainly Azerbaijani-speaking region from Khalkhal to Saveh, especially in Takestan and villages to the south and southeast. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Dialects: KHALKHAL, TAROM, ZANJAN, KHARAQAN, RAMAND (TAKESTAN). Close to Talysh, especially Khalkhal dialect. Speakers are bilingual in Farsi. Distinct from Tat of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Muslim

TALYSH (TALISH, TALESH, TALISHI) [TLY] 112,000 in Iran (1993); 130,000 in Azerbaijan (1982 estimate); 242,000 in all countries. Along the Caspian Sea up to Kepri-chal, northwest Gilan Province along coastal plain. Northern Talyshi is centered around Astara and the Caspian littoral in Azerbaijan; Central Talyshi is centered around the Asalem-Hashtpar area along the Caspian littoral in northwestern Iran; Southern Talyshi is centered around Shandermen, Masal, Masule, and surrounding mountainous areas in Gilan Province. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Dialects: NORTHERN TALYSHI, CENTRAL TALYSHI, SOUTHERN TALYSHI. The dialects listed may be separate languages. Close to Harzani. Agajani and Sasani may be dialects. Muslim

TAROMI, UPPER [TIB] Upper Tarom of Zanjan Province, Hazarrud, Siavarud. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh. Various dialects. Close to Kabatei. Muslim

TAT, MUSLIM (MUSSULMAN TATI) [TTT] 30,000 in both countries (1994 UBS); 22,000 in Azerbaijan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Tati. Difficult intelligibility with Judeo-Tat. Not written; they use Azerbaijani as a literary language in Azerbaijan. There may be a Christian dialect. Different from Takestani of Iran. Shi'a Muslim

TURKMEN (TORKOMANI) [TCK] 1,000,000 in Iran (1995), 1.6% of the population (1986); 3,430,000 in Turkmenistan; 500,000 in Afghanistan; 925 in Turkey (1982); 5,397,500 in all countries. Northeast, mainly in Mazandaran Province, along the Turkmenistan border; important centers are Gonbad-e Kavus and Pahlavi Dezh. Also in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq. Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Turkmenian. Dialects: ANAULI, KHASARLI, NEREZIM, NOKHURLI (NOHUR), CHAVDUR, ESARI (ESARY), GOKLEN (GOKLAN), SALYR, SARYQ, TEKE (TEKKE), YOMUD (YOMUT), TRUKMEN. Cyrillic alphabet used in Turkmenistan, Arabic in Afghanistan. Not a literary language in Iran, although they could read Arabic script. People listen to Turkmen radio broadcasts from within Iran and Turkmenistan. Many are semi-nomadic. Ethnic groups: Yomut, Goklan. Agriculturalists: cotton, wheat, barley; cattle. Hanafi Sunni and Shi'a Muslim; Goklan and Yomut: Shi'a Muslim

VAFSI [VAF] Central Province, Arak District, Vafs, Tafres area. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Central Iran. Various dialects. Transitional between central Iranian dialects and Talysh; very close to Ashtiani. Speakers use Western Farsi as second language. Muslim

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